I'm just going to come out and say that I successfully predicted that Ryan Howard would win the Home Run Derby last night (I can supply phone numbers for verification, if need be). Not that it matters really at all -- the long ball contest is meaningless in the long (and come to think of it, short) run. I've already forgotten who won. Oh, right. Howard.
Of course, someone should have told that to the many idiotic Allegheny River kayakers outside the stadium in Pittsburgh last night, who (in my favorite Derby development) frantically paddled to every ball that hit the water, spilling overboard and getting drenched to grab a ball that in the end is worth nothing. Except to maybe Todd McFarland. Other than Howard winning a fan 500 free flights by hitting the "HIT THIS SIGN!" sign on his very last home run, there wasn't much to get excited about. Everything went by script -- lots of meaningless talk by the analysts to fill time, all of the local name-drops from Chris Berman you could want (as predicted by the Deadspin commentors), lots of looks of feigned interest from the players involved, no "You're With Me, Leather" signs. All in all, fairly uneventful.