DENVER – Now that Mookie Betts is officially named All-Star game holder — along with teammates Freddie Freeman and JD Martinez — seven-time All-Star Bates committed to the first-ever T-Mobile Home Run Derby on July 10 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.
Bates joins Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Seattle’s Julio Rodriguez as the three players who have so far committed to this year’s event.
“You know, the wife. You have to do it,” Bates told me Thursday at Coors Field with a smile. “It’s the last thing I haven’t done, so I’m going to do it. Enjoy it, and we’ll see what happens.”
In the past, Bates has opposed entering the derby because of the amount of swings it requires. But at 30, Bates knows he has to start taking chances while he can.
Bates has accomplished just about everything in the major leagues, from winning the 2018 AL MVP to making seven All-Star Games to winning two World Series rings. Now, the derby will see action for the first time.
Bates’ goal during the event? Enjoy…and as his mother, Diana, told him over the phone when he brought up the idea, it doesn’t end last.
“I am 5-foot-9 (1.70 metres) and weigh 170 pounds (70 kilograms),” Bates recalled. “I don’t think a lot of guys of my size win the Home Run Derby. When I told my mom, she wasn’t amused. He told me, ‘I didn’t raise you to finish last, so the point now is not to finish last’… I don’t think he He would like to see his son lose a lot.
“Bacon ninja. Travel advocate. Writer. Incurable pop culture expert. Evil zombie geek. Lifelong coffee scholar. Alcohol specialist.”