Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia is not a fan of the Home Run Derby, so he didn't mind at all that Mike Trout wasn't invited to participate.
Trout, who was named to his second All-Star team, was thought to be a candidate for one of the four slots on the American League's team, but the final spot went to Yoenis Cespedes. The others are Robinson Cano, Prince Fielder and Chris Davis.
Scioscia told Trout over the weekend he preferred that Trout not participate because he thinks the big swings of the derby can wear out a player and create bad swing habits.
"It's grueling for a participant," Scioscia said. "The number of full gorilla swings you take, it's like being on a driving range and hitting 10 buckets of balls. It's tough. I haven't seen someone come away from that Derby and be a better player for it."
Mark Trumbo, who participated in the Home Run Derby last season, said the event had no impact on his second-half slump, and he didn't think concerns about fatigue or poor swing habits should be a factor.
"I think if you get to this level, you should be able to have a decent understanding of what you can do and have some bat control," Trumbo told MLB.com. "In that situation, you're trying to get under some balls. But it shouldn't be terribly hard to adjust out of that. You are going to be sore. If you go far enough, physically you're going to be a little bit tired."
---Former major-league pitcher John Rocker says baseball is more interesting to watch when the players are using steroids.
Rocker acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs while he was with the Atlanta Braves and said after he was done playing that 40 percent to 50 percent of major leaguers were doing the same.
"Honestly, and this may go against what some people think from an ethical standpoint, I think it was the better game," Rocker said on Cleveland's 92.3 The Fan. "At the end of the day when people are paying their $80, $120, whatever it may be, to buy their ticket and come watch that game, it's almost like the circus is in town.
"They are paid to be entertained. They wanna see some clown throw a fastball 101 mph and some other guy hit it 500 feet. That's entertainment. You're paying to be entertained."
Rocker cited the 1998 home-run chase between Sammy Sosa and McGwire as evidence.
"Was there anything more entertaining than 1998 -- I don't care how each man got there -- was there anything more entertaining than 1998?" Rocker said. "Watching Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire chase 61 home runs?"
Rocker's career ended in 2003 after pitching for six seasons with the Braves, Cleveland Indians, Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays.
---New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes is being shopped for offensive help.
CBS Sports reported the Yankees were making Hughes available with designs on landing a middle-of-the-order hitter in return. Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox might be the most affordable power hitter on the market. At 37, he has been steady and his $13.5 million salary comes off the books at the end of the season.
The Yankees are without Derek Jeter for two more weeks, and Mark Teixeira (wrist) and Alex Rodriguez (hip) are not guarantees to play any time soon. Rodriguez is slowing getting back into baseball game action, but he's reportedly facing possible suspension from Major League Baseball for his alleged involvement with a Florida biogenesis lab.
Hughes can become a free agent at the end of the season and is considered a No. 2 or No. 3 starter. However, he's struggled to translate arm talent into consistent results. This season, he's 4-8 with a 4.55 ERA, 78 strikeouts and 25 walks.
Like the White Sox, the Seattle Mariners could have interest in Hughes if they can sign him to a contract extension.
The Mariners might be willing to part with Kendry Morales and the Yankees have a history of dealing with Seattle. The Mariners could also part with former Yankees designated hitter Raul Ibanez.