Monday, July 14, 2008

MLB All-Star Game: The Skills Competition

By Soup

So today I was thinking that Minnesota should change its name to Brangelina. Then our favorite baseball team would be the Brangelina Twins. We would be so popular.

Wait, what the hell? Where has my mind gone? What has this all-star break done to me? I decided that the break needed more than the Home Run Derby. As entertaining as it is to listen to Chris Berman say the word "back" 894 times, we can do better. It's time we steal the most exciting part of NHL's all star break: the skills competition. Here are some proposed events:

Base running
The base runners would bunt, and the stopwatch would start as soon as the ball makes contact with the bat. The watch would stop timing when the base runner returns to home plate. To make the competition fair Carlos Gomez would do it wearing snow pants and clown shoes.

Pitching Accuracy
There would be four targets set up; one at the knees outside corner, one at the knees inside corner, one at the belt inside corner, and one at the belt outside corner. They would get something like 20 pitches. So it would be pretty similar to the NHL accuracy shooting event. Pitches also have to go at least 83mph. Daniel Cabrera also has to wear snow pants and clown shoes to make it fair.

Double Play
I think this one could be fun. Baseball purist would not approve. So this event would have to take place at 10 PM while they're all watching the news. The competition would have judges that would score a double play turned. The judges would score based on degree of difficulty, creativity, and style. Each mlb team would send up to 6 representatives to "perform" a double play. It could be any combination of outs (so it does not necessarily have to end at 1B). The teams would have 6 seconds (or whatever a realistic slow time to first is) from the crack of the bat to complete the second out. I'm expecting costumes and choreography.

Line Drive
The would be five large targets set up in the shallow part of the outfield: down the left field line, left center, center, right center, and right field line. The batter would have to hit the targets in order left to right. The ball would not have to hit the targets on the fly. Each missed target would be an out like in the homerun derby.

Outfield Accuracy
There would be targets at home and third. The outfielder's would all throw from the same spot and try to hit the targets on the fly or one hop. It would also operate on a homerun derby out system

Catcher Throwing Accuracy
Targets would be at each of the bases. The catchers would take balls from a pitching machine. It would be cool if the targets were on timers so they would be synchronized with the pitching machine and would pop up at random. They would also pop back down so the catcher has to throw with urgency. The winner would hit the most targets in the set time period.

Ok, this might be boring for some people to watch, but I think it would be cool. The winner would be the batter that bunts the ball closest to first or third base (batter's choice) without it going foul. Each batter would get like 3 tries.
Ok, now let's gets ridiculous...

Pop Fly Hang time
Adam Dunn has been practicing all year for this.

Chop Off the Plate Hang Time
Is Luis Castillo still in the MLB?

Dugout Handshake
Two players from each team would have 30 seconds to show off their most extravagant handshakes. Judges would score on a 1-10 scale.

Pitching Velocity
Yeah, this would never happen. Trying to pitch as hard as you can is probably not recommended by physical trainers. But, what do they know? They're like J.V. doctors.

Wall Run High Jump
There would be one of those poles with the different planks that you jump and hit on the outfield wall. Then the player runs up the wall and tries to swat as high as possible. My money is on Loek Van Mil.
Who would be invited to each event? Who would win? Any other events I missed? Something for the infielders maybe? Best bat flip competition? limbo? a Lincoln/Douglas debate? Hungry, Hungry Hippos?

Milton Bradley, shortly after losing the All-star Limbo Showdown.


k-bro said...

I vote for a batting glove adjusting contest. The one who unvelcros/revelcros his gloves most in 60 seconds wins. Nomar would have to use Mickey Mouse gloves to make it fair.

Holmer said...

I like it. The All-Star Break could be a week long event where they should hold their semi-finals in neighboring cities to the MLB Field chosen. Town baseball fields would sell out all over the state for these events. Then the finals would be held in the MLB park.

An infielder starts at third base, takes a grounder, throws it to one. Moves over to short to do the same. To second, and first throwing to third. It would be timed with five seconds tacked on for every error.

This might have to air on HBO, or at least late night Spike. A manager is given a situation to argue, and their goal in 60seconds is to come up with the most creative umpire degrading statments and actions he can think of. Scored by judges on a 1-10 scale.

brex said...

Wow a line drive contest would be very difficult.

How about a pepper tournament? Pool play, 3 games of 6 players, top 2 from each in championship round. Nick Punto would have to wear a right handed glove to make it fair.

haasertime said...

how about a farthest drive contest using a TEE.

I'd love to see how far Hamilton and Morneau could hit a ball that isn't moving.

TwinsWin83 said...

What about a 'flip' contest? They would have to keep me out of it to make it fair.

I tivo'd the home run derby because we had a game tonight and it only taped for the alotted 2 hours it was on the schedule for. Only problem: 2 hours took me up to the first batter of the second round so I didnt even get to see Morneaus win. The word 'upset' doenst even cover what I am right now.

Holmer said...


Morneau wins, eat it Hamilton.

bizmarkie507 said...

lol @ ESPN being completely devastated by the fact that Hamilton lost. haha did you guys see how pissed off John Kruk was when Morneau won? Suck it.