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Registration Is Open: 2021 Kings of Cork Home Run Derby

It’s Back!!!! Professional Baseball is back!!!

2020 is a year to remember but also forget. I watched maybe a total of 2 baseball games once the season started in July partly due to not being interested in a 60 game season and partly due to picking up the family and moving across state lines.

The issue with taking a year “off” from baseball is that I completely lost track of what players did what and what rookies got called up and what players retired. So after straightening all that out, I have finally developed the Home Run Derby Groups for 2021.

For those that have played in the past, the rules remain the same. So head on over to the entry form page and submit your entry for 2021!

(Note: ESPN changed their format once again, so I will have some work to do to get the standings functioning for 2021 but I’ll make sure they function but it may be limited to a daily refresh instead of a ‘live’ update as home runs are hit. So stay tuned)

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Kings of Cork: 2021 Home Run Derby Will Be Back

It’s official. We will be back for the 2021 MLB baseball season and be bringing you more Home Run excitement! Please check back in mid-late February for the 2021 Home Run Derby Entry Form.

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Kings of Cork Home Run Derby in Quarantine

Stupid Corona Virus!… It’s one thing to make everyone sick, but it’s another thing to steal ALL of our sports. What are we supposed to do during a 2 week quarantine? Sit and talk to our family members… booooorrrrring… This does confirm one thing though, Baseball isn’t for the spectators; it’s definitely for MLB owner profits. If it was for the spectators, we would still have a season that is fully televised but no fans in attendance. Instead, there won’t be enough revenue due to no ticket sales or concession sales, so we can’t have any baseball.

Since there is no baseball, I thought I’d post a small update about our little competition. I’m going to put a halt on accepting payment for any entries for now. With MLB announcing a start date more likely in May and possibly even June, there is no point in starting a competition until an official announcement of a season start date is made. I won’t take down the entry form or the groupings, so if you still want to submit a temporary entry or research player groupings, feel free to do so. I will accept changes to any entries up until the first official MLB game starts. I do reserve the right to change some player groupings now that it’s unknown what player statuses are. Odds are that I will not change the groupings unless something major happens.

Until then, enjoy your quarantine and You can find old game replays or even radio broadcasts from baseball games in the 1930s if you need a baseball fix.

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Kings of Cork: 2020 Home Run Derby Entry Form

It’s official! I have banned all active Houston Astros and all Astros from the 2017 season from playing in the 2020 Home Run Derby. If the real Commish won’t do anything about the cheating, then this Commish will. That’s right, if you are a member of the Houston Astros, I will NOT accept your 2020 Kings of Cork entry form. You are officially banned from this contest for a full season. But what I won’t do is punish the other contestants of Kings of Cork for your Trash Can Banging. Every other manager will still be able to select Houston Astros from the player groups and collect their 2020 home run totals and use you to collect the coveted Home Run Crown. So continue to use your Code Breaking system, Trash Cans, and buzzing band-aids to hit numerous home runs, they just won’t do you any good in collecting the most elite title in the world, The King/Queen of Cork! (Who am I kidding, the Astros would scoff at our contest. Cheating is earning them seven figures a year…)

Now for the real news…

Kings of Cork is back for another season! Not just ANY season… our 10th season! 10 Years. That’s crazy. I only started this because a couple yahoo of friends wanted to keep being degenerate low value gamblers when our other host shutdown (we don’t do it for the money, we do it for the pride and ego of beating each other). We started with 38 teams and struggled to hit 100 for several years. Now we have consistently been at 100 teams for the past few seasons (even after missing the 2017 season, which I knew was tainted by the Astros…) I wouldn’t keep doing it if it weren’t for you guys/gals. You keep pressuring me and driving me to continue to do it. So thank you. I enjoy doing this as long as you keep playing and nagging me to do it (I got a lot of grief in 2018 when I didn’t run it).

Just like seasons past, prizes and group flights will be determined based on how many teams enter this season. I really wanted to shake things up this season being it’s a milestone of 10 seasons. Maybe with some modified rules or increased prizes, but I keep looking back at the wide variety, group of people I have playing and realize that the simple rules and low stakes is just too hard to walk away from. Being able to remember all the players you selected makes watching sports highlights a little more interesting at night. Having to remember 15-20 player names makes it more like a managing a fantasy roster and having to pull up a list to remember what stats you care about. So let’s keep it simple, at least for another season.

