We almost didn't tune into the Home Run Derby on Monday night because, well, ever since those stupid Congressmen almost made Mark McGwire cry on national TV, thus convincing everyone that steroids were somehow bad for baseball, what's the point?
But we did, however, watch the Derby - mainly because we wanted background for our pursuance of the argument that Ichiro would have beaten all of these jokers had he accepted the novelty-based invitation to compete. This was clearly a post-steroid Derby, as evidenced by the fact that Detroit's Brandon Inge didn't hit a single dinger and hometown favorite Albert Pujols (who looks pretty 'roidy, if you ask us) barely made it into the second round. The power outage was so blatantly boring at times that ESPN producers opted to show Prince Fielder's first-round, 11-homer performance on split screen while Chris Berman fumblruskied his way through a rambling interview with Pujols.
Fielder would go on to win the Derby, hitting a combined 23 homers, five less than Josh Hamilton hit in the first round last year. Although his numbers weren't totally juice-era crazy, we were rooting for Fielder, partially because we were waiting to see a package of Ho-Hos fall out of his back pocket as he swung the bat like he had something personal against baseballs or the makers thereof. Fielder is a big man, as in 270 pounds big, and doesn't really look like the sluggers of past (aside from his dad, of course). Hell, he doesn't really look like he should be involved in athletics of any sort, except for perhaps bowling or teaching elementary school P.E.
Again, just to reiterate, Ichiro would have killed these guys, and don't ask how, because we don't know. It just would have happened. Ichiro is mysterious like that.