Has there ever been anything more overblown and and overwrought than the angst generated by David Wright's failing to select Pedro Alvarez to compete in the Home Run Derby at this year's All-star Game festivities? Let's forget for a moment whether or not you like or dislike the HRD, or whether or not it serves any purpose other than filling up ESPN airspace and serving to further inflate Chris Berman's Hindenberg-sized ego, or whether or not it is a good idea to have a player subjectively choose who participates. Those are separate questions and debates. Rather, let's look at the reaction to Pedro's non-selection.
I was driving home from State College on Monday evening and listening to the Pirate game on the radio when the news was announced and to hear Tim Neverette's and Bob Walk's reactions and outrage, well, you would have thought that Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor once again. Walk even suggested and encouraged fans to come out the the Mets series this weekend to boo Wright and "to let him have it". That is so wrong on so many levels, I'm not sure where to begin. And the next night, the announcers didn't let up. Greg Brown celebrated Pedro's home run that game by saying "Take that, David Wright!"
All this over the Home Run Derby? Really? Has everyone lost their minds?
Interestingly enough, the one person I DIDN'T hear complain was Pedro Alvarez!
Well, the crisis has been averted, and Carlos Gonzalez has dropped out and Pedro has been selected to replace him. All is right with the world, except for this. There has been enough empirical evidence that players' performance drops off in the second half of a season after they have participated in the HRD. Seems crazy, but check our Bobby Abreu. I just hope that nothing like that happens to Pedro Alvarez over the rest of the season, but if it does, I hope all the people who whined about Pedro NOT being selected remember how they were bitching this past week.