Both Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant will be swinging for the fences in tonight's home run derby. Sure, it's a pointless exercise as part of a comically overdone spectacle that is All-Star Weekend - but that doesn't mean it isn't fun to watch.
The detractors have been vocal. Blah blah blah, Bobby Abreu had his swing ruined that one year, blah blah blah. I'd like to think that professional athletes aren't so hapless that they completely forget how to swing a bat properly from such an exhibition. Maybe I'm wrong; but, that sounds like a lame excuse for simply not performing during the second half to me.
I, for one, will actually be interested in the home run derby for the first time in over a decade with the inclusion of "Riz" and Bryant. Sure, massive long balls are fun to watch; however, they're even more fun to watch when they are coming off the bat of your favorite players.
Sosa's entry in 2004 was an awfully long time ago and the Cubs have been mostly disappointing since then. But, how is it that Derrek Lee or Aramis Ramirez were never amongst the competitors? Did they decline invitations? I can't remember.
Perhaps one of them can even go on to win the Home Run Derby and follow in the footsteps of Sosa (2000), Ryne Sandberg (1990) and Andre Dawson (1987) as Cubbies to come out on top.
A "who's who" of Chicago sluggers have won the Derby
Remember, this is all fun and games. Just sit back and enjoy the show instead of getting all riled up about mechanics and form. They're professionals - they know what they're doing.
At the same time, here's hoping that Chicago's version of the Bash Brothers do the Northsiders proud tonight and further prove that #WeAreGood in the national spotlight.