What a show last night! I couldn't be happier for my man Justin Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, making the most of his late invite. Humble in his winner's acceptance, he admitted to rooting for Josh Hamilton to knock three more out of the park to add another exclamation point to his fairy tale night. Because there were at least 7 or 8 exclamations for the Comeback Kid, enough to make Elaine Benes jealous. (I can't resist a reference to a top 10 episode with Jake Jarmel and his lack of exclamatory emphasis).
So most people will cry that the true winner wasn't awarded last night. Wah wah all you want. You can't take anything away from his performance. He played by the established rules and outhit Hamilton in the final round 5-3. What does the winner get anyway? A donation check in their name? Big deal.
Nobody's gonna argue that Hamilton won the hearts of America with his performance. For years to come, everyone will fondly recall the magical 1st round where a recovering drug addict made hitting 490 ft. look like child's play. He wrote his own Bill Brasky punchline with his record-setting 28 homers in one round. The whole thing played out like a Greek drama, from his 71-year old American Legion coach grooving balls over the plate to the multiple interruptions during his hot streak, which didn't bother him one iota as he just stepped in and cranked the next pitch he saw. My favorite part came early, right after he stroked his 1st homer. He turned to the catcher, professing what became quite apparent, "This is awesome!" Yes, it was awesome. The only thing he didn't do was blast one out of Yankee Stadium, though he came close. His Bible thumping may seem over the top, but how can you not root for this kid to keep his demons at bay and become the star he was destined to be. I'm sure Disney has already bid on his life story. I'm excited to see what else is in store as his legend grows.
To Josh Hamilton!