2014 MLB Home Run Derby

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sport

They've changed the format for this year's Home Run Derby. Will that make it any more interesting?

Rather than try to explain the new format for the Home Run Derby, I'll simply refer you to this ESPN.com link, which has a detailed look at the new way they're going to do it this year. The biggest change is that every participant will get seven outs instead of the previous 10, I suppose to make the pace faster.

That won't make listening to Chris Berman yell "BACKBACKBACKBACKBACKBACK" incessantly any easier.

Here are this year's participants:

National League

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
Todd Frazier, Reds
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Justin Morneau, Rockies

American League

Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Brian Dozier, Twins
Josh Donaldson, Athletics
Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
Adam Jones, Orioles

Three of the top five home-run hitters in the N.L. at the break are in the Derby. Missing: Anthony Rizzo and Marlon Byrd (yes, Byrd is fifth in the N.L. at the break with 18). Obviously, Morneau was chosen because of his long tenure with the Twins; Puig, likely because he's Puig and anything can happen.

The A.L. squad is a bit different, with the top two homer hitters in that league, Jose Abreu and Nelson Cruz, not participating. After the 2012 fiasco when local favorite Billy Butler was left off the A.L. squad in Kansas City, resulting in captain Robinson Cano being booed every time his bat touched the ball, it's been strongly encouraged to the Derby captains that they choose a player from the host team. This year that's Dozier, whose 18 homers is a fine total, though it ranks just 12th in the more-powerful American League.

Anyway, enjoy. The Derby is a bit silly, but usually it's enjoyable as players try to launch baseballs as far as they can. If I had to guess? Stanton looks like the guy who'll win this one.

It's on ESPN and it begins at 7 p.m. CT. Discuss, etc.

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