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July 12, 2010

Miguel Cabrera

Todd Fischer

Corey Hart

Matt Holliday

David Ortiz

Hanley Ramirez

Nick Swisher

Chris Young


KARL RAVECH: Good afternoon, I want to welcome everybody here in attendance as well as those watching live on national television on behalf of Major League Baseball. The State Farm Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes TV, and ESPN Radio beginning at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time and 5:00 p.m. Pacific time.
On the stage with me are all eight players who will be participating in tonight's State Farm Home Run Derby. Representing the American League from the Detroit Tigers, Miguel Cabrera. From the Boston Red Sox, he's alive, and well, David Ortiz. From the New York Yankees, stressed beyond belief, Nick Swisher, from the Toronto Blue Jays, Vernon Wells, and representing the National League of the three guys that are participating in the Home Run Derby that homered yesterday only one was a walk-off and that was Corey Hart of the Milwaukee Brewers. Matt Holliday also homered, he's here from the St. Louis Cardinals. Hanley, did you homer yesterday?
KARL RAVECH: From the Florida Marlins having a super season, Hanley Ramirez, and from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chris Young. This is a spectacular group of players, and I think we all agree that we'll see a lot of home runs hit tonight.
Tonight's State Farm Home Run Derby will feature the gold ball charitable platform, for every home run that these guys hit during the competition after their ninth out, Major League Baseball and State Farm will combine to donate $17,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the official charity of Major League Baseball. The 17,000 represents the 17,000 State Farm agents and neighborhoods across the United States and Canada. State Farm once again joins Major League Baseball in going beyond; there's more, and here to talk about it is Todd Fischer, State Farm's manager of national sponsorships.
TODD FISCHER: It's a pleasure to be here. On behalf of State Farm's 17,000 agents and nearly 17,000 associates that go to bat for our customers in their communities every day, we are excited to be back once again as the title sponsor of the State Farm Home Run Derby. As Karl mentioned, thanks to the efforts of Major League Baseball and the efforts of the guys that you see on stage today, it's really about going beyond for the Boys & Girls Club. In an effort to make sure that every home run tonight makes a difference in the community, State Farm is proud to step to the plate and donate an additional $3,000 for every non-gold ball home run tonight.
So we hope that that will help with a continued impact on youth programs and educational initiatives for the Boys & Girls Club for years to come.
In addition to that, we are extremely excited that in partnership with Major League Baseball today, we have announced a program called Go To Bat which will extend our charitable contributions and the connection to the home run throughout the second half of the season. By going to StateFarm.com/GotoBat, fans will have an opportunity to win charitable contributions for their charities of choice throughout the second half of the year, in conjunction with every home run hit throughout the last ten weeks of the regular season.
So we are extremely excited about that program, and as these eight guys know, all too well, there are some home runs that win games and even tonight they are going to lead to one of these guys winning the State Farm Home Run Derby title. I hope they take great pride in the fact that they gave their time and effort today and the second half of the season to really give back to communities and to those folks that need and deserve help the most. So thank you very much.
KARL RAVECH: Major League Baseball and State Farm are also teaming up to support local southern California area Boys & Girls Club of America chapters. We have eight youngsters from eight different clubs and they will be paired with one player, each, from tonight's Home Run Derby. The one whose player wins the Derby will receive a $50,000 donation towards a team center at his or her club, compliments of State Farm. Each of the seven other young boys and girls and their clubs will receive a $10,000 donation to each club.
From the Boys & Girls Club of Buena Park, Shyann Harris, paired with Miguel Cabrera.
From the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fullerton, Malik Campbell is paired with David Ortiz.
From the Boys & Girls Clubs of Huntington Valley, Brittney Downing. Brittney is paired with Nick Swisher.
From the Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove, Victoria Rivas. Victoria is paired with Vernon Wells.
From the Boys & Girls Club of the Harbor Area, Augustin Escobedo. Augustin is paired with Corey Hart.
From the Boys & Girls Clubs of La Habra, Christian Ortiz. Christian is paired with Matt Holliday. Couldn't get the Ortiz's together.
This time it did work though, from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin, Victor Ramirez is paired with Hanley Ramirez.
From the Boys & Girls Club of Anaheim, Carlos Banderas. Carlos is paired with Chris Young.
Boys and girls, it's a special night for you, and I'd like to now open it up to anybody who has questions for any of the participants in the Home Run Derby.

Q. For David Ortiz, if you have any strategy to really kill those guys.
DAVID ORTIZ: There's no strategy in the Home Run Derby. It's whoever gets tired faster.
I think it's going to be fun, we are going to have a good time out there, hanging out with guys that I always keep my eyes on them, and even if they play for some other team, it's an experience sharing the same clubhouse with them. I think it's a great thing, and that's what I'm looking forward to right here.

