Given how poorly the team has played, it’s been reasonable to assume that the Brewers are at least considering selling off players, possibly even Prince Fielder and Corey Hart. Not so says owner Mark Attanasio, because the fans deserve better:
“The thing you have to remember is that we’ve had three million fans
coming to this place two years in a row. They’re looking for winners. Miller Park is
really enjoyable, but they’re coming to see this team win. We have to be
conscious of that.
“We think we have a very good team. Our intent isn’t to dismantle the
team simply because we may not make the playoffs this year.”
Atttanasio goes on to say that, while he’s realistic, he doesn’t count the team out yet, noting that the Brewers have a lot of home games and basically saying — rather provocatively, in my view — that the Reds aren’t for real. He thinks that if the Brewers are within five games of a playoff spot at the All-Star break that they’re in it.
He goes on to say that he “hopes” Prince Fielder is still with the team on August first and says, when asked about Ken Macha’s status, that GM Doug Melvin is generally pleased with him. Sounds rather detached to me, but when was the last time an owner truly shot straight about that kind of stuff?
Well, an owner besides Steinbrenner anyway.
Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.
Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.
Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.
As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.