Hamilton a no-go for home run derby
JUN 05, 2012 7:17p ET
Hamilton, who leads the major leagues in homers with 21, was asked to be the American League captain for the July 9 derby in Kansas City but declined.
"I've already talked to them," Hamilton said. "They called me maybe a week-and-a-half ago and asked me, and I declined respectfully. It's just not the right time. I haven't done it the last couple of years because of wanting to be healthy and the best I can be for the team. I don't want to take a chance of going out and hurting anything trying to entertain folks at the All-Star Game."
Hamilton, who has received more than 2.5 million All-Star votes, said he won't change his mind even if AL home run captain Robinson Cano called him. Hamilton dominated the 2008 home run derby in New York, hitting a record 28 homers in the first round. He lost in the finals to Justin Morneau.
He hasn't competed in a derby since then but doesn't think that derby affected his game. He thinks playing his first full season had a bigger impact on his second-half power decline in 2008 than his derby exploits. He hit 32 home runs that year, but only 11 after the All-Star break.
Now he's thinking big picture.
"You've got to be smart about it and understand I play major league baseball, but I work for the Texas Rangers," he said. "I understand they need me healthy, and I want to be healthy for them. I would love to go out there and hit as many home runs as I can. I enjoyed doing it. I had fun doing it. It's not fair to go out there and do something for myself and possibly get injured."