The 2011 MLB All Star Game festivities continue on Monday with the 2011 State Farm Home Run Derby at Chase Field. The contest starts at 5:00pm pacific and will be broadcast live on ESPN and via live online stream at ESPN3.com. The contest features eight sluggers from the American League and National League. The teams are:
The Home Run Derby is sort of like the slam dunk contest during the NBA All Star weekend. It gets the fans fired up and while not much has changed lately in the performances, it's still arguably the funnest event of the All Star Break.
This year Major League Baseball is taking a huge step forward in fan interaction as they will introduce a variety of social media concepts to the Home Run Derby. The league will use Twitter and Facebook to allow participating players and observing players to interact with fans throughout the Derby. It's a big step forward for social media in an officially sanctioned capacity for athletes at a sporting event.
Oakland A's pitcher Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47) will be tweeting during the derby but it remains to be seen if any of the Giants will be around. Brian Wilson (BrianWilson38) can be an entertaining tweeter but he was not on the official list of players tweeting. MLB will have some social media stations that will include laptops, tablets, and cameras for normally non-tweeting players to share their experiences at the Derby. From that we might see some more Giants get involved.
For now, here is the official list of tweeting players at the Derby:
David Ortiz (@davidortiz)
Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19)
Matt Kemp (@TheRealMattKemp)
Heath Bell (@HeathBell21)
Gio Gonzalez (@GioGonzalez47)
Hunter Pence (@HunterPence9)
Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP)
Gaby Sanchez (@GabySanchez215)
Justin Upton (@RealJustinUpton)
C.J. Wilson (@str8edgeracer)
Howie Kendrick (@HKendrick47)
Joel Hanrahan (@hanrahan4457)
There will also be tweets from ESPN's Baseball Tonight crew: @JohnKruk_ESPN, @karlravechespn, @BLarkin_ESPN, @BobbyV_ESPN, @Buster_ESPN, @kurkjian_ESPN and @pedrogomezESPN
Additionally, players will be posting comments and pictures at Facebook through Facebook.com/MLB and Facebook.com/MLBPlayersAssoc. If you send out a tweet or post on Facebook, MLB wants people to use the tag #HRDerby.