For all those who are returning, rules are basically the same… Pick 5 players. 1 from each group. Hit the most home runs. You win! The only change was that due to the 10day IL change from last season, I decided to move the trade date from 20 consecutive days without a plate appearance to 14 consecutive days. That means the penalty for injured players is not as steep in previous seasons as you will lose only 1/2 a month of Home Run totals before you can trade that player for a new one.

For those that are new, go check out the rules here. They aren’t too complex.

I feel like this season I put 150 MLB player names in a hat and randomly pulled them out into groups. I’m not kidding… Unlike years past where you had the staples at the top: Pujols, Bautista, Braun, Tulo, A-Rod, now I’m not sure I have a group that has more than 5 returning players in it from the 2019 season. It’s kind of interesting to think about why. Basically every player is now capable of hitting 30 homers and maybe one will hit 50… and that single player won’t even be on any list of projected 30 home run players. It’s like every season is 2010 (our first season) when Jose Bautista showed up out of nowhere and hit 53 homers. Now look at him, unemployed and looking to come back as a two-way player. Where will Alonso end up this season? Will he be staying in Group A in 2021 or back to the basement? These are great reminders that this contest isn’t won in Group A… It’s won in Group C through E, but can easily be lost in Group A.

And with that, without further ado, the 2020 Home Run Derby Groups: The Official 2020 Entry Form

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Coming Soon: Kings of Cork 2020 Home Run Derby

Great news! The 2020 Kings of Cork Home Run Derby groups are being finalized and will be announced in the first week of March.

The Bad News… Kings of Cork is banning the use of trash can lids for 2020.

Be on the look out for an email announcing the release of the 2020 entry form.

Good Luck!

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How About A May Update… Near The End Of May

You can tell the weather is warming up… Lawn mowers are roaring, birds are chirping, more hitters are hitting homers, and my updates are more spread apart. I’ve been slacking in the update department. And now it’s almost the end of May and you are finally getting the announcement of the April Winner.

Well, that April Winner was Keep Trying. Their team ended up hitting 46 homers in the month of April (and a few days in March)… 46!!! That is the most any team has ever hit in a single month since we have gone to monthly payouts. The previous record was 45 in May of 2015. Followed by 43 as the 2nd most, which is incredible because there were 5 total teams (including the winner) that hit 43 or more this April.

Each of those teams had either Yelich in Group C or Bellinger in Group B. None of the Top-5 teams had both. There are 2 teams that own both of the MLB HR “leaders”, Too High? and Fran-tastic Five. Both sit comfortably in the top-20, one in the top-10.

Several teams have tried to catch on to the early fire that Pete Alonso sparked. He is available as a write-in and currently leads Group E with 16 homers (although, no team has credit for all 16 of them).

The month of May seems to have cooled off some of the hot starts by certain players. But one thing hasn’t changed, Group A is still a full blown Hospital wing. Judge is still on the IL, Stanton just started a rehab assignment, Khris Davis is headed to the IL tonight, and Nelson Cruz is on the IL. If you didn’t select one of those players, consider yourself lucky and cross your fingers that Group A is done with the injury bug.

The current leader in the month of May is Claim Crushers with 30 homers. They currently sit in the top-5 overall standings as well. Just behind them in May and the Overall standings is The 20 Somethings Have It. They have 26 in the month of May and sit in 5th in the Overall Standings. Such a clever name and riding the wave of young players with an average team age of 26. In case you didn’t know, they say that hitters break out at 27yrs old. Chicks Dig The Long Ball is just in front of The 20 Somethings Have It and it may lead to a domestic disbute depending on how the month ends. And in 2nd for the month of May thus far is I found myself a homer, a first time participant and making a run at a monthly payout.

Speaking of payouts, I have finalized the payout structure again for 2019. Head over to the Rules page to check it out. I will flight the payouts again to make the lengthy season fun for all, but it still pays to finish in the top-10.

That’s all for now. I’ll post another one shortly about fun things that happened in the past month of baseball. Some pretty good links coming your way, so be on the lookout.

