Josh Hamilton Home Run Derby

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


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.

John Farrell will return to manage Red Sox in 2016

John Farrell
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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John Farrell will return to manage the Red Sox next season, provided he is healthy enough to do so, the club announced Sunday morning in a press release.

Torey Lovullo, who has been serving as Boston’s interim manager since Farrell was diagnosed with lymphoma, signed a two-year contract to return as Farrell’s bench coach. Lovullo also forfeited his right to pursue another managerial role with the new deal.

Farrell guided the Red Sox to the World Series title in 2013 and the problems with the Red Sox over the last two seasons have been more about roster construction.

Dave Dombrowski took over the front office from Ben Cherington back in mid-August and will try to turn things around this winter.

All of the other coaches on Farrell’s staff will return except first-base coach Arnie Beyeler.

Piscotty returns to Cardinals lineup after concussion

Stephen Piscotty
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
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Stephen Piscotty took the brunt of a frightening outfield collision last week at PNC Park, but he only suffered a mild concussion and was cleared for baseball activities a couple days later.

Now he is back in the Cardinals’ starting lineup, batting second and playing right field Sunday in the first half of a doubleheader against the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

Piscotty has an impressive .867 OPS with seven home runs and 39 RBI over his first 62 major league games. He should be a big part of the Cardinals’ postseason push, drawing starts in the corner outfield spots and at first base.

St. Louis will get either the Pirates or Cubs in the NLDS.