Home Run Derby participants announced; Fielder calls on Weeks

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Both David Ortiz and Prince Fielder called on teammates to help them out in next Monday’s Home Run Derby.  In Fielder’s case, though, it’ll be Rickie Weeks, not Ryan Braun, trying to aid the cause.

With Braun saying he wasn’t interested, it will be Fiedler, Weeks, Matt Kemp and Matt Holliday for the NL squad.  The AL will be represented by Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista and Robinson Cano.

Mark Teixeira turned down the spot that went to Cano.

Holliday got the nod over Lance Berkman, a three-time participant who is currently tied for the NL lead in homers with Kemp.  They have 22 apiece, one more than Fielder.  Weeks has 15, while Holliday has a modest 10 in 61 games.

Besides Berkman, overlooked for the team was Jay Bruce, who ranks fourth in the league with 18 homers, and young slugger Mike Stanton.  Stanton wasn’t scheduled to go to Phoenix, but Marlins teammate and All-Star Gaby Sanchez lobbied for him anyway.

The AL foursome has 74 homers to the NL’s 68 this season.  Bautista leads the majors with 27 homers.  However, none of the other five American Leaguers with at least 20 homers (Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Paul Konerko, Mark Reynolds and Nelson Cruz) made the cut.  Ortiz has 17 homers, Gonzalez 16 and Cano 14.

Roy Halladay won’t wear Blue Jays or Phillies cap on Hall of Fame plaque

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In 2016, late pitcher Roy Halladay was asked if he would prefer to wear a Blue Jays or Phillies cap on his plaque if he were to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Per Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star, Halladay said, “I’d go as a Blue Jay.” He added, “I wanted to retire here, too, just because I felt like this is the bulk of my career.”

Obviously, circumstances have changed as Halladay tragically died in a plane crash in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida in November 2017. Halladay was elected to the Hall of Fame yesterday, becoming the first player to be posthumously elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility since Christy Mathewson in the Hall of Fame’s inaugural year.

Today, Arash Madani reports that Halladay’s wife Brandy said her late husband will not wear a cap with the emblem of either team on his plaque. He will instead be portrayed with a generic baseball cap. Brandy said, “He was a Major League Baseball player and that’s how we want him to be remembered.”

Halladay spent 16 years in the majors, 12 with the Blue Jays and four with the Phillies. He meant a lot to both teams. He was a six-time All-Star and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2003 with the Jays. He won the NL Cy Young in 2010 with the Phillies and was a runner-up for the award in 2011, making the All-Star team both years and helping the Phillies continue their streak of reaching the postseason, which lasted from 2007-11. Halladay authored a perfect game in the regular season against the Marlins and a no-hitter in the postseason against the Reds as a member of the Phillies in 2010 as well.

In aggregate, Halladay won 203 games with a 3.38 ERA and 2,117 strikeouts in 2,749 1/3 innings during his storied 16-year career which was unfortunately cut a bit short by injuries.