Eye’m Back To Full Strength

(And any college hockey fan chants back: “That’s Debatable!”)

It’s crazy how fast living organisms can heal (not just limited to the Human body). Any eye gauge from my son left me completely useless for 2 days, followed by 2 days of a patch and blurred vision, followed by 2 days of sunglasses for light sensitivity, and now here I am, finally getting around to a Home Run Derby update! (Because I’m definitely not going outside to shovel the snow)

Because I’ve been laid up for a week, my news is going to be up to 2 weeks old, so you may have heard some of this by now. But here it goes!

Interesting Links for the end of April:

  • Is Yelich for Realz?!?! – Yelich did it! He has tied the record for most home runs in the first month of the season with 14! He ties Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez (and now Cody Bellinger who also hit his 14th today). That’s pretty good company. Some may ask, why do teams keep pitching to him??? Well, I don’t know why, but as a Brewer fan, I sure am glad they continue to. In fact, for at least a little while, Yelich officially owned the Cardinals, according to Wikipedia (which we ALL know is a reliable source for facts). Unfortunately his HR outbreak in April has made my C-group completely lopsided.
  • Tiger is also back! – I warned you my news might be old. What you may not have known is that I’m an avid golfer (near a scratch golfer in my prime). And Tiger came into the professional golf world during my childhood era (I watched him at the ’96 GMO where he had his first professional hole-in-one), which brought more kids out to the golf course than ever before. Seeing him win a Major tournament again brought back a bunch of memories of his dominance. Hopefully it creates a spark for golf again that gets the sport back into the younger generations.
  • Wisconsin gambler wins $1.2Million on Tiger – Sorry, not baseball related. But interesting sports related story none-the-less. A man from Wisconsin, who never has placed a sports bet in his life, flew to Las Vegas before the Masters. Placed $85k on Tiger to win the masters. And we all know that that happened, so this man collected the 16:1 odds paycheck of $1.4Million. I’d say it’s been a pretty good month for gamblers in Wisconsin.
  • Joey Votto finally succeeded in popping out to 1B – It took 6,828 career at-bats in the MLB, but Joey Votto finally did something he had never done before… He popped out to the first baseman. That stat is unbelievable. How can anyone go almost 7000 at-bats without popping out to every position?!?!
  • What type of vanity does Blake Snell own?! – Blake Snell (who just got back from the 10day IL) was apparently moving a bathroom vanity after taking a shower and the bottom pedestal, made of granite, fell on his foot breaking his toe. It’s nice to know that even sports stars have freak accidents like us normal folk (now I don’t feel so bad about my eye gouge).
  • Carlos Zambrano is making a comeback!!! – I hope the big guy makes it back to the Majors. How can we not look forward to more dugout tantrums. WARNING: All Gatorade dispensers better be on high alert for this dangerous and armed man.
  • Yu Darvish plays pinball – Darvish threw a fastball that got a little too far inside. It then hit the batter, ricocheted and hit the catcher, and then hit the ump. Almost as rare as picking up a 7-10 split.
  • The BlueJays lost track of the count – And it lead to the weirdest pickoff you may see in 2019. After Drury got ball 3 on a 2-2 count, he thought he had drawn a walk and started heading towards first base. That lead to Teoscar Hernandez to start heading for second base. Well, it wasn’t long before they figured out their mistakes but it was too late for Teoscar to get back to first. I think Drury deserves an assist for that PO.
  • And finally, Vlad Jr has made his debut – Thanks to all the MLB service time manipulations, Vlad Jr. was stuck in the minor leagues. But he has finally been freed. And I’ve never seen a prospect get a standing ovation for 1 AB, let alone every AB in his first MLB game. It gave me goosebumps watching him get his first hit with his old man watching. It was only earlier that day that his dad gave him an amazing message for his son which sent goosebumps down baseball fans/fathers everywhere.

