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home run derby

Another Home [Yawn] Run [Zzzzz] Derby [Snore]

We had an office softball game last night — because we actually value our website, we do not give you regular updates on New York media league softball, unlike the team we beat last night on Ben Mathis-Lilley's walk-off three-run homer — so we missed the first half of the Home Run Derby, sponsored by State Farm, Will Ferrell, and whatever seizure-control medication is required while listening to Chris Berman and Joe Morgan. Seriously, at one point last night, the foursome on the microphone were Berman, Morgan, Bobby Valentine, and Alex Rodriguez. The self-regard on display, if corralled and bottled, could serve as an alternative energy source that could eventually power our way to the moon and beyond.

Anyway, your winner last night was David Ortiz, and, as usual, by the end, no one could really keep their eyes open anymore. (We were there in person last year, and trust us, that's not any better.) The local angle was Nick Swisher not making it out of the first round, but still having fun with the crowd and coming away more popular than he was before, which, in a way, kind of sums up Nick Swisher's career in total. We just wish he would have switched sides at the plate between pitches, just to get people talking about him. We're a little surprised he didn't.

It's beginning to feel a bit churlish and repetitive to complain about the Home Run Derby: Nobody really likes it; everyone thinks it's bombastic and deadening and against what the sports is supposed to be about; and only little — very, very little — children take much enjoyment out of it. (It wasn't any better when everyone was doing steroids, either.) It will exist far into the future, because the first Monday of the All-Star Break is a barren, empty place, and we must watch something. You think this is bad? Tomorrow's there's only the freaking ESPYs. Which is worse: The Home Run Derby, or the ESPYs? Having to answer that question is why we close our eyes, cover our ears, and pray for Thursday to get here, fast.

Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images