Tonight is one of my favorite parts of baseball season – the Home Run Derby. I have so much fun watching players crush the ball over and over again. One ball flies farther than the next. It’s so exciting seeing how far those guys can hit the ball.
It used to be that MLB picked the players for the Home Run Derby. But last season, MLB changed the process. Now MLB chooses an American League and National League captain, and those players pick thee other participants (from their own league, of course).
One of the advantages living close to Fenway Park (arguably one of the best baseball parks in the Major Leagues) is that I get to go to a lot of games. So far, the Red Sox have only played six games at home this this season, and I’ve been to two of them – not bad for a 10-year old, right? At one of the games, I got to see one of my favorite players, Daniel Nava, make a nice catch in right field about 10 feet away from me. I love watching Nava play. He always puts in 100 percent effort. Even if the Red Sox are losing 20-1, he still goes out there and plays like they could win. He plays well, is incredibly committed and has a great attitude.
I think Nava has been one of the great Red Sox stories of the past few years. In 2010, on his very first pitch in the MLB, he hit a grand slam. In his very first game at Fenway Park after the Boston Marathon Bombings last season, he hit a walk–off three run homer.
But before Nava was a big league slugger, he was an undersized kid who faced a lot of personal adversity. Wondering how in the world this happened?
Michael Wacha was the star-studded pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. Yasiel Puig was the breakout superstar for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then there’s Max Scherzer, who won the American League Cy Young Award. And Chris Davis, the unexpected home runs leader.
All four players had great seasons in 2013. But heading into 2014, the question is: Can they do it again? My prediction: Some will, some won’t.
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As I hurled the ball I heard two pops, and red-hot pain shot through my arm like a bullet. My legs buckled under me and I fell to the ground. My vision blurred, making it look like there were two of my friend George running towards me. My right arm, my throwing arm, buckled under me and seared with pain as I tried to get up. I knew right away this wasn’t just sore muscles — this was an injury.More »
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