Giancarlo Stanton didn’t leave Target Field as the Home Run Derby champion. But that doesn’t mean he’s done trying.
The Marlins’ 24-year-old slugger said Tuesday he’s already looking forward to getting another chance in next year’s Derby at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, baseball’s most prolific launching pad for home runs.
“I was already talking about that yesterday,” said Pirates outfielder and reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen, who on Monday night got about as excited as anyone at Target Field watching Stanton launch baseballs into the upper deck in center field and left.
“Cincinnati, there’s going to be stuff going out of the entire stadium,” McCutchen continued. “Center field, probably right center, left – and it won’t only be Stanton. That’s going to be a fun place to do the Derby. I might try to hop in and get in on that one.”
Said Stanton: “There won’t be any three home run rounds in that place.”
Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes, who joined Ken Griffey Jr. on Monday as the only players to win the Derby in back-to-back years, said he definitely felt like the long layoff Stanton and Jose Bautista had after winning Monday’s opening round and earning a bye played a factor in the outcome.
Stanton waited 1 hour 10 minutes between at-bats. Bautista waited 1 hour 56 minutes. Neither reached the final.
Commissioner Bud Selig said Tuesday there needs to be some tweaks to the Derby, but also admitted “television wants a three-hour program. So there are things that make it difficult [to speed it up].”
Stanton, who didn’t hit any home runs in the National League final, said he felt like he had a good approach at the plate. He said if he has to change anything for the Derby next year it’s “not to get the bye.”
Even though Stanton didn’t win the Derby, many of his National League teammates said they enjoyed the show he put on in Round 1. Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon said Stanton’s upper-deck shot to center field is the farthest he has ever seen a ball hit and the ball that nearly left the field took his breath away.
“We do this for a living and for us to get as excited as we got says it all,” McCutchen said. “We’re jealous of his teammates because they get to see that all the time. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. That’s why I was so excited.”
WHEN WILL MIAMI HOST?
Selig, speaking to the Baseball Writers Association of America on Tuesday morning, said he plans on picking sites for the next two or three All-Star Games after Cincinnati (2015) before leaving the commissioner’s office in January.
Is Marlins Park a legitimate candidate for any of those three years?
“Yes,” Selig told The Miami Herald as he was leaving the meeting.
Selig said although he would like to continue to alternate between American League and National League cities year to year, he’s not necessarily married to it especially in light that there are more new parks in the NL than AL.
Baltimore’s Camden Yards is considered the favorite to land the 2016 midsummer classic, with Nationals Park, which opened four years before Marlins Park, as a possible 2017 location. But it would be odd for baseball to award the game to the same area in consecutive years.
Tropicana Field (Rays), Citizens Bank Park (Phillies), PETCO Park (Padres) and the new Yankees Stadium were also built before Marlins Park and have yet to host the All-Star Game.
Marlins president David Samson, reached by phone Tuesday, said the Marlins would love to host the All-Star Game “as soon as possible. We are ready, willing and able. But it’s Minnesota’s day today. When the commissioner says it’s the right time for us to host we’ll be more than happy to do it.”