By Spike Eskin
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I have not always been a Domonic Brown believer, but I am now. Brown has been the bright light in the inescapable darkness of this Phillies season, the one thing worth tuning in for. And if David Wright calls Dom Brown’s name to enter the Home Run Derby this Summer, I sure as hell hope he answers it.
Show up and hit bombs.
Brown isn’t one of the choices that fans can vote for on the MLB ballot, but players get hurt, and there is a write-in option.
Brown told the Delaware County Daily Times last week that he’d rather not participate in the Home Run Derby, which takes place the night before the All-Star Game.
“I don’t think so,” Brown said. “A lot of guys do it and that swing gets big, man. I want to keep shortening my swing up as much as I possibly can. I don’t want to go in there, (because) even in BP I don’t try to hit home runs. If I hit the ball out, I hit the ball out. But I just try to hit the ball up the middle and hit every pitch out to center field. So I really don’t want to.”
I get it Dom, I get it. I don’t want you to mess up your swing either. I think we need this one though. Show up, hit bombs.
I’m begging you, show up at Citi Field and mash home runs. Show off. Hit them into the upper deck and flip the bat after every ball you send into the stands. Spend half the time making faces at New Yorkers if you want, just show up. Bombs.
The idea of a player’s swing being altered by participating in the Home Run Derby is more myth than reality anyway. To be sure, Brown has had his mind messed with over the last few years to last a lifetime, and it’s fine to be cautious. But something tells me, watching him over the last six weeks, he’s not lacking in the confidence department.
Plenty will say the Home Run Derby doesn’t matter, and they’re right. Sort of at least, they’re right. In the grand scheme of things the Phillies season will not be judged by Brown in the Derby, not even close. His career won’t be harmed by not taking the opportunity to participate. But in the risk/reward department, it doesn’t seem like there’s much risk, and there seems to be the opportunity for plenty of reward.
It would seem that Brown will likely be on the National League All-Star team. After his dominant May, and a June that looks like it has the chance to be almost as good, it will be tough to leave him off. It’s an honor, and Phillies fans would love to see it. But I can almost promise 15 home runs during the Home Run Derby will cause more fan fervor than going 0-1 in two innings of play in the game itself. The All-Star Game is nice, but legends are made during the Home Run Derby.
I wasn’t always a Domonic Brown believer, I’m guilty. I fell fall short of “hater” or “bust” material, but I was sick of talking about it all. Let him play, don’t let him play, just stop talking about it. I was wrong, and I admit it.
After all we’ve been through Dom, I know I’m asking a lot. But if the phone rings and it’s David Wright calling, please answer the call and say yes. Show up and hit bombs.
Follow Spike on Twitter @SpikeEskin