Is there a Home Run Derby curse?
Sure seems like it. There's no other way to explain the post-Derby performances of the eight participants.
Yoenis Cespedes , who put on a quite a show to win the competition at Citi Field on July 15, missed Oakland's first four games after the All-Star break with a sore wrist. Yes, a sore wrist. Did he hurt it while crushing 32 homers -- 17 in the first round -- in the Derby?
Cespedes, who returned to the lineup on Tuesday and has played just three of the A's seven games since the break, is 2 for 8 (.250) with one extra-base hit since his trophy-winning performance.
Meanwhile, home run leader Chris Davis hasn't hit one since that Monday night in New York. The Baltimore Orioles first baseman and his 37 first-half homers were all the hype heading into the break. But since the Derby -- where he was eliminated in the second round -- Davis is 0-for-7 games in adding to his major league-leading total. He's batting .214 (6 for 28) with three extra-base hits after the All-Star break.
What about Derby runner-up Bryce Harper ?
At least the Washington Nationals phenom hit one homer, a walk-off blast in Thursday's win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, before his game-winner, Harper was batting .263 (5 for 19) with just one extra-base hit in the second half.
The Mets' David Wright and the Rockies' Michael Cuddyer haven't seemed to be affected by the Derby curse, both hitting above .300 since the break. Wright actually hit two homers since -- though he didn't take as many cuts at the Derby since he failed to make it out of the first round, while Cuddyer tallied 15 homers in two rounds.
Pittsburgh's Pedro Alvarez, who like Wright didn't advance past the Derby's opening round, has two post-break homers, but those are his only two hits since the All-Star Game.
One of the biggest drop-offs in HR Derby history was Philadelphia's Bobby Abreu, who won the contest in 2005. The Phillies outfielder hit .307 with 18 homers in the first half of the '05 season. After the Derby? .260 with just six homers.
Here's how the 2013 Derby participants have fared since the break. Everyone has played seven games except for Cespedes (three) and Harper (six).
(All stats through Thursday; XBH -- extra-base hits )
Cespedes: 2 for 8 (.250), 0 HR, 0 XBH -- (15 HRs in first half)
Davis: 6 for 28 (.214), 0 HR, 3 XBH -- (37)
Harper: 8 for 24 (.333), 1 HR, 3 XBH -- (13)
Wright: 9 for 29 (.310), 2 HR, 3 XBH -- (13)
Cuddyer: 8 for 23 (.348), 0 HR, 3 XBH -- (16)
Alvarez: 5 for 28 (.179), 2 HR, 2 XBH -- (24)
Detroit's Prince Fielder : 7 for 27 (.259), 1 HR, 1 XBH -- (16)
NY Yankees' Robinson Cano: 8 for 28 (.286), 0 HR, 2 XBH -- (21)