By Ashley Dunkak
DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Detroit Tigers slugger and 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera will not be competing in the All-Star Home Run Derby after all.
Cabrera had said that the American League derby team captain Robinson Cano invited him to participate and that he agreed to do it if his back felt good.
Apparently, Cabrera decided that his back could use the rest, as a tweet from Major League Baseball announced that the final spot on the AL home run derby roster had been filled.
BREAKING: Yoenis Cespedes added as final AL #HRDerby participant.
— MLB (@MLB) July 9, 2013
Tigers manager Jim Leyland might breath a sigh of relief at that news. He told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he would talk with Cabrera about whether he should participate in the derby. Leyland said that Cabrera was smart to evaluate the invitation based on how his back was feeling. While the skipper would not divulge what his advice to Cabrera would be as far as whether to participate, he talked about the derby in general.
“That’s a grueling experience,” Leyland said. “They probably need to cut it down. It’s too long, and it’s too many swings for anybody.
“A lot of people would argue that,” Leyland continued. “It’s showtime, so people enjoy it, but I think it’s too long and people are taking too many swings. I don’t think that’s good. I like the home run contest, but to the extent that they do it I don’t.”
Often there are questions about whether swinging for the fences repeatedly like players do in the derby messes up a player’s swing. Leyland said that is a secondary issue, if one at all.
“I think you’ve got more of a chance of somebody getting hurt more so than the swing,” Leyland said.