Chris Davis came clean today. He said Robinson Cano had asked him a while back to be in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby. It didn’t become official until early last night.
So what will Davis’ strategy be next Tuesday at Citi Field?
“Swing hard and hit it far,” he said.
He sounds almost more excited to be in the Home Run Derby event than the game itself.
“I think so. As a kid, the game is fun to watch, but the Home Run Derby is the excitement the night before the game and something I always looked forward to,” Davis said. “I’m going to have a lot fun with it. As a kid, I always had a lot of fun sitting down to watch the Home Run Derby. Now I get to fulfill that dream.”
Orioles coach Einar Diaz, who has been Davis’ batting practice pitcher this year, will be the guy pitching to him in that competition, Davis said.
“Hands down, he’s the best BP pitcher I’ve had in quite some time,” Davis said. “He’s thrown to me every day for the last few four or five months. He’s a guy I feel comfortable with.
“I asked him, ‘Are you going to get nervous?’ He said, ‘I don’t get nervous.’ I said, ‘OK.’ “
Orioles manager Buck Showalter was probably only half kidding when he said he reminded Davis that home runs that just clear the fence count as much as tape-measure shots. Is Davis going to heed that advice?
“Probably not. Once you hit a few, then you want to see how far you can hit them,” Davis said. “At least I do. Hopefully I hit a couple, I may goose egg. Nothing is guaranteed.
“I’m not going to hurt myself obviously. The second half of the season is obviously more important. I’m going to enjoy it.”
According to STATS, Davis is the only player in MLB history to have at least 25 doubles, 30 homers and 85 RBIs prior to the All-Star game. His 33 homers are the most before the break since 2001 when Barry Bonds had 39 and Luis Gonzalez 35.
Davis said he’s heard some say that taking part in that competition can mess up a player’s swing.
“I don’t believe that,” he said. “There are a lot of guys that have done it and had great second halves. I don’t think a few extra swings is going to hurt that. I’m not going to go out there to break any records.”