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Wily Mo Pena: Crusher of baseballs, derby participant?

The Diamondbacks’ Wily Mo Pena has crushed five home runs in just 39 at bats.

That averages out to nearly one homer in every 8 plate appearances, a rate that would put him at the top of the Major Leagues.

Wonder what he could do with a few more at bats? Jeff Passan of does, and he is starting the push to have Prince Fielder, who is choosing the NL’s contestants in the home run derby, (and who also got a first-hand look at Pena’s power Monday) to put him on the NL squad.

Still, a derby without Wily Mo just doesn’t seem right. The timing is too fortuitous. In the season MLB opens up the derby to non-All-Stars, the hardest-hitting man in baseball comes to the major leagues after a 2½-year absence and bops five home runs in 39 at-bats for the team that’s hosting the game. Wily Mo doesn’t need a metal bat to hit balls 500 feet. He would steal the damn show.

Even if the chances are slim, I’m not giving up on this one. I started a Twitter hashtag: #wilymo4derby. I know how Twitter works. The likelihood of getting this to trend over Justin Bieber’s latest haircut is minimal. But if it did. And if Prince Fielder heard about it. And if the movement took off.

Pena would have no business being anywhere near the All-Star Game if it weren’t for his ability to hit the ball 430+ feet with great regularity. However, this is the home run derby, and that’s what matters.

Like the NBA has done with the dunk contest, the entertainment does not lie so much with the stars participating, rather it’s about the people who do that one thing better than anyone else. While there are plenty of players who can hit home runs, few do so in a way that makes you wonder what the ball did to piss the hitter off. Pena is one of those guys.

Who wouldn’t want to see that?


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