“If the Boss was still alive!” watch

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BSOHL is our favorite beat-like-a-dead-horse meme around these parts. Our third favorite one is the stuff about how Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson would’ve decapitated someone for, well, whatever somebody did in yesterday’s ballgame that an old sportswriter didn’t like.

But our second favorite one is “If the Boss was still alive!” columns. You know how those work: when a New York columnist lacks an angle and decides to channel the glory days of George Steinbrenner. And, of course, it’s almost always writers whose own glory days happen to correspond with those of George Steinbrenner.

Bill Madden of the Daily News is good for a couple of these a year. Here he is this morning, noting that George Steinbrenner often got upset when, as the 2015 Yankees just did, his Yankees dropped spring training games to the Mets. He sets up with an old (but good!) Steinbrenner anecdote, notes that people don’t take spring training games seriously like he did anymore and how, as such, no one with the 2015 Yankees had an outburst about the losses to the Mets like Big Stein would’ve. Then closes with, of course, a question to Joe Girardi about how The Boss would’ve reacted if he were still alive.

Which, hey, it’s New York and they’re gonna do this until every single person with a living memory of Steinbrenner has died or retired. I’d only wish that when they do do this they’d note for the record that, when it came to stuff like this, Steinbrenner was a certified crazy person who completely lacked perspective about certain things. And that, as such, wondering what he might do in the current situation is akin to asking what David Berkowitz might do if the next door neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking.

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.