The MLB home run derby took place last night and a be-headbanded Bryce Harper staged a furious comeback to force OT where
he went 4-for-4 from behind the arc he hit a bonus ball to win it all. It was deliriously exciting, a joy to behold. In truly shocking news, the San Francisco Giants - who rank 25th in the league with a meager 91 dingers in 98 games - did not have anyone participating in all the excitement.
Just to double down on the dinger depression, seven MLB players have as many, or more home runs than the Giants’ two leaders. So yeah.
Since the televised home run derby is a conglomeration of mostly boring players we don’t much care about repeating the same usually-exciting act in remarkably mundane fashion, the real home run derby must play out in our heads. And it features two Giants, and only two Giants: Madison Bumgarner and Brandon Belt.
Who would win the battle for best power bat in San Francisco? Let’s figure it out, using highly scientific methods, such as subjectivity. Okay, let’s begin.
For his career, Bumgarner has hit a home run in 2.9% of his plate appearances. Belt has hit a home run in 3.2% of his plate appearances.
Both players hit the ball very, very hard, and very, very far. Like, I would need a Gatorade just to walk the distance that they hit the baseball.
But Madison Bumgarner is the type of human being who is sponsored by Carhartt and Ford trucks, and, not to stereotype, but those people are just a little stronger than folks who drive Ferraris to the zoo to say hi to the giraffes named after them.
The home run derby is an odd event, in that it looks super laid back and relaxing, but frequently wears out elite athletes. On the one hand, Belt has a lot more experience with long at bats and constant hitting. On the other hand, Bumgarner often makes it to 110 pitches and looks like he’s mad that he’s not getting the opportunity to have a real workout.
A ticking clock would seem to favor Bumgarner, but Belt has been a much more aggressive hitter over the past few years. This highly critical category is too close to call.
In this very important and not at all silly exercise, the derby is definitely being held in San Francisco, where life was built for right-handers.
Bumgarner hasn’t met too many pitches he didn’t like, at least before swinging at them, which means he’ll get a high volume of swings, but waste energy on bad pitches. Belt has perhaps the best eye in baseball, which means he’ll be great with the pitches he swings at, but may throw half of the four minutes away because the soft tosses are a quarter centimeter away.
This is just a break from the intense critical analysis to watch these dudes hit baseballs.
Bumgarner and Belt would each see 109 pitches and hit 69 home runs, resulting in the first ever derby tie. Bumgarner would then take his Ford truck, and Belt his Ferrari, and they’d meet at one of those hipster beer spots that serves both habanero jack fruit saisons 24oz Bud Lights.