Q. I'd like to ask the guys in the Derby before, David, Miguel and Matt, because there's been a lot of people now who seem to think that the Derby messes up your swing, and I would like to know why you guys don't buy into that.
DAVID ORTIZ: Well, right here in this group right here, I tell you right now, I don't think nobody is going to suffer any bad habits, because everybody is swinging for the streets right here. (Laughter.)
I think -- yeah, I have seen some players that they suffer some bad habits from the Home Run Derby, and I was talking to my boy, Cano, last night and he got pulled out of the Derby and I can understand why, Cano is always hitting homers. He has that kind on line drive swing, not that upper-cut swing that normally a power hitter has. That's why when you go to the Derby, if you have an upper-cut swing that allows you to hit homers in the Derby, I don't think you will suffer any bad habits.
But when you have the land-drive kind of swing, that might get you in trouble, and I have seen that in a few guys in the past.
KARL RAVECH: Matt, you were third a couple years ago; did it mess your swing up?
MATT HOLLIDAY: I think everybody has a day in batting practice, at least a couple rounds, so I don't think it's different from what we do on a day-to-day basis. Yeah, maybe the first couple of rounds, line the ball the other way but last few rounds you're trying to drive the ball to the middle of the field.
So I don't think it's that much different than taking regular batting practice. I hear from a lot of players not having a batting cage around makes it more difficult; why would it make it more difficult for you guys?
NICK SWISHER: Because you've never done it. You've done that maybe in the off-season sometime, but we've got like tens of millions of people watching us, man, that's kind of nerve wracking but I think all of us are going to have a good time, man.
It's fun. I mean, I'd like to see how far I can hit one. I mean, I know it ain't close to these guys but I'd like to try it out.

Q. For any of the participants, what stature is derived from winning the Home Run Derby, and does the guy get greeted differently afterward or do you all forget about it 24 hours later?
KARL RAVECH: The question was if you win the Home Run Derby, do you then, the same way that maybe a U.S. Open Golf Champion will get greeted as the United States Open Golf Champion for the next year, do you then carry that with you if you win the Home Run Derby; I don't believe any of you have ever won it.
CHRIS YOUNG: The long shot that I win it, I want all of these guys to carry me off the field. (Laughter.)
KARL RAVECH: So if Chris wins it, he wants all of you guys to carry him off the field. (Laughter.) Vernon says done. How long of a shot do you think you are to win it?
CHRIS YOUNG: I don't think, I've seen Holliday take BP and Vernon take BP.
We'll see. I'm trying to -- Hanley's not, but you I'm trying to hit them like 250 and I'll let Holliday hit them like 500.
KARL RAVECH: Just pull everything.

Q. Your teammate, Prince Fielder, won the Home Run Derby last year, and I wondered if you tried to pick his brain a little bit, ask him for any secrets and gave you any advice?
COREY HART: The only thing he said was bring Sandy Guerrero, and I obviously have the ranging champion on the throwing side of it. He basically said take your time and try not to get too tired.
COREY HART: And eat a lot.
KARL RAVECH: And eat. It wears on you.

Q. All of you guys have made large contributions to your communities financially, but as these young people stand behind you today, can you contrast the feeling that every ball you hit tonight could really affect somebody's life to build a new education center, and how powerful is that to have a concrete manifest tangible affect on people's lives?
NICK SWISHER: I think just in general, I think that all of us guys up here as professional athletes have been put on a pedestal, and I think when you're on a pedestal like that, you have the opportunity and the obligation to reach out to people and do a lot of special things.
For myself, maybe it's the way I was raised, the way I was brought up, I think it's better to give than receive; it's better to give back, and you're given so much in you're life, and when you're put on a stage like this and to be able to compete but against tremendous athletes like up here, and not only that, we are giving money to a great cause, that's the name of the game.
KARL RAVECH: Do you remember being a tenure old and watching Home Run Derbies?
CHRIS YOUNG: Yes, you know, it's a lot of responsibility, but we take it on. It's a special opportunity for us to indirectly give back, even though that wasn't the initial thing going in; the fact that Major League Baseball takes it to that and allows you to do this for a public cause is amazing.

Q. For the first timers, what is the strategy going into this, your first time?
CHRIS YOUNG: My strategy, you know, I have my hitting coach from when I was growing up throwing to me, so I've seen him throwing to me for years and years.
So he pretty much knows, you know, where my hot area is, a little elevated, something I can elevate because I do have somewhat of a line drive swing. So if I can get something up in the zone, something I can elevate and get out of the yard is pretty much what I'm doing, not get too tired. I've talked to Jermaine Dye and I've talked to some of these guys up here, and you know, endurance is the big thing. I try to not get too excited out there and not swing at every pitch.
KARL RAVECH: What's the game plan, Hanley?
HANLEY RAMIREZ: I'm just going to try as hard as I can, hit as hard as I can.
KARL RAVECH: Every swing as hard as you can?
HANLEY RAMIREZ: No, not swing, but every two pitch, one pitch. I'm not going to try to get too tired and watch what Cabrera is going to do.
KARL RAVECH: Watch what Cabrera is going to do; what's your plan tonight?
MIGUEL CABRERA: My game plan is go deep. (Laughter.) Left field, right field, center field, everywhere. Everywhere.
KARL RAVECH: I think go deep is a good way to end it. On behalf of Major League Baseball and State Farm, I want to thank all of you for attending and good luck this evening to all eight of our participants and their partners.

End of FastScripts

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