Week (3 and) 4 Kings of Cork Recap:

  • It’s fun seeing a couple newbies near the top of the leader board. I hope it gets them hooked. But it’s also great to see some ‘originals’ finally near the top. I’m looking at you Keep Trying, Maybe This Year, FRANtastic Five!, Not sure why I bother, Too High?, and Nana and me. These teams have not performed the best in the past few seasons, but they have stuck with it and this may be their year (channel your inner Cubs Fan with that saying).
  • We also have 2 past time champs just lurking outside the top-10 (still 10 homers behind the leader though). The Flying Aces (2016) and Mayer’s Mashers (2013) are doing their best to stay in the race to be the first repeat champion.
  • For the first time that I can recall… ever… we had a team hit 5 homers. Now the 5 homers part isn’t that rare. I believe we have had more than 5 by a team in a single day before. No, what made this rare was that every single player on their team hit a home run. Yes, Halfy’s Wallbangers had their Group A, B, C, D, and E players all hit a home run yesterday, April 27th. That is a feat in itself but helped propel them into the top-10 as well.
  • Week 3 (April 14 – 20) was still early enough to have some significant movement in the standings in just days. The Flying Aces showed its possible to jump 70+ places in a week. 72 in fact, thanks to 20 homers in 7 days. No thanks to their top-2 picks which still have 0 homers. But the bottom of their lineup with Yelich, Ozuna, and Rosario are carrying the 2016 champ towards the top. We also had 3 teams move 40+ places (Let’s play two, JB’s Monster Mash, and Big Time Timmy Jim). And another 9 teams move 30+ positions.
  • BUT, the major movement seems to have subsided in week 4 where we only had 5 teams move more than 20+ positions in the standings. Only one team topped the 30 spot jump which was Homer’s Homers with a jump of 36 positions from 96th to 60th. I’m sure Arenado waking up helped along with Story and Suarez finding their home run stick again in 2019. The other 4 teams: Let’s Play 2 and Let’s Play Two both moved 24 spots with 9 home runs last week (what are the odds of those two teams doing that?!?! They only have Arenado and their team names in common), There’s Always Next Year moved 23 spots with 8 homers, and the Crazy Cat Lady jumped 21 positions with 8 home runs.

It seems like the home runs have slowed down in week 4. Maybe the pitchers are finally finding their groove? Maybe the MLB dialed back on their juiced balls? Maybe hitters have shown their new holes in their swings for 2019? Whatever it is, I’m hoping it doesn’t hit my team for week 5.

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Group Selection Statistics 2019

What is going on with the MLB in 2019?!?! The Rays are 9-3 leading the AL East (they have the lowest payroll in 2019) and the Red Sox (defending WS champions) are on the bottom at 3-9. The Mariners are supposed to be rebuilding in 2019 but are 13-2 and have hit the most Home Runs by any team in the first 12 games of the season: 32. And they now own the MLB record for opening a season with 15 straight games with a homer. The Dodgers tried to match them when they opened the season with at least one home run in their first 10 games. And Khris Davis already has 9 homers. I don’t think we have to worry about a home run drought in 2019.

Here are things I have found interesting since the beginning of the season:

Now, moving on to our regularly scheduled programming: Who Chose Who in this year’s Home Run Derby!

Group A
The only surprise from this group is how evenly spread out the choices were. I mean, there were only 4 players to get selected by non-double digit numbers. And they were low totals (1 or 2 people). That tells me that there is no real favorite this year unlike years past where 50+ teams would choose Albert Pujols. Then it was Jose Bautista. But there was no obvious choice and it’s too bad that the man mad of glass, Giancarlo, is already injured. I didn’t think he would play all season, but I didn’t expect him to go down within a week of the season starting. And now Trout is out with a groin strain for an unknown period of time. That’s 48 teams without an A-player for a while. Of the Group A players selected, there are 2 with goose eggs still. No surprise that one is Gaincarlo, but the other is newly paid Arenado. I thought the air was thin in Denver, but the ball hasn’t been flying out for him this year. There is plenty of time, so don’t freak out… yet.

Group A
Player Selected
Giancarlo Stanton 26
Mike Trout 22
Khris Davis 19
Aaron Judge/JD Martinez 13
Nolan Arenado 12
Nelson Cruz/Joey Gallo 2
Rhys Hoskins/Max Muncy 1
Josh Donaldson/Edwin Encarnacion 0

Group B
The next couple groups are where things get weird. For the first time that I can remember, group B has 3 players selected in double digits. And there are 7 out of 18 players that got 0 selections (Bruce, C. Davis, Dozier, Duvall, Frazier, Lindor, Sano). And one of them, Jay Bruce has the most homers in the group at 7 (tied with Bellinger). Harper is the clear favorite with the group. I just don’t think he stays healthy and he has only hit more than 30 homers twice. Goldy is proving to be a nice bounce back candidate with 6 homers already. It will be interesting to see if the year is won or lost with group B. The 6 teams with Bellinger could all finish in the top 10 if the 3 popular choices don’t perform.

