Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Peña knocked out in first round of All-Star home run derby

ST. LOUIS — Prince Fielder was the home run king at Monday's derby, but Rays first baseman Carlos Peña had the best time.

"Wow, what an experience," Peña said. "I did not think this was going to be so much fun. That was incredible. I had the time of my life."

Peña hatched a plan to have Rays batting practice pitcher Scott McNulty work him outside so he could hit the ball to left-center, as he normally does in batting practice.

It worked well enough that he hit five in the first round, then advanced to a "swing-off" with Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols for the final spot in the second round, but he hit only one more as Pujols advanced.

"We were contemplating doing it the traditional way and pull everything to rightfield, but after a couple swings in batting practice, we said, 'Okay, scratch that, that's not what we're used to doing. Let's just drive the ball the other way and the adrenaline will get it out there,' " Peña said.

"I was very confident that I had the power to do that. After the first one, I'm like, 'Okay, I got this.' Now it was all about making the right kind of contact, which proved to be extremely difficult. It was not as easy as I thought it was going to be."

Fielder beat Texas' Nelson Cruz in the final; Pujols and Ryan Howard were in the second round.

"I'm glad I got to do that," Peña said.

Tampa Bay Rays' Carlos Peña knocked out in first round of All-Star home run derby 07/13/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 14, 2009 7:11am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays vs. Blue Jays: Looking to make it 2 in a row

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 5:52: Cash said the off-day should have done the Rays good after losing 12 of their last 16 games and 20 of their last 30, with just one day off in that stretch:

    Chris Archer will be on the mound for the Rays.
  2. Commissioner Manfred to visit Trop Wednesday for Rays-Blue Jays

    Blogs

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is slated to be at the Trop on Wednesday.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is slated to be at the Trop on Wednesday.
  3. Bucs running back's gamble pays off for his mom

    Bucs

    TAMPA — When Peyton Barber decided to leave Auburn after his sophomore year, with only one season as a starting running back, it was a risky decision, one he hoped would let him help out his family back home in suburban Atlanta.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber (43) takes the field with an American flag before a preseason game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  4. Armwood vs. Tampa Bay Tech teeming with Division I-A talent

    Footballpreps

    Armwood High School strong safety Caleb Sutherland (18) breaks a tackle to score a pick-six during the Spring Football Jamboree in Seffner, Fla. on Thursday, May 18, 2017.
  5. Bucs bring back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete

    Bucs

    Just 12 days before the NFL makes its final cuts, the Bucs have added another position battle, signing back long snapper Andrew DePaola to compete with veteran Garrison Sanborn.

    Andrew DePaola is making an impressive recovery from the torn ACL he suffered in last year's season finale against Carolina in January.  [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]