(MLB) KANSAS CITY — The most popular guy in the building was Billy Butler, a fact Robinson Cano knew all too well.
But Prince Fielder was the undisputed king in a Royal take on the annual State Farm Home Run Derby rite Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Fielder feasted on the famous fountains to claim the Derby crown and vault himself into select slugging company. He now has another Derby victory to pair with his 2009 triumph in St. Louis’ Busch Stadium, joining Ken Griffey Jr., who won three times, as the only Derby participants to win multiple trophies.
“As a kid, he was the first person with an NBA Jam in their house,” Fielder said of Griffey, “so my dad would let me go over and play video games all day. He always took care of me when I was a kid, so to be mentioned with him is real special.”
With an 11-homer barrage in the second round, Fielder, the Tigers’ $214 million man, found himself in the finals. And the dazzling dozen blasts he unleashed upon the audience in the final round were more than enough to best the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista, who ran out of gas after an early outburst and finished with seven in the round.
The Colorado Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez became a spectator early in his first Home Run Derby. But he and The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen did log the most blasts (4) of the four who failed to advance out of the first round. Matt Kemp logged just one and Cano – to the delight of the hometown fans – failed to boost a single ball over the fence.
Cano certainly wasn’t a hit with the KC faithful. More than any homer-induced “ooh” or “ahh,” the loudest sounds of the evening had to be the barrage of boos the loyal Royals fans dished out to Cano, who had said he’d like to add a hometown boy to his homer-bound bunch, only to snub Butler, the Royals’ lone All-Star representative.
But he didn’t bemoan the booing.
“You play for the Yankees,” he said, “everywhere you go you get booed.” READ MORE >>>