The Angels' Vladimir Guerrero prevailed against the Blue Jays' Alex Rios in last night's HR Derby 2007. While Vlad's overall total was less than Rios's, he out-homered him in the deterterminative Round 3. Vlad did hit the longest HR of the night, though, at 503 feet.
That aside, I found myself thinking that Alex Rios is going to go into a slump following the 2006 power outage of Mets 3B David Wright, who entered the contest with 20 long balls only to hit six over the remainder of the season, and the 2005 outage of Bobby Abreu, who had 18 HRs entering the contest and hit just six more the rest of the year. For Abreu, it is much worse as he has never recovered his HR stroke with just 15 HRs in 2006 and only 5 this year.
Rockies' OF Matt Holliday also elicited that thought. I am not as concerned about Vladimir because he hitting style is so unorthodox that nothing but permanent disbility could stop him. Albert Pujols doesn't concern me either as I suspect he participated in order to get himself on a HR run. However, if either Holliday or Rios slumps through the second half, the existence of a HR Derby Curse will the latest baseball superstition to be completely mainstream.
Here is a link to the results of the past HR Derbys.
|PLAYER||TEAM||ROUND 1||ROUND 2||FINAL||TOTAL||LONG||SEASON|
|Albert Pujols||STL||4 *(2)||9||--||13||459||16|
|Justin Morneau||MIN||4 *(1)||--||--||4||430||24|