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LAst Night's Action: Big Papi Comes Up Big in Home Run Derby

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David Ortiz wins All Star Home Run Derby. All but written off after a horrible April, Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz defeated Florida Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez 11-5 in the final round. Both advanced to final round after hitting 21 home runs each in the first two rounds beating out Milwaukee Brewers’ right fielder Corey Hart with 13 and Detroit Tigers’ first baseman Miguel Cabrera with 12 for a showdown between embattled stars. Ortiz, who batted .143 with one homer in the first month of the season, has rebounded for a season average of .263 with 18 homers and 57 RBI. Ramirez meanwhile was notably benched on May 18 by then-manager Fredi Gonzalez after being accused of not hustling on a play.

Eliminated after the first round were St. Louis Cardinals’ left fielder Matt Holliday with five homers, New York Yankees’ right fielder Nick Swisher with four, Toronto Blue Jays’ centerfielder Vernon Wells with two and Arizona Diamondbacks’ centerfielder Chris Young with one.

During the trophy presentation after the game, Ortiz dedicated his win to fellow Dominican and former Dodger Jose Lima who passed away on May 23 from a heart attack.

NOTABLE NOTES

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CLIPPERS POST LEBRON. Although the hearts of everyone in Clipper-land were broken into a thousand pieces Thursday night with the dog and LeBron James show on ESPN, the Clippers are picking up the pieces and moving on. On Thursday they signed forward Ryan Gomes and guard Randy Foye. The 26-year old Foye, who can play point guard or shooting guard, averaged 10.1 points per game last season with the Washington Wizards and was the odd man out when the Wizards picked John Wall with the first overall pick of the draft. The 27-year old Gomes, who had a career-high 13.3 points per game with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008-09, averaged 10.9 points last season.

But they weren’t done with that. On Friday they signed former Laker forward Brian Cook. The 29-year old was traded by the Lakers in 2007 to the Orlando Magic as a part of the deal that brought Trevor Ariza to the Lakers. With the Houston Rockets since 2008, Cook played in only 15 games last season averaging 1.4 points in just under three minutes per game.

And most importantly ESPN Page 2 writer and Clipper season ticket holder Bill Simmons went on ESPN’s SportsNation to make his “Decision” on whether to continue to be a Clipper season ticket holder.

FISHER SPURNS MIAMI. “Let the hunt for six begin,” Lakers’ point guard Derek Fisher said in a statement. After taking a meeting with the Miami Heat over the weekend, Fisher opted to sign a three-year contract reportedly worth $10.5 million with a player option for the third inning. This was a far cry from the $5 million he made this past season and was looking for.

“While this may not be the most lucrative contract I’ve been offered this offseason, it is the most valuable,” Fisher said.

“At the end of the day, there’s one person I could not turn away from,” Fisher continued in the statement. “Kobe Bryant asked me to stay but supported whatever decision I made.”

KOVY IN LA. NHL free agent Ilya Kovalchuk arrived to meet with Kings’ executives on Monday in what has turned out to me the most interesting contract discussions in the free agent season. Having turned down Kovalchuk’s and agent Jay Grossman’s demands of a ten-year $100 million contract twice, Kings’ general manager Dean Lombardi is hoping the third time is the charm. The 27-year old left winger and two-time 50 goal scorer has little options in the NHL beyond the Kings, and while Lombardi has slammed the door twice before it’s clear the Kings are relying heavily on bagging Kovy since they have done nothing else in free agency.

While Kovy wants to be paid $10 million a year surpassing the salaries of both Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin, the Kings are reluctant to exceed a $6 million per season salary cap hit since they envision having to re-sign their core of young players Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

2010 MLB All-Star Game. Ubaldo Jimenez (15-1, 2.20 ERA) vs. David Price (12-4, 2.42 ERA). 5:00 pm FOX, AM 710 KSPN.