The Texas Rangers have traditionally had a strong presence in the Home Run Derby. Juan Gonzalez won the event in 1993 and, even though he didn’t win it, Josh Hamilton stole the show in 2008 at Yankee Stadium.
The Rangers had participants in it seven times from 2000-09. Nelson Cruz was the last participant in ’09, finishing second to Prince Fielder.
He is a candidate to participate in this year’s derby, too, as he is tied for sixth-most home runs in the American League with 20. He said he has talked with American league Home Run Derby captain Robinson Cano recently, but laughed if the derby was a topic of conversation.
“It depends on how I feel,” Cruz said. “If I feel like my body is rested, I will. If I feel like I need rest, I won’t.”
Manager Ron Washington understands the importance of the contest to entertain the fans during the Midsummer Classic, but would be more than OK if Cruz wasn’t in it.
“I don’t like them in those home run hitting contests, but I can’t stop that,” Washington said. “I just don’t like when you are constantly swinging for the fence.”
-- Drew Davison