Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Josh Hamilton avoids Derby winner curse, laughs at Justin Morneau

Last night's Home Run Derby was another chapter in coming out party of Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers. After overcoming drug addiction (not immediately, a while ago), he belted 28 homers in one round - a Derby record.

But the night was not fully Hamilton's, as evil Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins stole the trophy from him.

There is justice in this world though, as the Curse of the Home Run Derby Winner is alive and well. And it seems Hamilton knew it.

"What do you think I'm dumb?" Hamilton said regarding the curse. "I beat heroin. I am not about to fight against a curse."

Indeed it's been proven that the Derby winner suffers mightily after the All Star Break - presumably from expending too much energy in the exhibition.

Sports scientist and baseball swing doctor, Dr. Sherman Washington, says he can see how it affects the players. "Look," Washington says as we watch tape of last years Derby, "That swing is clearly tiring him, he's grunting."

Even though hitters take millions of swings and hours of batting practice - during which many try to hit as many bombs as possible - the Derby has a strange evergy sapping effect on players in the second half of the season.

Yankees outfielder Bobby Abreu knows this all too well. "My swing, it got f*cked up. Real bad." Abreu won the Derby in 2005, hitting a whopping 41 homers in the event. He went on to hit six homers in the second half, as opposed to 18 he hit in the first half.

When asked if this could have been match-ups, simple fatigue, pitchers catching up to him, or a laundry list of other possible, more likely reasons for his poor second half, Abreu scoffed.

"Don't give me all that mumbo jumbo," Abreu said as he rubbed a rabbit's foot and stared at his four leaf clover. "It's a curse and everyone knows it."


"I'm not going to say I 'threw' the derby," Hamilton said after placing second. "But I mean it was in the back of mind like 'Do I really want to screw this season up?' Have you seen my numbers?"

He added, "You might as well have asked me to run a 100-meter dash under 50 ladders while holding a black cat under each arm and smashing a mirror with my forehead every 10 meters."

When asked about the curse Morneau just laughed. "Do you know the first/second half HR splits of last year's winner, Vlad Guerrero? It's 14/13. What about Ryan Howard's in '06? That's 28/30. Curse my ass."

Despite recent evidence, Morneau does play for the Twins, so his opinion is fairly irrelevant.

Update: Morneau has been dropped from 537,587 fantasy teams today alone, further proving he's wrong.

No comments: