There’s a (sadly non-binding) fan poll for the Home Run Derby

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I wasn’t aware of this, but apparently there is a fan poll in which people can vote for who they’d like to see in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby.  You can vote here.

Major League Baseball just announced who was leading the voting thus far: In the NL it’s Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder and Ryan Howard.  In the AL it’s Jose Bautista, Josh Hamilton and David Ortiz.  Unlike any other sort of All-Star voting, I can’t find any fault whatsoever in that voting.  Those are probably the six guys who, if I cared all that much about the Home Run Derby, I’d want to see in it.  Adam Dunn, Justin Upton and Mike Stanton can be alternates.

The sad thing, of course, is that this voting is non-binding. Indeed, the voting page itself says “If you could choose, who would you like to participate,” underscoring the fact that we cannot choose.  Not all players want to do this thing. Despite the evidence on it not being terribly conclusive, a lot of them think that swinging in the Derby messes them up in the second half of the season.  It almost certainly tires them out on a day they’d be resting anyway.

Personally, I’d like to see a skills exhibition with players doing Tom Emansky-style drills, but I’d guess that’s a pipe dream.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.

Asdrubal Cabrera requests trade from Mets

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It’s shortstop or bust for Asdrubal Cabrera, who told reporters Friday that he will request a trade from the Mets after getting bumped to second base (via Newsday’s Marc Carig). Cabrera served as the club’s starting shortstop through the first few months of the 2017 season, but lost the role to Jose Reyes while serving a stint on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb. The switch was confirmed prior to the Mets’ series opener against the Giants on Friday, prompting Cabrera to announce his trade request before taking the field.

Per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo:

Personally, I’m not really happy with that move,” Cabrera said. “If they have that plan, they should have told me before I came over here. I just told my agent about it. If they have that plan for me, I think it’s time to make a move. What I saw the last couple of weeks, I don’t think they have any plans for me. I told my agent, so we’re going to see what happens in the next couple weeks.

Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson appeared skeptical of Cabrera’s request, telling reporters that he wasn’t sure a trade was “something [Cabrera] really wishes” and saying the team would wait and see how the situation shakes out. That doesn’t mean the veteran infielder will see a return to short anytime soon, however, only that he might have a change of heart after settling into his new role.

This isn’t the first time Cabrera has balked at a position change. The Mets reportedly considered shifting him to third base earlier this season, but ultimately decided to keep him at short and denied his request to pick up his $8.5 million option for 2018, something Alderson said has little to no precedent. Further changes may be on the horizon when 21-year-old infield prospect Amed Rosario gets called up from Triple-A Las Vegas and second baseman Neil Walker returns from the disabled list, though the team has yet to address either situation.