Jul 20, 2022

L.A. still buzzing about MLB Home Run Derby

Even with MLB’s jewel event looming a couple of hours away, much of the buzz on the field at Dodger Stadium ahead of last night’s All-Star Game still concerned the lingering excitement about a Home Run Derby on Monday that included a little bit of everything, from rising phenom Julio Rodriguez blasting 32 home runs in the first round, to soon-to-be-retired legend Albert Pujols advancing into the second round, to the most talked about player in the game winning the whole thing in Juan Soto. “The best story here is the story of what’s happening with the players,” MLB EVP/CMO Karin Timpone told SBJ on Tuesday afternoon while she took in batting practice on the field, just behind home plate. “I just can’t get over the excitement of what’s actually unfolding.”

Even as MLB continues to tweak the Derby format, “the fact is that those three minutes with the one time out and the bonus time and seeing how players kind of manage their energy and their swings, it’s added to the drama,” MLB Network’s Stephen Nelson said yesterday during an SBJ Twitter Spaces. “I was watching upstairs, in a suite, and in walks Kevin Durant and a couple of other ( NBA) players and they were getting hyped about the derby. The clock is winding down, they have their phones out and are filming, so it was cool to kind of see that interest in person. We can sense it from a social media aspect, the viewership standpoint, but to see it in person I think says a lot.”

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