Ausmus downplays risks of HR derby participation

DETROIT (AP) Brad Ausmus scoffs at the idea that the home run derby could cause a slugger to go into a slump.

The Detroit manager says he finds it hard to believe that ''one round of batting practice'' might ruin a player's swing for three months.

The derby is part of the festivities surrounding the All-Star game, and past winners of the contest include stars Prince Fielder, David Ortiz and Ryan Howard. Yoenis Cespedes of Oakland won last year.

There's occasional concern that the event's format - with players swinging for the fences repeatedly through multiple rounds - can lead to bad habits and fatigue.

Rays manager Joe Maddon says he'd prefer his players sit the derby out.

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