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Robinson Cano

July 12, 2011 by staff 

Robinson CanoRobinson Cano, The Home Run Derby is one of the most bizarre sporting events annually. It is a celebration of something that can be seen almost every day of the baseball season, although most people usually choose not to see it because it is not particularly exciting to watch baseball players slowly crushing straight into the ether.

It takes an incredible amount of time to complete the contest and the whole matter is brought to you by a team to announce that everyone hates to hear for more than five seconds.

And yet, just seeing one every year because baseball has the good sense to schedule the evening when there is no competition in the sports scene. If you want to see people in uniform to do something athletic on a Monday night in July, your options are to find a local game of Little League or the Derby.

The Derby usually wins, even if it makes you long for watching NBA players dunk miss on your own All-Star snoozefest.

So a lot of people were watching Monday night when Robinson Cano crushed pitch after pitch of his father and won the 2011 Home Run Derby. He defeated Adrian Gonzalez Red Sox 12-11 in the final round, despite its final total could have been much higher if not stopped after sealing victory.

It was an impressive performance, but not particularly surprising to anyone who has seen Cano take BP at some point in his career. It has a simple swing that requires very little effort, which means it will not grow weary, while launching a bomb 450 feet after a 450-foot bomb on the night of Arizona.

None of the other contestants was hitting the ball as far as Cano Monday night and for the first time in the contest, Cano actually found a way to make the event compelling. By bringing his father Joseph, a former major league pitcher, the pitch for him, Cano launched two parallel activities that were more interesting than his own Derby.

The first was whether the right arm of his father would be up to launch his son and David Ortiz during the night. Let’s assume he made good use of the ice machine in the hotel, but Jose Cano made it through the night with his right arm still attached to his body.

The other, even more intriguing, the mystery was whether Jose Cano never crack a smile during the event. He redefined the stoicism on the mound, but finally broke down and showed a bit of joy when his son was crowned the winner.

That was a good father and son time and nice big trophy for the youngest Cano to put in a closet somewhere. The second worst sports night of the year (Wednesday is worse because there is not even the loss of time to see) finally ended, you can never speak again.

Unless, of course, we’re back here in a month debating whether the Home Run Derby messed with Cano’s swing. It is unlikely – again, this is what we do every day – but we hope that Gonzalez and Ortiz are not so fortunate.

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