By Matt Furtado/KHTK Sports 1140

With All-Star week over for Major League Baseball, there were clear winners and losers.

Typically during an MLB All-Star week, there’s primarily losers just because it’s hard to keep fans attention with the dragged out home run derby and the non-competitive All-Star game.

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This year was different. The actual game was pretty much the same as it has been, but the home run derby added a much needed shot of competitiveness.

Here are All-Star week’s winners and losers:

Winners:

1. Major League Baseball- That’s right, the entire league won this week. The aforementioned home run derby stole the show during the break. The new format of the home run derby kept viewers interested throughout the entire event. With the hitters having just four minutes to hit as many home runs as possible, it created a sense of urgency and even last second drama.

In years past, hitters were accustomed to taking pitch after pitch after pitch. One hitter could be up at the plate for 10-15 minutes. The entire event before the timed rounds would last four to five hours. The timed rounds mixed with the bracket format kept the derby at an enjoyable pace.

With a couple minor tweaks in the years to come, the home run derby can be turned into something fans look forward to each year.

2. Todd Frazier- The Cincinnati Reds third baseman took advantage of his opportunity to put on a show in front of his home crowd. There hasn’t been much for Frazier to be excited about this season. His team is eight games under .500 and 15 and a half games out of first place.

Monday night was probably the biggest adrenaline rush for the All-Star third baseman. He was lucky to bat second in each round, but it was also best for the crowd in Cincinnati. His last second home run in the first and last round added a sense of excitement never seen in a home run derby.

3. Mike Trout’s Garage- For the second straight year the superstar for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim was named the All-Star MVP. What does that mean? Well not much except that the MVP gets awarded a new car from Chevrolet.

Two years in a row Trout has been award a new car. Does he need a new car? Of course not. He’s a millionaire and can probably walk up to any car lot and throw cash on the table and walk out with whatever car he wants, but hey, who’s going to turn down a free car.

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It would be nice if he gave the free car to someone in need of a new one, but for now, it will sit in Trout’s ever growing garage.

Losers:

Fans of Albert Pujols- If your a fan of the future hall of fame first baseman, there hasn’t been much to be disappointed about during his career. Monday night during the home run derby Pujols looked old. We all know he’s having an absolutely incredible year, and there’s no sign of him slowing down, but the way he looked in the derby gave glimpses of what is coming in the near future.

The slugger’s swing was changing pitch by pitch to make up for the fatigue. He constantly switched between a toe tap and a leg lift and if you know Pujols, you know his patent toe touch never changes. Almost every swing varied between a one and two handed follow through. At one point, Pujols was falling out of the box and having a tough time hanging on to the bat.

Maybe the new format just didn’t work with his age, but it was sad to see Pujols have such a hard time staying consistent. The home run derby isn’t anything to over-analyze. The first baseman is an MVP candidate this year, but the derby just showed unwelcoming signs of old-age.

The World Series- Once again, home field advantage for the World Series was determined by the All-Star game. It doesn’t matter which teams are playing in the World Series come November, the American League team is going to have home field advantage yet again.

Home field advantage doesn’t play as much of a role as one would think; the San Francisco Giants proved that last year, but it’s a bit ridiculous to have an exhibition game change circumstances of the World Series.

Cincinnati- This is more of a split-decision for the city. On one hand, they won for the simple fact of hosting the All-Star game. The attention was solely on Cincinnati for this week.

That’s awesome to have all the attention of your city, but on the other hand, now they have to go back to cheering for the city’s struggling team. The momentary shot of excitement and joy is over for the city.

The Reds aren’t a horrific team, but in a division with the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and even the Chicago Cubs, a playoff run is far out of the question. I’m sure it was nice to get away from meaningless baseball for a few days in Cincinnati, but now it’s back to reality and possibly even seeing some of their stars being traded away in the weeks to come

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