Keith's Take: As much as glorified batting practice -- an exhibition within the exhibition that is the All-Star Game -- can provide a prideful moment, David Ortiz ought to be pretty happy right now. He's been written off as a past-his-prime fading star each of the past two years, but on this night he made it look an awful lot like 2004. He took all the drama out of what seemed like it would be a fun final round by smoking 11 home runs, all of them vintage Ortiz bombs into the bleachers in right-center field or hooked down the line toward his West Coast version of the Pesky Pole. Ortiz's powerful display put all the pressure on Hanley Ramirez. Typical of his personality, Ortiz never appeared concerned when Ramirez made a brief run, and instead played his familiar role of lovable competitor, offering Ramirez a towel, some Gatorade and some advice midway through the round. Ramirez took all three from Ortiz but couldn't wrest the title away from him. Ortiz is the Derby champion, offering further proof that he's not done yet, either as a hitter or an attraction.
Round 2: Two Highest Totals Advance
Round 2 HR
David Ortiz Boston Red Sox, DH 2010: 18 HRs Career: 335 HRs
Keith's Take: The Milwaukee Brewers' reign of terror atop the HR Derby world is over. Prince Fielder won it last year and Corey Hart looked poised to join his teammate as Derby champion after hitting a Round 1-best 13 homers. But Hart took the night's first goose egg in Round 2 and was eliminated. The finals will pair David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez, who both generated their share of headlines earlier this season, Ortiz for slumping so badly many thought the Red Sox might cut him, and Ramirez for being benched for perceived lack of hustle. One thing is for sure: a native of the Dominican Republic will win.
Keith's Take: Behold the awesome power of the Abe Lincoln beard. Corey Hart of the Brewers had a face full of blond whiskers, no moustache and 13 home runs in Round 1. He's joined in the semifinals by Hanley Ramirez, (nine homers), Miguel Cabrera (eight homers) and David Ortiz (seven). Of that foursome, Ramirez had the most variety in his homers, Ortiz the most consistency (most down the right field line), and Cabrera, at 476 feet, the longest longball. A quick moment of silence for Matt Holliday, Nick Swisher, Vernon Wells and Chris Young, who seemed more relieved to have hit at least one home run than he was worried that he only hit one home run.
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