HANG ON, LET ME TURN OFF THE CHRIS BERMAN FILTER.
Anyway, tonight is the night where hitting as many home runs as possible is encouraged, besides any night where Rubby De La Rosa is pitching. No, it's the Home Run Derby, live from Cincinnati, the city where the new bracket format for the derby is less absurd than putting chili on spaghetti.
Once again, I'll be live-blogging this one, commenting on each batter, trying to predict their run as they come up. It looks like it's gonna be a pretty good one.
In a perfect world, the final round is Albert Pujols vs. Prince Fielder. However, because Chris Berman exists, I know that this is a pretty imperfect world. Anything can happen.
PREDICTION: 5 Homers, but he won't beat Donaldson.
Takes him awhile, but he finally gets his first one with a minute-fifteen in. The sad part is he's really being rushed by the limit, and he's not doing a great job. He finally gets his momentum during the third minute, hitting three more homers in that time.
Meanwhile, the whole time, Chris Berman is trying to interview Ken Griffey Jr., but it's taking him forever to get mic'd, and german has to awkwardly keep handing it back to the telecast. Meanwhile, Rizzo hits 3 more.
After his initial seven, Rizzo got a chance to hit some more with 30 extra seconds, which he only got one with. Still, not bad.
FINAL NUMBER: 8 Home Runs. Not too bad, but can Josh Donaldson out-hit him?
PREDICTION: 7 Home Runs. Just missing the next round.
Donaldson gets three within his first 30 seconds, so I could be very wrong.
Two minutes in, he's already got 7. They keep cutting to Rizzo, who looks horrified. After 7, he calls a time out, so Donaldson can take a breather for 30 seconds.
With a giant hack in his last 30, Donaldson nabs his ninth, taking out Rizzo and moving to the next round. I severely underestimated this guy. He could win.
PREDICTION: 13 Home Runs, win over Frazier.
Right off the bad, Prince gets 2 homers.
Frazier waltzes out of the dugout by the time Fielder's hit 9 of them. He looks horrified. I feel bad for the guy.
Prince has that kind of swing that I forgot about during his season on the DL last year. He can absolutely mash the ball whenever he wants to.
After the timeout, he hits another huge one, which brings him to ten.
He finishes the regulation time with 12, but hits one more with his extra time.
FINAL NUMBER: 13, RIGHT ON THE MONEY!
Prediction: 10 Home Runs.
He hits his first, but he's having trouble in the first minute finding a groove. However, he does manage to hit three in a row right after that, so...he's got something going.
With a little over a minute left, he's got 9. Again, great swing, but I think Prince has this one.
...And right after I type that he hits two gigantic bombs in a row.
Going into the bonus time, Frazier is tied with Fielder, and the crowd is going absolutely apeshit. These guys are crazy for Frazier.
AAAAAND Frazier knocks Fielder out, a huge upset that I didn't even see coming. Happy for him, too.
PREDICTION: 7. Not bad, but doesn't advance.
FINAL TALLY: 10. For a guy I basically counted out, he did pretty nice.
PREDICTION: 15. Will be the fave going into the final round.
With half of his time expired, the man has TEN gone already, getting his eleventh a second later. Manny Machado looks so worried.
By the time he finally takes his time out, with 1:30 left, he has 11 home runs. The man is phenomenal.
And with his thirteenth, Joc Pederson advances to the next round. This isn't to discredit Manny, who was pretty damn sharp in his four minutes. But Pederson was explosive.
PREDICTION: 9. Pujols should have it.
Two minutes in, he's got 4. Not really expecting too much.
FINAL TALLY: 9 Homers exactly.
PREDICTION: Well, I guess I have to guess 10.
By the time he takes his time out, he has 3. He needs to pick it up.
Pujols hits his tenth with a GIANT MASH, knocking Bryant out, and reaffirming his status as one of the best hitters in baseball.
PREDICTION: 14. Not too ambitious, right?
FINAL TALLY: 9. Frazier's going to deal with him easily.
At his timeout, Frazier has 6. He's got the entire crowd on his side.
AND FRAZIER MOVES ONTO THE FINALS, DOING NOTHING TO SHOOSH THE CROWD. AWESOME JOB, MAN!
Let's see how he does.
PREDICTION: 12. Easily.
By his timeout, Pederson has 3. I hope that he's gonna be alright. Hope he didn't peak in the first round.
He has a weak first few minutes, but absolutely comes alive in the fourth, hitting to nine.
FINAL TALLY: TWELVE EXACTLY, hitting three in his extra 30 alone.
PREDICTION: 10. Just missing it, sadly.
Judging by those first three homers, I might be wrong.
He takes his time-out after 4. He could be close.
Then, with a minute left, and 4 more to go, he begins to lose steam. Finally gets two more in his last twenty seconds.
In the extra thirty, Pujols nabs one more, but it's not enough, sadly. Still, hell of an effort from a great player.
FINAL TWO WILL BE PEDERSON VS. FRAZIER.
I'm not 100% sure if he's gonna win or not, but wouldn't it be amazing if he did?
The dude has 12 gone with 30 seconds left. Unbelievable.
Joc ends regulation with 13, which is pretty freaking amazing. He ends the 30 second extra period with 14. Frazier is gonna have to work to beat that.
I have had enough of Chris Berman yelling "THAAAAT'S THE MAIN HIGHWAY!!"
On his timeout, Frazier has 5. Could he get 9 more in 2:35? Well...
With less than a minute left, Frazier cracks a dozen. A few seconds later he nabs 13.
With 2 seconds left in regulation, Frazier has a monster swing....that stops juuust short of the wall. Now he's got 30 seconds, and chances are he's gonna take it.
AAAAAND TODD FRAZIER HAS WON THE HOME RUN DERBY. CONGRATULATIONS TODD! Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Toms River native, too, so he's semi-local.
THAT was a nice derby. Frazier, Pederson, Pujols and most of the gang had some really nice performances. Still, I'm happy Frazier won it.
TOMORROW- THE ALL STAR GAME! I'll have rosters up before the first pitch.