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A-Rod just says no to participating in Home Run Derby

Big League Stew

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Last year, it was Barry Bonds who left the McCovey Cove kayakers with their paddles in their hands as he couldn't be bothered to participate in the Home Run Derby at his own home park in San Francisco.

Continuing on that tradition, Alex Rodriguez will carry this year's title of "Hometown Star Who Can't Be Bothered To Participate In Something Fun, Even Though The Fans Want Him To," when the All-Star event is held July 14 at Yankee Stadium.

And just like Bonds, he's citing that the event will mess with his swing, even though he's 11 years younger than Bonds and wouldn't be facing the same sort of wear and tear.

From the NY Daily News:

Even with the All-Star festivities taking place in his home ballpark, A-Rod said he would not participate in the Home Run Derby, which takes place the night before the All-Star Game.

"I try to stay away from that," Rodriguez said. "My responsibility is to the New York Yankees. I need my swing to be at its best."

Like many players, Rodriguez insists that taking part in the Home Run Derby can have a damaging effect on his swing.

Rodriguez has participated in the event three times in his career, most recently in 2002. A-Rod has finished tied for sixth place each time, so his poor showing in the Derby may have just as much to do with his reluctance to take part in it as anything else.

To be fair, it's possible that A-Rod may simply be too exhausted from fending off questions about his US Weekly-reported relationship with Madonna (no, that's not her above ... that's Babe Ruth's daughter) from New York's tabloid reporters at the media session earlier in the day to participate. Avoiding the everpresent jackals from Page Six can do that to a slugger.

In happier news, Jason Giambi's mustache said it would participate if it earns a spot on the AL team.

A big BLS head nod goes to BBTF for the tip.

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