Group B
Player Selected
Bryce Harper 37
Paul Goldschmidt 20
Trevor Story 19
Jose Ramirez 7
Manny Machado/Cody Bellinger/Jesus Aguilar 6
Travis Shaw 4
Kyle Schwarber 3
Justin Upton 2
Matt Olson 1

Group C
Another group oddity where over half of the managers chose 1 of 4 players out of 34 selections. The reigning NL MVP was the most popular choice, but even being a Brewer fan, I don’t believe he hits 30 HR this year. I hope he proves me wrong and the Brewers make the playoffs again, but his August and September in 2018 were unreal. He had me questioning the Group C position after homering in the first 4 Brewer games, but he has been quiet from the home run side of things since then. Blackmon is another Colorado hitter yet to hit a homer and he is one of the 4 popular choices. Group C tends to be the selection that a player breaks out and carries 1-2 teams to the top of the standings. Unfortunately, it won’t be due to the current leader of group C, Gary Sanchez, who has 6 homers (thanks to 3 in 1 game) since no manager selected him.

Group C
Player Selected
Christian Yelich 23
Mookie Betts 18
Kris Bryant 13
Charlie Blackmon 11
Mike Moustakas 9
Ronald Acuna 8
Eugenio Suarez 6
Anthony Rizzo/Jose Abreu 4
Javier Baez 3
Freddie Freeman/Randal Grichuk/
Juan Soto/Joey Votto
Michael Conforto/Hunter Renfroe/
Domingo Santana/George Springer

Group D
And again, a group where half of the managers chose 1 of 3 players out of 35 choices. Alex Bregman got paid this off-season, but he is sitting on a single homer for 29 managers. Matt Carpenter turned around an AWFUL April/May of 2018 to dominate the rest of the 2018 season. He’s starting slow again in 2019, so maybe there will be a bit of Deja-Vu. Yasiel Puig is on a new team (and already suspended for fighting) but has yet to hit a home run. Mitch Moreland leads the group with 5 homers but got 0 selections. The 2nd best in Group D is a veteran: Adam Jones. He got signed about 3 weeks before the season started. Now he is raking for the D-Backs with 4 homers in 48 ABs. Of the 35 choices, 14 had 0 selections. Not surprising due to most of them being injured or unsigned. I just never know in January who will be signed, on a starting lineup, or on the injured list. So some groups end up with fewer ‘available’ choices once the season begins.

Group D
Player Selected
Alex Bregman 27
Matt Carpenter 19
Yasiel Puig 13
Marcell Ozuna 7
CJ Cron/Paul Dejong 5
Miguel Cabrera/Adam Jones 4
Matt Adams/Ryan Braun/Robinson Cano/
Carlos Correa/Rougned Odor/Carlos Santana
Matt Davidson/Gleyber Torres 2
Rafael Devers/Maikel Franco/
Ryon Healy/Albert Pujols/Ryan Zimmerman

Group E
My favorite group! I love group E. A player will come out of nowhere and outperform everyone but maybe a Group A player. One year it was Jose Bautista. Another year it was Trevor Story. Last year it was Christian Yelich and Matt Carpenter at 36HR (Aguilar had 35HR in Group E last year). So who will it be in 2019?! It’s rarely ever a write-in. Which isn’t good news for 17 teams that chose to go off the available list. This year there were more ‘common’ write-ins than in years past. What I mean is that multiple write-ins had 4 managers write them in: David Dahl, Franmil Reyes, and Eloy Jimenez. One very interesting write-in was Luke Voit from the Yankees. He already has 4 homers which is 2nd most only behind Trey Mancini who has 6 (yes, 2 managers chose Mancini!). Only one player had double digit selections. Eddie Rosario who was a breakout player in 2018 got 12 selections. Even more remarkable is that there were only 11 out of 46 players who received 0 selections. That’s fewer than Group D with even more players to choose from. I can’t wait until Group E is won by someone not currently on the list, because it usually ends up that way.

