Justin Morneau won the 2008 Home Run Derby, making me a genius or a wizard, but no one will remember that. The man he out-donged in the final round, Josh Hamilton, was the story.
If you missed it, find his first round performance on the internet ASAP. Just amazing stuff. 28 home runs. Massive shots -- 504 feet, 502 feet, 497, and so on. His average length was 445 in the first round. And he had the familiar Hamilton story being repeated all night, plus a 71-year old American Legion baseball coach throwing the balls for him.
Amazing stuff, and truly special. It was ridiculous to watch.
The other great memorable moment of the Home Run Derby you need to track down on the internet?
Chase Utley is introduced before the Derby, reaches the foul line, and says, "Boo? F--k you!"
The All-Star commentary team featured Chris Berman, Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips sitting at one unholy desk of pure evil, plus Karl Ravech, John Kruk (who defined it as "sad!" that people were going ape for everything after Hamilton's Herculean display), the increasingly gomer-y Peter Gammons, and Rick Reilly, who had a fit over the fact that all eight hitters in the contest happened to be white, which was ill-timed, out of place, and utterly pointless. Maybe Mr. Lookitme! should stay on the back pages of magazines.
The final moments of the Derby are happening right now, with Morneau being presented his trophy and the State Farm $50,000 check to the Boys & Girls Club and all that.
The State Farm dude says, "Jason, ya came through tonight."
Erin Andrews makes a face, then moments later says, "Mr. Justin Marneau."
Followed by an MLB official saying, "Justin Merneau."
And Gary Thorne has just welcomed me to the Taco Bell Legends and Celebrities All-Star Softball Game.
Fantastic stuff. You can't beat the Home Run Derby.