July 9, 2007
AP - Jul 9, 11:37 pm EDT
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- With Barry Bonds sitting out, this derby was dry -- and Vladimir Guerrero was San Francisco's home run king for a day.
The Los Angeles Angels slugger won the Home Run Derby on Monday night, hitting 17 homers and beating Toronto's Alex Rios 3-2 in the final round of the All-Star competition.
None of the eight batters managed a true "splash hit" over the right-field fence and into the waterfront park's iconic McCovey Cove. Dozens of eager fans wearing wetsuits and carrying nets amid the flotilla of kayaks and rafts ended up scrambling for just a handful of foul balls and ricochets during nearly six hours of batting practice and derby slugging.
But the four semifinalists sent balls into every other corner of a park that's usually a nightmare for any hitter not named Bonds.
Guerrero, who managed just two homers in his only previous derby appearance back in 2000, also produced the contest's most fearsome shot: a 503-footer to left that fell just short of the oversized baseball mitt looming over the outfield bleachers -- a target that still hasn't been hit during a game in the park's 8-year history.