Aaron Judge says he’s one-and-done with the Home Run Derby

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Aaron Judge went on CC Sabathia’s podcast yesterday (note: CC Sabathia has a podcast?) and said, “yeah, I think I’m one and done at the Derby.” Meaning that he will not be doing the Home Run Derby in the future.

Kinda makes sense. Last year he won the thing in impressive fashion but right afterward he slumped terribly. Those two things may or may not be linked. Judge had banged his shoulder a good deal in the first half and that could’ve contributed to his problems, which led to eventual offseason shoulder surgery. It’s also the case, however, that his slump started basically immediately after the All-Star break and Derby.

For what it’s worth there is little evidence to support the widely-held notion that participating in the Derby itself messes with sluggers’ swings and the fact that Judge needed surgery points to an injury rather than the hard-to-grasp disruptions participating in the Derby is said to cause. That being said, swinging for the fences in the Derby is physically taxing and if I were in Judge’s shoes I’d probably do the same thing and take a well-earned break in July.

Besides, if it’s just about hitting big fat pitches over the fence, over and over again, it’s not like he doesn’t pay the Orioles 19 times a year.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).