Another day, another attempt for Major League Baseball to step up their game and push it forward into the 21st Century. Now tackling the rules of the Home Run Derby during the All Star weekend, the batters have a more friendly arena in which to flex off their bombs. The MLB announced that it is ditching the 10-out format and instead giving each batter a five-minute period to launch home runs. Balls that do not go for home runs will not be counted against them, and they’ve also instituted a bracket format that should keep players fresher, thus (hopefully) resulting in more dingers in the final rounds. Which is great! But there’s still more MLB could do to maximize the viewership out of the derby.
Sure it’s easy to hit the fluff coming across the plate by your coach/mentor/dad, but let’s up the challenge by having notoriously bad celebrity pitchers give it a shot. 50 Cent poses a challenge these hitters have yet to face.
It’s easy for the batter to concentrate on the next pitch when he just gets to calmly stand there without anything obstructing his view, but what if he had to dodge a series of obstacles and items thrown at him like in the Eliminator from American Gladiators? If American Ninja Warrior has taught us anything it’s that summer television is really boring, and we love watching people wipe out.
Beer League Rules
For every homer they hit in the derby, they have to chug a beer. What’s more American than the slow burn of a toxic level of alcohol course through the veins of an elite athlete?
Rapid Fire Round
The countdown clock is supposed to increase the ability for the hitter to get a bevy of homers without taxing them round after round, but why not just go full tilt and create a rapid fire final round and whoever gets the most HRs in 30 seconds gets to walk away the champ? It will probably lead to cameraman whiplash and excitement overload for fans, but what else is there to do in the middle of the summer?