Apparently looking to add some interest for the Home Run Derby festivities, MLB today announced David Ortiz and Prince Fielder as captains for the event to be held the Monday before the All-Star Game.
Ortiz, the 2010 champion, and Fielder, the 2009 champ, will each get to pick their three teammates for the contest. Not limited to only selecting fellow All-Stars, Ortiz can choose anyone in the AL and Fielder anyone in the NL.
Whether it makes for a better Derby or not, the act of choosing should create more interest leading up to the event. It seems like a given that Ortiz will pick Jose Bautista as a teammate, leaving him two spots for Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera or perhaps Red Sox teammate Adrian Gonzalez . But what about Josh Hamilton? Or maybe he could irk Teixeira by picking Curtis Granderson instead?
Will Fielder call on Mike Stanton even though the 21-year-old slugger probably won’t make the All-Star roster? Matt Kemp seems likely to get one spot, but no one else stands out. Stanton is certainly as promising a choice as any.
In any event, MLB actually has me thinking about the Home Run Derby for the first time in several years. So, I guess that makes this a pretty good idea.