ANAHEIM - I'll start with a quick conversation I had with Pops Derwood before Monday's Home Run Derby.
Derwood: "I think if they told me I could do one thing before I die, I would ask to shag flies during the HR Derby, just so it could get down to the player's final out, trailing by one home run in the championship round, and I could leap up and rob a home run. Player loses hr derby. And it would have to be the guy playing in his home park. I'd be like Steve Bartman, but for good, not evil."
Pops Derwood (Cubs fan): "Thanks for bringing up Steve Bartman. How long does this thing last?"
D: "About three hours. Really, do you think you would've done well in a home run derby, Mr. One Home Run In High School And There's No Official Record Of It?"
PD: "At least I hit a home run in high school."
D: "That ball I hit on the junior varsity team in 1995 was not a double and a two-base error. That scorekeeper should never have been allowed in a press box, I don't care if she was the assistant principal's daughter and it was her birthday."
PD: "I think you need help. No, I would've been good in this event. What time is it, 5:00? I was a 5:00 hitter. I was the best 5:00 hitter in the history of baseball. From 5:00-6:00, I hit .600. Then from 7:00-10:00 I hit about a buck-58."
D: "I was even earlier than that. I was in the batting cage the day before, hitting ropes off the 60 M.P.H. machine. I was a 2:30 the day before hitter."
And that brings us to the 2010 Derby, because isn't that what we all are-2:30 the day before hitters? That's why we come to Anaheim Stadium to watch these behemoths, and Nick Swisher, wallop baseballs into people, and to watch Golf Glove Man:
Let's play Good/Bad with the '10 Derby
Good - No Chris Berman as Master of Ceremonies.
Bad - Chris Rose was Master of Ceremonies.
Good - Spicy mustard at Angels Stadium.
Dear Baseball Stadiums Which Don't Offer Spicy Mustard,
Offer spicy mustard.
Bad - Corey Hart hit 13 home runs in the first round, including 11 in his first 15 swings. But in the second round, Hart's beard got in the way and the Milwaukee right fielder took an 0-fer.
Good - Ruben the police horse.
Bad - After the derby ended, Ruben the police horse had an accident and everyone had to watch.
Good - Hanley Ramirez, who hit scalding line drives all night, hit 11 in the second round to join Ortiz (13) in the final.
Bad - Ramirez, who got hot early in the final but cooled off, losing 11-5 to Ortiz.
Good - Willie McGee was in the house.
Bad - This Angels logo:
Good - Margaret, an usher who scolded me for leaving the designated smoking area, but when I told her I was just finding a place with less wind to light the cigarette, agreed to become my best friend/possible girlfriend.
Bad - Rose: "Big Papi working up a sweat now." Thankfully they didn't show that on the giant scoreboard in right.