One Home Run Derby was more than enough for Kris Bryant. The Chicago Cubs star third baseman made it very clear that while he’ll be an interested spectator, he’s not interested in participating in the event again this season.
“I enjoy watching the home run derby. Growing up I watched it all the time,” Bryant said, per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s very entertaining. I’ll sit on the grass, do the whole bring-the-Gatorade thing. But I don’t really want to do it.”
Bryant cited last year’s event, which he called “very exhausting,” as his reason for opting out.
There’s no way to criticize Bryant here while still being reasonable. The Home Run Derby is an exhibition and anyone opting against participating in an exhibition is being completely fair.
With that said, this is a little disappointing. Bryant is not only one of baseball’s most prolific home run hitters, but his bombs tend to be absolutely majestic.
Seeing how far these guys can hit balls that are served up to them is one of the things that makes the Home Run Derby great. It would have been fun to see Bryant play pepper with the Western Metal Supply Co. building in left field at San Diego’s Petco Park.
Still, there is one positive to take from this. If big0name position players like Kris Bryant are dropping out, it increases the odds of a pitcher like Madison Bumgarner or Jake Arrieta being included.