A Case of the Mondays: Ryan Howard (non All-Star) in the HR Derby?!?!

Every monday, people all over the world suffer from a “Case of the Mondays,” and it can cause even the happiest people to be a little cranky. Each and every monday, we’ll come strong with a rant in which we rip someone. Today, we’re ripping you MLB, and you Ryan Howard, for taking part in the 2007 Homerun Derby.

You’re damn right it pisses me off that Ryan Howard’s malcontented fat ass is taking part in the spectacle of clout that is the Homerun Derby tonight.

For as long as I can remember, this contest has been for All-Stars, not just guys who can hit homeruns. This contest is for guys that are going to play in the All-Star game, as part of the festivities to get us ready for the game. I can’t recall MLB shipping in Tyranosauras Rex to get off the plane, bat in hand, because he was last year’s champion–or because of ‘what he might to the bay hitting all those splash shots!’

“It was fun last year and an honor to be invited back, whether I’m on the
[All-Star] team or not,” said Howard, who hit 24 homers in the 2006 event.

“He’s the reigning champ,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. “If you
watch him take batting practice, I’d say he stands a good chance of winning the

Nah, I don’t buy it. This is MLB’s frail attempt to pump some life back into the contest that they’re afraid people no longer give a shit about. If we’re allowed to just invite anyone and not just All-Stars, where the hell is Adam Dunn? Dunner would get in the box and probably hit 100 homeruns. In fact, every year for the past 5 years I’ve just hoped and prayed that Dunn would sneak his way onto another All-Star team just to compete in this contest! For what? So that MLB could give Ryan Howard a free pass into the event to compete against guys that earned their spot in the derby and the All-Star Weekend?

There is egg on MLB’s face on this one. I’m a baseball traditionalist, and I will be pulling for anyone but Ryan Howard in tonight’s event. I’m finally starting to see why we’re getting guys like Alex Rios doing the homerun derby; no one wants to do it anymore. MLB can’t be all to blame for asking Howard to return and try and repeat. MLB got turned down before even extending the invitation to Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. this season. They were also told no by Grady Sizemore, hardly a homerun hitter by any stretch of the imagination. Clearly, they’re struggling to get guys who wanna do it, and they found Howard who is willing and able. For this, I have to say Howard is more to blame–he should have politely declined and reminded them that the Homerun Derby is so fans can see what All-Stars can do at the plate, swinging for the fences, not guys who got snubbed, or just missed making the squad.

For that fact, this move just makes everyone in MLB look stupid–something that is hardly old hat for them.