A Big Hitting Break

Austin B.

Manging Editor

Every year, baseball fans look forward to the few days where they get to watch the most electrifying players in all of Major League Baseball express their talents for the game. The Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game are two of the most anticipated events of the year for baseball fans. This year, the All-Star Break was held at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, and the All-Star Break was no let down.

The Home Run Derby is a competition to see who in the majors is the most powerful hitter, and this year’s contestants were very impressive. Each hitter gets ten outs for each round. An out is recorded anytime a ball is hit but is not a home run. Round one begins with eight contestants, and the four with the most home runs move on to round two. Round two is slightly different; the two hitters with the most home runs from the first two rounds combined move on. Round three is like round one; whichever of the two hitters has the most home runs for the round wins for their league.

The contestants are split up into the two different subdivisions of the majors: the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The batting order was Prince Fielder from the Detroit Tigers (AL), Michael Cuddyer from the Colorado Rockies (NL), Yoenis Cespedes from the Oakland Athletics (AL), Pedro Alvarez from the Pittsburgh Pirates (NL), Chris Davis from the Baltimore Orioles (AL), Bryce Harper from the Washington Nationals (NL), Robinson Cano from the New York Yankees (AL), and David Wright from the New York Mets (NL). Fielder began the Home Run Derby by hitting five home runs in round one. Next would be Cuddyer, who hit seven, followed by Cespedes, who knocked seventeen out of the park in round one. Alvarez hit six home runs, followed by Chris Davis, who hit eight. From this point on, Fielder was eliminated from the tournament. Harper then hit eight home runs, eliminating Alvarez. Cano hit four, followed by Wright who hit five, neither of which would advance to round two. In round two, Cuddyer hit an additional eight, giving him fifteen home runs, Cespedes hit six, leaving him with twenty-three, Davis hit four, creating twelve, and Harper hit eight, making sixteen. Cespedes and Harper advanced to round three. Harper led off the round by hitting eight long balls. When Cespedes came up to the plate, he had to hit nine home runs to win it, and five outs later, he did it. Yoenis Cespedes won the 2013 Home Run Derby and became only the second right-handed batter to win the derby since 2005. Sophomore Jacob Lacey states, “The last home run that Cespedes hit was crazy! He threw his bat into the air after he hit it, and I knew it was over.” This made the fans go crazy with anticipation for the All-Star game.

The rules for the All-Star game for Major League Baseball are just the same as any other game. However, the stakes are a bit higher for this game because there is a more sought after reward for wiAll-Star Break AB 2nning. In the game, the American League makes up one team, and the National League makes up the other. Both teams are comprised of players who were voted for by fans to play in the game based on their performance in the first half of the season. However, some fans do not like this rule. English teacher Johanna Marcusky states, “Placing home-field advantage on it doesn’t change the fact that it is a glorified popularity contest. I find it similar to the Pro Bowl in the fact that it is just another instance for players to get hurt. Everything in baseball is determined via a series. If MLB wants to determine home-field in some way, it should base it on how many series one league won over the other during interleague play. If the AL teams won more games than the NL teams, then home field goes to them.” The game is an important competition for both sides because the team that wins determines where the World Series for the next year will be. For example, if the National League team wins the All-Star game, then the first game of the World Series of the next year will be played in the stadium of the National League Champion. Junior Davis Wright says, “I vote for the All-Star roster every year. I like being able to pick who will be playing.” In this aspect, the game could be considered to be not worth the money.

Like the Home Run Derby, this year’s All-Star game was a spectacular event! It began with starting pitchers Max Scherzer, from the Detroit Tigers, for the American League and Matt Harvey, from the New York Mets, for the National League. During the first inning, veteran second baseman Cano was hit by a pitch that would force him to limp off the field and not be able to return. The game remained scoreless through three innings, but finally, in the fourth, a player crossed the plate. It began with Miguel Cabrera’s (Detroit Tigers) double, followed by a sacrifice fly from Jose Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays), giving the American League a 1-0 lead. In the top of the fifth inning, the American League extended its lead. Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles) hit a lead-off double, followed by a single from Joe Mauer (Minnesota Twins). Jones would score on a fielder’s choice, making it a 2-0 game. In the eighth inning, the American League got their lead-off hitter on base for the fourth time of the night. Jason Kipnis (Cleveland Indians) then hit a double, allowing another run to score, and extending the lead to 3-0. After not being able to score throughout the game, the National League was forced to face veteran closer Mariano Rivera (New York Yankees), who would continue the shut-out and complete the game.

The 2013 All-Star Break lived up to the expectations of the fan base. After battling it out with the top sluggers in the league, Yoenis Cespedes (AL) came out on top and earned the Home Run Derby Trophy. The American League would then continue to dominate by shutting out a team of the best National League players, with the help of well-known closer Mariano Rivera. The American League will have home field advantage for the 2014 World Series.

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