A Modest All-Star Game Proposal

Yesterday morning the MLB Twitter feed posted a highlight clip of Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton. Who is Billy Hamilton you might ask? He’s The Flash, Speedy Gonzalez, that kid from The Incredibles.

He’s fast. I guess what I’m saying is he’s fast.

How fast? Well, on Wednesday he scored on a sac fly to right field. Ho-hum? What if I told you that it was basically a pop-up to deep 2nd/early RF. Here, here’s the Tweet with the link to the highlight.

See, fast.

Well, that got the ole Twitter convo going (and frankly any Twitter conversation that isn’t about who is/isn’t a real/true/passionate/non-schill fan is fine by me).

Followed by a stroke of minor genius, if you don’t mind me saying so.

But seriously, how fun would this be? Look, the HR Derby, much like the NCAA Tournament, is most fun in the first round. Watching Josh Hamilton hit moon launches nearly 15-20 times is fun. What isn’t fun? 3 hours of that while each round is a contest of diminishing returns ( the NCAA Tournament which, while having less games, the quality remains high if not higher). The idea was great. A skills competition. Too many, the HR Derby became more interesting than the actual game itself.

But it’s stale. Time for a new skills competition. Time…for Hamilton v. Puig.

I’d race home, pay good money or DVR a skills competition to see how short a fly ball Hamilton could score against an arm like Puig or Ichiro or whoever. How would such a competition work? I have a few ideas.

Idea #1 The Gamble

How’d It Work? An NL and AL representative baserunner head to home plate. The opponent picks the OFer (i.e. Cabrera vs Trout. Trout picks an NL OFer, Cabrera picks an AL Ofer). Then…gambling time. Trout says he can make it home from a 300 foot flyball. Cabrera says he can do it in 275 feet. And so on until someone gives.

Idea #2 HR Derby Plus

How’d It Work? Incorporate the tagging up competition into the HR Derby. Each hitter picks his own runner. That runner can attempt to score on up to 3 HR’s that fall just short. If he makes it home safe, you get an extra swing. And so on.

Idea #3 HR Derby-Like

How’d It Work? 10 runners from each league. 10 OFers from each league. From the exact same distance each runner gets 10 attempts. Most times making it home safe wins. Simple. But exhausting.

To avoid safety issues (i.e. home plate collisions) you go co-ed softball style. Safety base a few feet away from home plate, every play is a force out.

Eh, it’s a half-brained, half-cooked idea. But it’s the first two weeks of the season. And how many “Padres off to a slow start” posts can you read? Besides, it’s Friday.



With March Madness now officially over my full attention is on baseball. So every Friday I’ll be here, talking Padres, Padres players and the occasional half-cooked idea. What skills competition would you add to the All-Star Game? Comment below. Or Tweet me @LeftCoastBias. Now I have silver linings to go find in a 3-6 start (spoiler alert: it’s Cashner). 

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  • ItsDis

    I’d like the “celebrity softball” version with Rick Ankiel patrolling the outfield.

  • How about hit a HR, win a car. Every player gets to see 2 pitches from a pitching machine set to 70 mph. If they hit one out, they win season ticke–I mean–a car.