Athletes were on display in Miami on Monday night.
The HR Derby was incredible.
It has always been, without question, my favorite of the All-Star skills challenges. Way better than anything the other sports have to offer.
What we saw Monday night was nothing short of lapping the field in this category, even if the format is completely absurd to not have the Top 4 advance.
But it’s the men we saw that stand out.
Baseball, for years, has lacked athletes, and the athletes we saw Monday night are what this games needs moving forward, and we seem to have it.
Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Sano, Justin Bour…these are huge humans, guys who normally play other sports, that have chosen baseball.
Aaron Judge is what happens when the best athlete in a state decides to play baseball over football or basketball. Same goes for Stanton. These guys could have played any sport they chose at a high level.
The game benefits.
Had Joey Gallo opted to take part, he would have only added to the large number of young stars that are big, athletic, powerful, and fun.
Hopefully this isn’t a one off. Hopefully this is a trend that continues and great athletes prefer career longevity and long-term health over other sports.
Baseball needs more of what Monday night, but it will never get great athletes unless specialization comes to an end.
You can’t tell me your child doesn’t benefit athletically by playing multiple sports. The difference is amazing. And our kids benefit more than anything.
That’s out of MLB’s control, but it’s not out of ours.