Home Run Derby Already Not a Hit With Fans

Uggla
The beloved, excitement-making Dan Uggla. Photo: Getty Image


Tonight, Yankee Stadium hosts the Home Run Derby, in which moderately popular All-Stars like Ryan Braun and Dan Uggla will compete to hit the most home runs toward Pleasantville, White Plains, or whatever other upstate suburbs Chris Berman has identified on a map of the metropolitan area. What’s that? You’re not all that excited? Well, you’re not alone. A little earlier this afternoon, the Derby was still not sold out, even though — other than the game itself, of course — it’s the premier All-Star Week event.

Major League Baseball seems to have vastly overestimated interest, selling tickets for World Series–like prices — bleacher seats start at $100. When we last checked Ticketmaster, there were still loge box seats behind home plate available — for $600 each … plus, naturally, an $8 convenience charge. Has baseball not noticed that the event has become unnecessarily long (that is, boring) in recent years? Or that pretty much anyone worth seeing isn’t participating? (Alex Rodriguez and non–All Star Jason Giambi turned down invites, David Ortiz will miss the Derby with an injury, etc.) At least tomorrow’s even-more-expensive All-Star game has something of an historic vibe since — have you heard? — Yankee Stadium is closing this year. But we doubt folks will be telling their grandkids one day that they attended the last (or for that matter, the first) Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium. —Joe DeLessio