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UM's Beilein: Where's my HR Derby invite?

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
John Beilein

Michigan basketball coach John Beilein wonders if his Home Run Derby invitation got lost in the mail.

"I would love to be in the Home Run Derby in 2017," Beilein said Thursday morning on WTKA 1050 in Ann Arbor.

"I would love to do that. I would love to be a part of that and take everybody out, all those football guys.

"We'll take them on."

Beilein made the comments to host Sam Webb and his guest Rick Leach, who on Thursday night is going up against football coach Jim Harbaugh in a Home Run Derby in Ann Arbor as part of the Michigan Softball Academy.

Both were former quarterbacks at Michigan; Harbaugh went on to the NFL, Leach to Major League Baseball. Beilein bragged with the hosts about his own softball-hitting prowess.

"You saw me hit the one softball that landed somewhere on the golf course," Beilein said. "It's still rolling. That's right.

"And that was it. All of a sudden, 'We gotta find somebody else. We gotta go after the football guys cuz we don't want to go up against the basketball guys.'"

Beilein is a huge baseball fan, particularly following the St. Louis Cardinals. He has become friends with manager Mike Matheny, a Michigan alum. The two text frequently.

Harbaugh grew up a huge baseball fan and dreamt of playing in the majors; he counts Oakland A's manager Bob Melvin among his friends from the sport.

"I can do the slow pitch, I can do that," Beilein said on WTKA, laughing. "How is Harbaugh? Is he any good? Can he hit the ball?

"He's a little younger than us. I hope he's still got some pop in his bat."