Robinson Cano, the New York Yankees second baseman has been selected to be the captain of the Home Run Derby team for the American League for the second year in a row. This is the first time that a player has been a captain in two consecutive years, but the requirements were changed to include captains in 2011. The 2013 Home Run Derby is scheduled to take place at Citi Field, the home field for the New York Mets, during the All Star Break in mid-July.
In 2011, Cano won the Home Run Derby, beating out the Boston Red Sox’s Adrian Gonzalez in the final round, hitting 12 homers over Gonzalez’s 11. Because of Cano’s triumph the previous year, he was given the chance to be captain of the 2012 Home Run Derby team for the American League which took place at Kauffman Stadium, the Kansas City Royals field.
Royals’ fans desperately wanted their hometown player, Billy Butler, to be selected by Cano; each captain picks three other players to participate in the derby. Instead, Cano went with the Los Angeles Angels’ Mark Trumbo, the Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista and the Detroit Tigers’ Prince Fielder, who ended up winning the derby.
Not picking Butler outraged the Kansas City fans because Kauffman Stadium hadn’t hosted an All Star Game since 1973; it was then called Royals Stadium. Cano was booed every time he was introduced during the All Star Break — fans were even heckling his family, who were attending the events. In Cano’s first and only round in the derby, he was booed mercilessly in his introduction, only to be mockingly cheered when he didn’t put the ball over the wall. He never made it to the seats, embarrassingly hitting zero home runs.
Even with the events of last year’s derby, Cano said he was proud to be a captain again this year, and when asked if he would pick Butler this year, he said, “No chance,” while smiling. The National League captain of this year’s derby is the Mets’ third baseman David Wright. The captains haven’t announced their picks yet, but they should choose the most power packed bats they can find as Citi Field is not a park that yields a lot of home runs.