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Home Run Derby

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Which line is out of place?

.578 SLG, 27 HR
.568 SLG, 25 HR
.528 SLG, 22 HR
.585 SLG, 21 HR
.526 SLG, 18 HR
.546 SLG, 16 HR
.458 SLG, 13 HR
.456 SLG, 6 HR

These are the 2005 slugging percentages and home-run totals for the participants in tonight's Home Run Derby: Andruw Jones, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Lee, David Ortiz, Bobby Abreu, Jason Bay, Hee Sop Choi, and Ivan Rodriguez, respectively.

Okay, so two of them are out of place -- Choi and Pudge, but at least Choi had one big game that proved he could go on a homer tear. In addition to having less than half the homers of anyone else in the Derby, Pudge is the only one that doesn't play first base or the outfield, is the oldest (33), the smallest (5'9"), and the only one playing with broken bones in his hand.

He's in there because he's famous, because he's a Tiger, and because the Derby's contrived new one-hitter-per-country format needed a Puerto Rican (though Carlos Beltran or Carlos Delgado might have been better choices). Forget all that though -- it'll be terrific for the Detroit fans to have a Tiger to root for, and here's predicting that he acquits himself well with 4 line-drives down the foul line and a sixth place finish to raucous cheers. And what does Pudge think about his night on center stage?

"I'm going to do my best," Rodriguez said. "I'm not a home run hitter. I just want everybody to know that."
Use this as an open thread for the home-run derby, if you like. Predictions for Pudge's finish and the eventual winner?