With improved Home Run Derby, MLB showed us that ditching tradition can be a good thing

see change is nice

For The Win

When MLB’s All-Star break rolls around each summer, it’s often maligned by the uninitiated and ill-informed.

Why does this game determine home field advantage for the World Series?

Why aren’t the best players playing?

Is it time to kill Home Run Derby?

The first two questions will linger for now, but the latter was answered emphatically Monday night. No, the Home Run Derby is very much alive. A shot clock saved it. Before Monday, the Derby had slowly devolved into a contrived and artificial experience, much like Chris Berman’s hair.

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For 2015, MLB decided it was time to take a tired and bloated display – shackled stubbornly to its traditions because that’s the way it’s always been – and try something new. Eight players were set up in a knockout bracket. They were given a timed at-bat (yes, a shot clock) of four minutes. Swing at anything, everything, nothing for four…

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