Eric Karabell, espn.com wrote:Forget about any Home Run Derby jinx
Sunday, July 13, 2008 | Feedback | Print Entry
A buddy e-mails me the other day when he finds out a player he's targeting in a trade, the future AL Rookie of the Year, is going to compete in the Home Run Derby on Monday night.
"Darn, guess I won't be trading for Longoria now. Wait, you do believe in the derby curse, right?"
You gotta be kidding me.
Evan Longoria is a stud, and unless he gets hurt Monday, nothing that happens in the derby is going to unravel his season. The guy is a future stud. But this does bring up the very important point about the Home Run Derby and its affect, if any, on statistics and fantasy baseball. Is there evidence that a power swing can get all messed up just by competing in this event, or winning it? Bobby Abreu fantasy owners from 2005 think they know the answer. Abreu himself has given credence to the theory by admitting his swing didn't recover. Sorry, I just don't believe it.
Abreu wasn't really a power hitter in the first place, despite the fact he had launched 18 of them before the break that season. After the break, with his swing supposedly messed up, he hit only six home runs. Apparently his swing has been messed up ever since, though, as he managed only 15 home runs in 2006, 16 in 2007, and he's in double digits currently, but on pace for 17. It's really a shame his swing was so messed up that Home Run Derby that he's on pace for 66 walks this season, by far the lowest of his career. Makes perfect sense to me.
Blaming the derby is a fine excuse, I suppose, but 2006 derby winner Ryan Howard went nuts after the break the following season, smashing 30 home runs. His swing wasn't messed up. Vladimir Guerrero won it in San Francisco last year, and his second-half output outpaced what he did in the first half, because he came to the plate fewer times and really, dropping from 14 pre-break homers to 13 isn't exactly worth of a Senate investigation. How come we only hear about the few players who had their swing irretrievably destroyed? I think it's because it's untrue. ... full story ...