Group E
Player Selected
Eddie Rosario 12
Miguel Andujar/Matt Chapman 9
Daniel Murphy 7
Andrew McCutchen 6
Yasmani Grandal 5
Teoscar Hernandez/Stephen Piscotty/
David Dahl/Franmil Reyes/Eloy Jimenez
Nick Castellanos/Enrique Hernandez/Evan Longoria/
David Peralta/Anthony Rendon/Justin Turner
Willson Contreras/Aaron Hicks/
Trey Mancini/Scott Schebler/Corey Seager
Josh Bell/Asdrubal Cabrera/Eduardo Escobar/
Scooter Gennett/Alex Gordon/Mitch Haniger/
Nomar Mazara/Troy Tulowitzki/Max Kepler/
Luke Voit/Ryan McMahon/DJ LeMahieu

So, there you have it. The 2019 selection statistics. There were 0 duplicate team selections this year which isn’t unusual, but I do find it surprising with how many ‘common’ choices were chosen in 4 of the groups. I thought there would be at least 1 duplicate team.

Finally, just keep an eye on the Injured List at the bottom of the standings. If your player hits 21 consecutive days without a plate appearance, just send me an email if you would like to use your 1-time trade for the 2019 season. I try to remind teams, but I don’t always get out in front of the trade availability date.

Good Luck!

2019 Has Started Like 2018 Ended

Welcome Back to Real Baseball!!! The snow is gone (for most of us). The weather is warming up (well, it’s warmer than it was). And baseball is back on the television. As usual, I spent Opening Day watching the chaos. You may ask, ‘Which Opening Day are you talking about’. Yes, 2019 technically started a week ago. And, Yes… I did wake up at 4am to watch the Japan Series where Oakland and Seattle put on a great opening 2 game series. K-hris Davis continued to Mash like it was 2018. The only down side of the Japan Series was watching Matt Olson go down due to a hand fracture that needed surgery. But back to Opening Day. The “REAL” Opening Day. I love what MLB baseball has done the past couple years. All teams play on Day 1, and All teams play game 162 on the same day to end the season. Talk about baseball overload!!!

Let’s talk about some of the highlights you may have missed or want to re-live before I give you the 2019 HR Derby breakdown.

