No Home Run Derby for Hamilton this year
Rangers slugger would decline invitation to focus on team
Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton won't participate in this season's Home Run Derby as part of the All-Star festivities, even if selected to participate, the outfielder told a Dallas-area radio station, ESPN 103.3 FM, on Tuesday.
Hamilton -- who ranked third among American League outfielders in balloting to start the 81st Midsummer Classic on July 13 in Anaheim, Calif. -- said he had discussed the possibility of participating in the Home Run Derby with his wife and had decided against it.
"I ain't going to mess with it this year if I get voted in," Hamilton said about the Home Run Derby during an interview on "Galloway & Company."
Hamilton, a two-time All-Star, hit a record 28 long balls in the first round of the 2008 Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium, before eventually finishing second to the Twins' Justin Morneau. After hitting 21 homers in the first half of that season, Hamilton hit just 11 the rest of the way.
"I feel like, 'Why mess up a good thing?'" Hamilton told ESPN.com after the Rangers' ninth win in a row on Tuesday. "I've got nothing to prove. It's fun. I would like to do it, but you've got to think about the whole season and the club."
The outfielder, batting .339 entering play Wednesday, has broken out in the month of June, hitting in 17 straight games. So far in June, Hamilton has tallied eight homers to go with 26 RBIs and a .476 average. His club maintains a 3 1/2-game lead over the Angels in the AL West.
Bailey Stephens is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.