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The Home Run Derby Effect?

If you remember last year, Bobby Abreu in the home run derby, he put on quite a show.  Abreu launched 41 total home runs on his way to winning the title.

The problem came after that.  His second half numbers dropped off considerably.

The Phillies' Bobby Abreu experienced a second-half swoon after winning last year's contest. Many blamed the competition for a drop-off in which Abreu went from hitting .307 with 18 home runs before the All-Star break to only .260 with six home runs after.

There was some concern when Cabrera was added to the home run derby list for this year's mid-season classic.  Cabrera was, understandably, excited to take part in the derby.

The Marlins hope Cabrera doesn't mess up his swing.


Said Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, who attended Friday night's game at Shea Stadium: ``I only have one comment about that: Bobby Abreu. Learn from the past.''

Cabrera promised to not allow the exhibition to throw his swing out of whack.

''It's not going to mess up my swing,'' he said.

I have no idea whether his participation in the home run derby is the reason for his slow start after the break but the fact remains: he is off to a slow start in the second half.

Cabrera's numbers:

Pre-All Star

311 104 15 61 56 .334 .998

Post-All Star

38 10  0 2 9 .263 .680

Granted, it has only been 10 games but this is starting to be something that bears watching. With any luck Cabrera will breakout and resume being the exceptional hitter we all know him to be.

Should this continue for the rest of the year, I recommend that no Marlins slugger be allowed to participate in the home run derby ever again. I do recommend, however, that the Braves, Mets, Nationals and Phillies send a representative every year. Though, I think it will be difficult to get the Phillies onboard for this idea.