The New Home Run Derby Rules Are Terrible

This weekend, with the MLB All Star break upon us, the Home Run Derby will have a new face. In the past, all the players went up against each other, but now the Home Run Derby will be tournament style with seeding based on 2015 home run totals as of July 7th. This single-elimination tournament will pit players against each other with each batter getting five minutes to hit per round. There are a few more rules that explain ties and bonus time, but these first two that I mentioned are at the root of this rule-changing evil.

Like I mentioned, the Home Run Derby in the past put everyone up against one another and didn’t have one-on-one matchups. Here’s the problem with this, someone who can have an outstanding first round and potentially win it all can still be eliminated in just the first round. Does it really make sense for someone who hits more home runs than the winner of one matchup to be eliminated right away? No, no it doesn’t.

The next point has to do with the time constraint that has been put on the Home Run Derby. I get that the MLB has been trying to speed up the play of the game and I totally agree with it, but the Home Run Derby isn’t the place to be doing that. It shouldn’t be a race to see who can hit the most home runs, it’s about pure strength and the ability to whack a ball 400+ feet. I want to see as many home runs crushed as possible and that can’t be done when batters only get five short minutes to do so. Not to mention, we probably aren’t going to get to see as much of the little kids in the background trying to catch the fly balls and competing for that all-coveted catch.

I’ve noticed over the course of this series of Opposites Attack that a lot of the articles I’ve written have to do with rule changes in various sports and I’ll say the same thing I say for most of these articles: DON’T FIX WHAT’S NOT BROKEN. So often sports try to drastically change rules to try and improve the sport but they really don’t need an adjustment that big. Fortunately this change isn’t with the game of baseball itself, but it really didn’t need to happen and it’s not going to make me any more excited to watch the Home Run Derby.

This article is a part of our ongoing “Opposites Attack” series where we aim to play devil’s advocate on hot topics in the sports and entertainment world while providing a fresh perspective of these subjects.

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