It used to be that we’d only get eye roll-worthy minor league promotions once or twice a season. Now it seems they come every week.
The latest: the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp — the Double-A affiliate of the Marlins — will be handing out free pregnancy tests to celebrate “You Might Be the Father’s Day” for this evening’s game against Pensacola.
The night is part of their “Thirsty Thursdays” promotions, which caters to college kids and young single folks. While it’s sort of low-key on their website and while the team does not appear to be tweeting about it, if you click on their schedule, it’s listed there and is described thusly:
You Might Be The Father’s Day!
In honor of You Might Be The Father’s Day, the Jumbo Shrimp will be distributing pregnancy tests so you’ll know if you need to return for Sunday’s Father’s Day game… It will be an evening filled with suspense, intrigue and manila envelopes.
Not that this is the only Father’s Day promotion they’re doing. On Saturday, they’re doing an “IChoose Family” night, presented by the Florida Department of Health’s “Sexual Risk Avoidance Program.”
One would think that this promotion should go BEFORE the pregnancy test one, but no one asked me.
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.