PHOENIX — Thanks, but no thanks.
Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt made it clear on Tuesday that should he be asked, which he had not yet been, he would politely decline the invitation to participate in the home run derby during this year’s All-Star festivities in Minneapolis.
“It’s not something, if they ask, that I’d be interested in doing,” Goldschmidt said.
Earlier this week, Toronto’s Jose Bautista and Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki were named captains of the American League and National League squads that will compete in the home run contest, which is being tweaked this year.
The new format features seven outs per round and bracketed play after the first round. A total of 10 players, five from each league, will participate in the opening round. The player that hits the most home runs in each league will automatically receive a bye to the third round, or semi-finals. The next two players from each league with the most home runs will square off against one another in a head-to-head matchup in the second round. The winners of these matchups will advance to the third round to face-off against the league’s top seed. The final round will feature the winners of the AL and NL semifinals’ matchups going head-to-head for the 2014 crown.
Bautista and Tulowitzki will each determine the other four participants on their teams and, according to Major League Baseball, will personally extend the invitations.
Again, Goldschmidt, an All-Star a year ago, would take a pass.
Yes, he is one of the better sluggers in the game and ranks sixth in the National League with 15 home runs, but he would prefer to be a spectator rather than a participant.
Goldschmidt almost assuredly will be in attendance. He is after all currently the leading vote-getter among players at his position in the National League. And if not selected as a starter by the fans, he certainly will get the nod from St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who will manage the club.
“You guys see me hit out there,” Goldschmidt said prior to the series opener against the Cleveland Indians. “It’s not something I’m doing during batting practice. I’m not even trying (to hit home runs). I don’t think I’d do very well if I did try.”