The All-Star break is here for major league baseball, and if it’s Monday of All-Star Week that means it’s time to swing for the fences. The Home Run Derby (8 PM ET, ESPN) is tonight from Citi Field in New York.
This event has gotten to the point where it’s my favorite of the All-Star festivities, even more so than the game itself. Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has 37 home runs at the break, and will be a part of the event. You have previous winners in Robinson Cano and Prince Fielder participating.
One dark horse I wouldn’t overlook is Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez. It’s not just his obvious natural power. There’s also some cynicism. Alvarez is lousy at getting himself on base consistently, so I’m thinking that an event where he has to do nothing but swing for the fences is ideally suited for him.
The city of Pittsburgh is at the heart of the non-baseball options in daily sports for Monday. The NFL Network will show the Steelers’ Super Bowl victories in 1978 and 1979. The ’78 win came over Dallas in a great battle to see which franchise would be the first to three rings, and the ’79 title capped a championship year for their home city, as the Pirates also won the World Series.
MLB Network defers to ESPN tonight on All-Star activity, but there will still be a showing of the great movie about New York Yankees’ legend Lou Gehrig. Pride Of The Yankees airs at 8 PM ET on MLB. And those that love basketball can watch NBA Summer League games, quite literally all day. There are live games from Las Vegas starting at noon ET and not finishing until midnight on NBA-TV.
TheSportsNotebook’s MLB coverage will have some All-Star festivities of our own these next few days. We’ll start today with thoughts on the rosters, specifically the fate of Los Angeles Dodgers’ phenom Yasiel Puig.