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Beltway Politics: Orioles, Nationals Each Want To Host Future All-Star Game
Published July 16, 2013
DERBY DAZE? NEWSDAY's Neil Best reports part of the MLB Home Run Derby’s sustainability is it “tends to appeal to young fans.” ESPN's Chris Berman said, “Baseball has to remember it still needs new fans. The Home Run Derby, I feel, is a one-shot deal to get some new fans to say, 'Hey, that was pretty cool.'” Best writes MLB deserves "credit for trying, including many format and competitive changes." However, the "one thing that cannot be denied is that the Derby would benefit from taking less time.” Berman: “It needs tweaking. Three hours is too long” (NEWSDAY, 7/16). In N.Y., Ken Davidoff writes the Derby “remains eye-gougingly long since it draws strong television ratings, presumably because there are no other sporting events competing with it.” Davidoff: “This isn’t just a matter of shortening the Derby to fix it, though. It’s an awful idea, representing the very worst elements of the sport and our species -- short attention spans and obnoxious, meaningless displays of power.” Davidoff adds, “What a shame the Derby tarnishes, by association, the two tremendous events that surround it. Everyone loves the Futures Game, featuring the top minor league talent, and tonight’s All-Star Game boasts of much history and occasional intensity with the World Series homefield advantage at stake” (N.Y. POST, 7/16).
TIME FOR SOME FRESH IDEAS: GRANTLAND’s Michael Baumann wrote under the header, “The Six Skill Competitions That Could Fix MLB All-Star Week.” Baumann noted the NBA holds the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend, while the NHL has the Fastest Slapshot competition. Baumann: “What does MLB have? The celebrity softball game, which … ain’t exactly the dunk contest; and the Home Run Derby.” Baumann suggests adding a Race Around the Bases, a Long Toss, an Egg Toss, a Fastest Pitch competition, Pitch Accuracy contest and a Batter’s Obstacle Course (GRANTLAND.com, 7/15).