  • Yelich is playing like its the 2nd half of 2018 – Christian Yelich is the first MVP to hit a home run in the first 4 games the season after winning MVP honors. He’s the 6th player to do it regardless of the previous season. I’ll be honest, I don’t think he hits 30 homers this season. He hit 21 in Aug/Sept last season. That’s the streak he is riding. He’s in Group C because I do all my groupings based on historical statistics. Not just 1 season. But he is on pace for 162 homers and his way to Group A in 2020. And 23 of you don’t care what my stats say. You have him hitting many more than 30 all the way to the top of the standings.
  • Khris Davis is going to lead the league in homers and hit 0.247 for the 5th straight season – Or that’s what he is making it look like after the first weekend. To be fair, he has played 2 more games than most other players, but he still shares the league lead in homers with 4. He’s an ex-Brewer so it’s nice to see him preform so well, but I can’t help but think what it would look like to have him back in the Brewer lineup the past few years. Oh that’s right, the NL doesn’t have a DH. Down with the DH!!! But for 19 of you, you are loving the A’s DH. He’s really the only one in Group A even performing after the first weekend. In fact, 73 other managers don’t even have a home run from Group A yet. Me included.
  • Players got paid prior to 2019 – We all knew that Harper and Machado were getting big paychecks, but no one saw Newton’s Third Law coming. The rest of MLB management decided to use this slow offseason as leverage to lock up a lot of you players… 22 of you have Trout, the 12-year, $430Million man (Last week’s Powerball winner is the only one that can laugh at that), Chris Sale is getting $145Mil over 5 years, DeGrom got 5 years at $138Mil, Goldy gets $130Mil over 5 years (20 picks from Group C), Bregman got 6 years at $100Mil (along with 27 picks from Group D), Eloy Jimenez hadn’t even played in the Majors and he got $43Mil over 6 years (he also got picked by 4 HR Derby managers). It sounds like Bogaerts is about to get a pay day as well after 3 days into the season. This is very, very good for baseball. As a fan, I was tired of seeing overpaid free agency. What was worse was when players weren’t getting paid at all (really, $10Mil for Moose… that’s crazy) and the best are left watching from home (Kimbrel and Keuchel remain unsigned). Free Agency might be boring as the years roll on, but the trades should be better and hopefully games become more affordable since fans don’t have to pay for Pujols type contracts.
  • The Dodgers broke an opening day home run record with 8 – You read that correctly. Eight homers in a single day, on Opening Day = Another Home Run record broken in 2019 already. Six different players pitched in, including Muncy from Group A (Only 1 happy HR Derby Manager), Bellinger from Group B who now has 4 homers (6 happy HR Derby managers), Corey Seager from Group E (2 happy managers), Joc Pederson from Group C hit 2 and has 3 total (No happy managers), and Enrique Hernandez hit 2 for Group E (3 happy managers). All of those homers lead to 12 runs on Opening Day. Two days later, they dropped 18 runs on the D-Backs and Russel Martin pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning to end the game. Yup, we already had a position player throw an inning in 2019.
  • Goldy hit 3 homers in a game – That should put the Cardinal fans’ minds at ease. Many may have been worried about the money being tossed around for a 1B not named Albert Pujols. But on Friday, Goldy smashed 3 homers to get the Cardinals their first (and only) win of 2019. He didn’t wait long to hit his 4th home run and share of the lead in Group B. Who knows, maybe that switch to a better division is going to boost is overall numbers and take him to an even more elite status.
  • The MLB Seniors Club is swatting Big Flies in 2019 – Some one might want to tell the MLB veterans that it isn’t 2010 anymore. Adam Jones has 2 home runs (4 managers chose him in Group D) which is crazy considering he hasn’t been with the team for more than 3 weeks. McCutchen has 2 homers which have 6 HR Derby managers ecstatic in Group E. Longoria and Troy Tulowitzki both have a homer (3 chose Longo, 1 chose Tulo). Hanley Ramirez even has a homer. I don’t think he even had an MLB at-bat in 2018.

There have already been more story lines in the last 4 days that I can even keep up with. The important ones are that the Yankees and Red Sox are at the bottom of their division, the Royals are leading the Central, the Mariners who are in rebuild mode are 5-1, the Phillies haven’t lost yet after spending all their money, the Padres are 3-1 leading the West, and most importantly, the Brewers are the only NL central team above 0.500. But the season is early. There are going to be many more story lines to follow. I’ll try to post more links and keep you up to date on stories as I can. But, don’t get too excited. Summer is coming which means I go absent on the site but at a minimum I will keep the Derby going.

Next up: An entire recap of the Kings of Cork Home Run Derby selections.

Category: Baseball News, Home Run Derby  Comments off

2019 Home Run Derby is Open For Business

Welcome back! Can you believe it’s the 9th season of Kings of Cork. It’s been a fun ride to get here and things have changed. But, even though the site isn’t as active as it once was, the 1 thing that has been constant is the Home Run Derby. Unfortunately, I’m getting a bit of a later start than usual. (I blame it on Harper dragging out Free Agency). And you, the fans, have made me well aware of that. There have been whispers and some clamoring about whether there would be a HR Derby this year.

But fear not, I have returned and I bring you the 2019 Home Run Derby Groups and more importantly:
The 2019 Home Run Derby Entry Form.

I’m not going to try to pull the wool over your eyes. Most of you know the drill and the tricks I play, but this year, just like last, you will not see an extension to the entry deadline. You have until March 25th at 6pm CT to submit an entry. After that, you will have to wait another year.

The rules haven’t changed. I mean, why fix what isn’t broke (plus, my creativity juices aren’t flowing). And the prizes and flights will again be determined after we finalize all the entries.

The entry form has links to all the players. I’ve tried to note which players who are still unsigned, who are stuck in the minors, and who are currently injured. But I’m not perfect. So it’s up to you to do the research and make sure you chose the best team.

After all of this record snow and cold this winter, I’m ready for some sun and baseball. Spring Training is in full swing, and its only a couple weeks until real baseball is back. So head on over to the entry form and start picking a team.

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