Participating in the Home Run Derby is often a risky endeavor. It’s all about thrilling the fans, but there have been multiple instances of players struggling after taking part in the midsummer long ball contest.
That’s one of the reasons Mike Napoli, who has launched a few mammoth home runs this season, is a bit skeptical of participating in the competition if he is eventually asked.
“I don’t know, I think it’s cool, but I just don’t think I’d like doing it,” Napoli told MassLive.com. “I did it a couple times in the minor leagues, and had some pretty, pretty bad streaks after that. I don’t know, I think it’s really cool to watch it. But I wouldn’t enjoy it.”
Napoli’s nine home runs this season are good for second on the Red Sox. Boston’s home run leader, David Ortiz, is no stranger to the Home Run Derby, although the slugger thinks his days of participating in the contest might be behind him.
“I’m too old for that — well, I haven’t thought about it,” Ortiz reportedly said. “But I don’t think I’m going to do it. They haven’t asked me, but — I don’t know yet. I don’t know, let’s put it that way.”
Ortiz won the Home Run Derby in 2010, and he was a captain during the 2011 Derby. The 37-year-old didn’t participate in 2012.
The Home Run Derby selection process for this season is still unclear, but fans are currently able to vote for which players they’d most like to see participate. Neither Napoli nor Ortiz is among the 10 American League candidates listed.