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Home Run Derby Open Thread: Just another reason more All Star Games should be in Cincinnati

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I'll be rooting for you. To hit all the rest of your 2012 home runs in one night.
I'll be rooting for you. To hit all the rest of your 2012 home runs in one night.

8 pm EDT. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City. ESPN.

I kinda like the home run derby, because inside every major leaguer (or probably anyone who's ever picked up a bat), is the desire to swing as hard you can to hit the ball as far as you can - all without having to worry about being called hacker or a "can't identify a breaking ball guy."

One thing I wish the All Star Game had, though, were more skills competitions. This isn't an original thought, but it'd be fun to see pitchers with great control try to hit targets, guys with great outfield arms make long throws on a fly or Aroldis Chapman break various things. And I'm only kind of kidding about a walk-taking competition with robot umps.

Dave Parker won the very first HR Derby in 1985 as a Red and the contest was riddled with Reds through the 80s and early 90s. But there hasn't been a Red picked in 12 years, since Junior in 2000. Adam Dunn's only All Star was 2002, before he cemented himself as a member of the Exactly 40 HRs Every Year Club.

With Giancarlo Stanton injured and unable to participate, Bruce has the fourth-most HRs among healthy NL hitters. But Matt Kemp had been hitting them at a quicker pace when he was healthy. Apparently, he's just healthy enough to take some big boy rips tonight.

Participants

Here's a look at some relevant bomb-busting stats from tonight's contestants, including Hit Tracker plots overlaid on Kauffman Stadium.

NL:

Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
Matt Kemp, Dodgers
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates

AL:

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Robinson Cano, Yankees
Prince Fielder, Tigers
Mark Trumbo, Angels

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And SB Nation is there too: