Chevrolet Home Run Derby Press Conference
KARL RAVECH: We want to welcome everybody on behalf of Major League Baseball, those certainly in attendance and you can see over here, the men and women in uniform who are part of the celebration Major League Baseball is having called tribute for heroes. The Chevrolet Home Run Derby tonight, 8:00 Eastern on ESPN, ESPN Deportes TV and ESPN radio beginning at 8:00 Eastern time.
Eight players will participate in to night's Chevrolet Home Run Derby for the third year in a row, we have the captains for the American and National League squad; the American League team being led by the five‑time All‑Star and 2011 Home Run Derby Champion, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees; the National League team is led by seven‑time All‑Star and Captain of the home team, David Wright, of the New York Mets.
Both guys determined their teams and they personally invited each of the players to participate. Representing the National League, from the Pittsburgh Pirates is Pedro Alvarez; Michael Cuddyer from the Rockies, and from the Washington Nationals, Bryce Harper.
On the American League side, the defending home run champion Prince Fielder and his son, Jade, and a surprise, Chris Davis is here; and from the Oakland A's, Yoenis Cespedes. You were busy hitting more home runs, Chris?
CHRIS DAVIS: Yeah.
KARL RAVECH: Each of the captains has selected a charity of their choice and they will be hitting for the Home Run Derby. This event will raise a huge amount of money for charity. This year Chevrolet and Major League Baseball will donate $150,000 in the winning captain's charity in his name, a 100,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America in the name of the winning captain and $25,000 to the charity of the captain of the losing team in his name.
The remainder will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America on behalf of Chevrolet and Major League Baseball. And then there's the Gold ball, the total amount of money distributed will be determined by the home runs hit during the competition, Chevrolet and Major League Baseball will combine then to donate $23,000 for every home run hit with a Gold ball, the most the Gold Balls have ever been worth.
The dollar figure was selected to coincide with the EPA‑estimated best in class, 23 miles per gallon highway that the all‑new Chevrolet 2014 Silverado features, the most efficient V‑8 in a pickup. An additional $3,000 will get donated for each non‑Gold Ball home run hit during the Derby.
This is Chevrolet's first Home Run Derby as title sponsor, we are delighted to have them and here is Tim Mahoney, Chevrolet's global chief marketing officer.
TIM MAHONEY: On behalf of Chevrolet we are proud to say that we are affiliated with the Home Run Derby. I think the fact that it's $23,000 for a Gold ball home run is very symptomatic of how it's tied to our all‑new Silverado.
We are using the Home Run Derby here tonight for the national launch of the all‑new Silverado. The other thing that was not covered is besides the monetary donation, we are also happy to provide field refurbishment and that is through our dealers around the country. We support baseball not only at this level, but a very much grass roots level through our Diamonds and Dreams Program. I think that's great. And because you didn't come here to hear me, I just want everyone to have a good evening tonight and I wish all the players good luck.
KARL RAVECH: As Tim just referred to, Major League Baseball and Chevrolet are teaming up to support local REVIVING baseball in Inner City Leagues. We have youngsters from the region and will be pairing them up with a player in tonight's Home Run Derby. The one whose player wins the Derby will receive a $50,000 donation towards a baseball field makeover; and while that youngster is a big winner, everybody will win because the seven others represented will receive $10,000 worth of baseball equipment and uniforms.
Let's reveal the youngsters and who they are paired with tonight.
From the Lower East Side RBI, Daniel Ramirez is paired with Pedro Alvarez.
From Patterson RBI, Edwin Mendez is paired with Michael Cuddyer.
From the Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance RBI, Markk Scralea is paired with Bryce Harper.
From Our Lady of Solace RBI, Elizabeth Travieso is paired with David Wright.
From Mt. Vernon RBI, Kelly Howell is paired with Robinson Cano.
From Hoboken RBI, Jade Bracero is paired with Prince Fielder.
From Essex County RBI, John Lewis Jr. is paired with Chris Davis.
From Jackie Robinson ‑ Jersey City RBI, Joshua Witherspoon is paired with Yoenis Cespedes.
For the third consecutive year, players will be using social media and can Tweet live from the field as well as upload video they shoot from the event, and for players not on Twitter there will be tables set up on the field where you can get on Twitter and you can search with the hashtag #HRDerby.
I want to invite our captains to reveal the charity they have chosen to compete for as well as the order their team will hit in the first round, and since we are at Citi Field, we'll start with David.
DAVID WRIGHT: The charity is very generous, I think that it's only fair that when the National League wins we'll split amongst four up here to choose the charity to go with. I for one do a lot of work with Children's Hospitals and back home in Virginia, and my portion of the money will be going there.
KARL RAVECH: And you're hitting cleanup tomorrow night, so will you hit clean‑up tonight?
DAVID WRIGHT: That's a great question, I haven't given it that much thought. I guess, let's see here, I'll do this off the top of my head right now. Yeah, I'll go fourth since I guess I'm at home. I guess leading off, let's start with the phenom leading off, Bryce Harper, I think that's a good one.
And then we'll go right down the order. Michael is a 2‑hole hitter and we have Pedro batting third, so there's our order right there.
KARL RAVECH: Since you guys are losing, why don't you announce the losing team. First, the charity that you're playing for. (Laughter.)
ROBINSON CANO: It's the first time we are going to use my foundation and we are going to split it with the guys here and my foundation is to help kids in New York, Dominican, and we are going to win and hopefully put on a good show for the fans tonight.
KARL RAVECH: So what's your batting order? Are you going to hit clean‑up? You have about four clean‑up hitters here.
ROBINSON CANO: You know, we are going to get together as a group later and decide. That's how we are going to win, collectively, right.
KARL RAVECH: Sounds like a good idea and who is going to argue with you at this point. Let's get questions and answers.
Q. I want to ask Robinson, what show are you going to have tonight in this Home Run Derby, is your father going to pitch for you again?
ROBINSON CANO: Yeah, my dad is going to pitch tonight and hopefully we are going to put on a good show for the fans.
Q. Anybody can answer this one. Is it a myth or a fact that sometimes participating in this Derby can affect one's swings and batting after the regular season. I just wonder if that's a wive's tale; some truth to that.
KARL RAVECH: Prince, has it affected you in any way?
PRINCE FIELDER: No, because I kind of swing the same way, kind of, anyway's (laughter) it really doesn't mess my swing up at all, actually.
KARL RAVECH: How about you, David?
DAVID WRIGHT: Robinson Cano and Prince seem to be having good years after they have done the Home Run Derby. I don't think so. It's three rounds of BP, and like I said, hopefully we can put on a good show. But I think it's just a myth that it kind of messes with your swing.
Q. First of all, are you surprised of your selection by Robinson, and how proud are you of representing Cuba and Cuban players in this Derby; a little disappointed that Yasiel (Puig) isn't here?
YOENIS CESPEDES: I'm very proud to be here and proud to represent all of the Latin players. It would be nice if Yasiel could be here, as well.
Q. I guess this is not for David, but for those of you who perhaps have not played in Citi Field, have you looked at the dimensions of the field and started thinking about what you're going to shoot for, what part of the fences?
ROBINSON CANO: We all know that this is a big ballpark, but you've just got to go out there and just try to put on a good.
KARL RAVECH: You looking to go down the line?
ROBINSON CANO: Well, that's a good way, down the line, that's the shortest part of the field. (Laughter.)
KARL RAVECH: There's generally not a ballpark that you can't hit a ball out of, no?
BRYCE HARPER: Miami. (Laughter.)
Q. Chris, you've been the odds‑on favorite from a couple different web sites to win this thing tonight; is there pressure on you, and anyone else, just talk about the season Chris is having, and seeing him break his bat with a home run hit to the opposite field; do you marvel at what he's doing this year?
CHRIS DAVIS: I don't feel like there's any pressure on me to win it. I think just like everybody else, I want to put on a good show and I want the fans to really have a good time and enjoy it. We played here last year. I don't really remember it very much. It was a three‑game series. But like Robbie said, it's a big ballpark but for us we just want to put on a good show for the fans.
KARL RAVECH: Anyone have any thoughts on what Chris has done this year? You're just shaking your heads; fine, we kind of all do that. No one's impressed, Chris. (Laughter.)
CHRIS DAVIS: (Nods head in agreement.
Q. Growing up, did you ever watch this event and was there any particular Derby that stuck out to you?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: Yeah, I used to watch this event every year. I used to love watching it, and to me, the one that sticks out is the Home Run Derby in Milwaukee where it looked like everybody was just blasting balls away. Pretty impressive.
KARL RAVECH: A lot of people like the Fenway Park one, as well, for memories.
Q. Can you discuss the decision to add Yoenis to the team, considering he's not part of the All‑Star squad?
ROBINSON CANO: I asked the guys, and they wasn't available, and I said, let me choose somebody that's not in the All‑Star so he can get an opportunity to be here. He accepted, I called and asked him, and he said yes.
KARL RAVECH: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.