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Contestants take different approaches at Home Run Derby

July 12, 2010 |  3:02 pm


Nick Swisher was calm and laid back as he chatted with reporters Monday before his first appearance in the Home Run Derby. But it was all a cover for the Yankees outfielder.

"I’m like that duck on the water -- everything’s cool up top, but underneath my feet are going a mile a minute," Swisher said. "I’m trying to act cool right now, but I’m so nervous for tonight. It's all right, it’s only taking [batting practice] with what, 10 million people watching? It's cool."

Swisher and the seven other players in the Derby field had unique approaches to the Home Run Derby, which begins at 5 p.m. at Angel Stadium.

"There is no strategy to the Home Run Derby," Boston's David Ortiz said. "It's whoever gets tired slowest."

Swisher had an answer to that, remembering to give a nod to one of the Derby's sponsors.

"I'm going to drink my Gatorade, and I'm going to put my batting gloves on, and I'm going to go whack, that's it," he said. "No game plan."

The Florida Marlins' Hanley Ramirez had a foolproof plan of his own.

"I'll watch what [Miguel] Cabrera's gonna do," he said. 

Cabrera, the Tigers first baseman who is tied for second in the American League with 22 home runs, said his strategy is simple.

"My game plan is to go deep," he said. "Left field, right field, center field. Everywhere."

-- Laura Myers

Photo: David Ortiz is interviewed by Leann Tweeden on Monday. Credit: Kirby Lee, U.S. Presswire.