On Wednesday, MLB announced New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and his 13 home runs will join 7 other participants, while Morrison and his 24 home runs received the “not interested” snub. The Rays’ first baseman spoke his mind when asked.
“Gary shouldn’t be there,” Morrison said. “Gary’s a great player, but he shouldn’t be in the Home Run Derby.”
Morrison is absolutely right and sheds light on a strange and deeply flawed selection “process.” How can a guy who is third in all of Major League Baseball in home runs not even be invited to the Home Run Derby?
Among those tied for third with Morrison, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger, Cincinnati’s Joey Votto, and Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas, were all invited. Votto declined, while fellow all-star Bellinger accepted.
Moustakas, like Morrison, is hoping to be selected to the American League All-Star team through the MLB Final Vote. Also hoping to earn a spot on the National League squad is Miami first baseman Justin Boar, another Derby participant. How this affects Morrison’s votes will be known soon.
ESPN commentator Buster Olney took on the task of not only defending the Sanchez selection over Morrison, but denigrated Morrison’s opinion.
“I think the suggestion that Gary Sanchez is not worthy of the Home Run Derby is absolutely silly,” Olney said on-air. “If you go back to the Home Run Derby of last year, since then, Gary Sanchez has more homers than Logan Morrison, 33-28.”
This is breathtakingly ridiculous. This isn’t about what happened last year.
It should be about what happened the first half of this year, just like the all-star selections. Plus, the Yankees are already represented by the exciting rookie, Aaron Judge, who leads the world in home runs with 28.
Unfortunately, Morrison and Rays fans know that if it comes down to Tampa Bay vs. New York, then Tampa Bay and Morrison lose.
“It’s par for the course, I play for the Rays,” Morrison said. “I get it.”
Even Olney conceded that point. At the same time, in his further attempt to prop up Sanchez, he stepped in it with the other foot.
“Is popularity a part of it, yes. Is market part of it, absolutely,” Olney said. “But the suggestion that it should come down to 2017 home run totals is kind of silly because if that were the case, you know who wouldn’t be in the Home Run Derby? Giancarlo Stanton, Logan Morrison’s former teammate. He’s not in the top 10 in home runs. So, let Gary Sanchez have his moment.”
You’ve got us there, Buster. Stanton is tied for 11th with 21 home runs. But did you forget he’s the defending champion and the event is in his home ballpark at Marlins Park?
Since you brought up Stanton’s home run ranking, we must have missed you mentioning Sanchez’s ranking, which is a tie for 73rd.
To say with a straight face that the guy ranked 73rd in home runs be selected for the Home Run Derby over the guy ranked third is, in your words, “absolutely silly.”