Sandy Alomar Jr. never even heard from the White Sox

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Sandy Alomar Jr. made no secret about his interest in the White Sox’s managerial opening, but the current Indians bench coach admitted yesterday that he never even heard from them.

In a surprise move the White Sox hired Robin Ventura to replace Ozzie Guillen, so naturally Alomar told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that “I was going to take my name out of consideration, anyway” and “I’m excited to be in the Tribe.”

Alomar was promoted from first base coach to bench coach immediately after the regular season ended, so clearly the Indians want to keep him around on manager Manny Acta’s staff if possible. Hoynes notes that Alomar has never managed at any level, but he was a finalist for the Blue Jays’ managerial opening last year and Acta called the former All-Star catcher “a hot commodity in the game.”

Bryce Harper defeats Kyle Schwarber 19-18 to win the 2018 Home Run Derby

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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.