2011 State Farm Home Run Derby

Robinson Cano tops Adrian Gonzalez to win the Home Run Derby

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Something that lasts entirely too long and the Yankees and Red Sox are involved? This sounds familiar.

Robinson Cano was just crowned the winner of the Home Run Derby, topping Adrian Gonzalez 12-11 in the finals. Of course, Cano owes a big-time assist to his father and former Astros pitcher Jose Cano, who served up all of his 32 home runs for the evening. While this event has many, many faults, the final was actually a pretty cool showcase.

No surprise, the left-handed hitters had the edge in Chase Field tonight. None of the four right-handed batters made it through the first round. Matt Holliday had five homers (and was eliminated in a swing-off), MLB home run leader Jose Bautista slugged four, Rickie Weeks had three and Matt Kemp managed only a pair.

Prince Fielder, who received plenty of boos from the Arizona crowd for not including Justin Upton in the competition, was the only member of the National League squad to make it into the second round. And he needed a swing-off to get there. The American League outpaced the National League 76-19 on the evening. Yikes.

Cano and Gonzalez advanced to the finals by collecting 20 homers over the first two rounds. They beat out David Ortiz and Fielder, who had nine apiece over the first two rounds.

And with that, let’s never speak of this again.

Moises Alou pledges to help Cubs give “closure” to Steve Bartman

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 7:  Moises Alou #18 of the Chicago Cubs hits a two-run home run in the first inning against thye Florida Marlins during game one of the National League Championship Series October 7, 2003 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
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After the Cubs won the World Series last month — their first since 1908 — owner Tom Ricketts said he plans to reach out to Steve Bartman to provide “closure.”

Bartman was the fan who interfered with left fielder Moises Alou’s attempt to catch a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS against the Marlins. Alou was particularly irate about Bartman’s presence and it led to the fan becoming persona non grata in Chicago. In the time since, even before the Cubs won the World Series, the club has tried to make amends but Bartman has rejected offers to speak publicly and he has also rejected invitations to Wrigley Field.

Alou pledged to make time to attend any ceremony the Cubs stage for Bartman, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago-Sun Times reports.

Alou said, “Why not? I’d like to meet Bartman.” He continued, “I have nothing against the guy. I said it right after the game. I had the ball, and I got upset, but at the same time it’s not that kid’s fault. Everybody goes to the ballpark, and they bring a glove. Every wants to catch a fly ball.” However, He still maintains that he would have caught the ball if he had not been impeded.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

The D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, so Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.