OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Texas slugger Josh Hamilton said Tuesday he will pass on this year’s All-Star Home Run Derby after being offered the chance to captain the American League team.
Hamilton likely will still be an All-Star for manager Ron Washington’s AL team for the July 10 game in Kansas City.
“It’s just not the right time,” Hamilton said of the Derby. “I haven’t done it in the last couple years. I want to be healthy and be the best I can be for the team. I don’t want to take a chance of going out and hurting anything trying to entertain folks in the (Derby). That’s why I declined again.”
Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP who hit a record 28 clouts in the first round of the 2008 event, had 21 homers and 57 RBIs entering Texas’ game at Oakland on Tuesday night.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano instead will serve as captain for the AL Derby team. While Hamilton said he hasn’t had problems after the Home Run Derby in the past, he’s not only in a contract season but is determined to do everything he can to get the Rangers their first World Series championship after near misses the past two seasons.
“No, it didn’t hurt in 2008, but it takes one swing (to get hurt),” Hamilton said. “You’ve got to be smart about it. I understand that I play Major League Baseball, but I work for the Texas Rangers. I understand they need me healthy and I want to be healthy. I would love to go out and hit as many home runs as I can. I enjoy doing it. I have fun doing it, but it’s not fair to go out there and do something for myself and possibly get injured.”
The 31-year-old Hamilton would be an All-Star for the fifth time in his six-year big league career.
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