Bryce Harper is not participating in the All-Star Home Run Derby. He shared his thoughts on the event with reporters last week in officially announcing that he wouldn't take part.
Harper told reporters, including Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes, "I just don’t care for it."
"I just don’t want to, plain and simple. I just don’t really wanna do it," Harper said. "I just want to enjoy my time, sit on the side, and watch it a little bit. I enjoyed watching [Todd] Frazier win it last year, and I just don’t feel like doing it."
Harper did take part in the Derby in Citi Field in 2013, coming in second behind hard-hitting slugger Yoenis Cespedes, but he hasn't participated since.
So Washington Nationals fans will have to settle for the home run hitters who are participating this time around in San Diego's Petco Park if they tune in tonight to watch at 8:00 PM EDT on ESPN (and live on MLB.com).
Here's the field for this year's Derby:
Who are you picking this time around? Todd Frazier, the defending champ? Giancarlo Stanton? Wil Myers? Robinson Cano? Adam Duvall? Corey Seager? Carlos Gonzalez? Mark Trumbo?
We're picking Adam Duvall (is he the 'dark horse' of the field?).
Here's what the Cincinnati Reds' outfielder had to say about participating:
"I like hitting homers, so, I think it will be fun. It will be fun watching all these guys hit some, too, and just to be a part of it, it's pretty awesome, watching it as a kid and just getting an opportunity. So I'm excited."
Regardless of who wins, it should be fun watching players bounce home runs off (or maybe hit them over) the Western Metal Supply Co. building in left field. To be honest, the Home Run Derby isn't really our thing, it's like an extended BP session with a clock/timer, but it will have to do for the baseball-starved among us.
If you are watching, talk about the 2016 Home Run Derby in the comments section below...