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April 12, 2012

Tater Trot Tracker

Trot Times for April 11

by Larry Granillo

The rest of Wednesday’s trots will come later in the afternoon. In the meantime, the night’s quickest home run was just too exciting not to share immediately. Angels fans will probably know why.

UPDATED with the rest of Wednesday's trots. While Bourjos provided the excitement for Angels fans watching their team in Minnesota, there was plenty to cheer about for other teams. Nate Schierholtz hit a pair of home runs for the Giants in a losing cause, Nick Swisher hit a tenth-inning go-ahead homer for the Yankees, Alex Gordon put himself on the board for Kansas City, and even Minnesota's Josh Willingham hit his third blast of the year. It was a good day for home runs.

Now let's get to the rest of those trots!

Home Run of the Day: Peter Bourjos, Los Angeles Angels – 14.26 seconds [video]
There's no denying that's Peter Bourjos is a fast man. Last year, the Angels outfielder made it around the bases in 14.02 seconds, easily the fastest time seen since the start of the Tater Trot Tracker. Sadly, and surprisingly, the official scorer ruled that play an error instead of an inside-the-park home run, giving Bourjos merely the fastest recorded four-base single rather than the fastest recorded home run trot he was entitled to.

Wednesday night, Bourjos proved his tremendous speed once again. On a near home run to left field, Bourjos' fly ball took a sharp bounce off the wall while Minnesota left fielder Josh Willingham took a hard thud off the wall. Willingham fell to the warning track while the ball bounced far onto the outfield grass. Meanwhile, Bourjos, who ran hard out of the box, had begun to slow down as he rounded first base. When the ball got away from Willingham, he put on the jets. There were two runners on base already, but thankfully they too were running hard. Vernon Wells touched home at 6.79 seconds, with Chris Iannetta about five seconds behind him. By that time, Bourjos had already rounded third and the cutoff man was only barely receiving the ball. The race between the ball and the speediest Angel was never in doubt. Bourjos' hook slide touched home plate 14.26 seconds after his bat touched the ball.

It's a testament to his great speed that Peter Bourjos was able to make the third fastest trot ever recorded somehow look slow. The only man between the two fastest Bourjos trots is Tony Campana, who sped home on his own inside-the-park home run last August in 14.21 seconds (for his first career home run!). But, not unlike Usain Bolt slowing down in the 100m dash, we’ll never know exactly how fast Bourjos could have made his trot if only he had run as hard as possible for the full 360 feet.

For a full list of inside-the-park home run trot times, the 2010, 2011, and 2012 leaderboards can be found at TaterTrotTracker.com.

Slowest Trot: Jonny Gomes, Oakland Athletics - 27.07 seconds [video]
This one is a bit different. It's easy to see that 27-second trot - easily the slowest on the year so far - and blame Gomes for taking his sweet time running around the bases. But that trot is almost entirely not his fault. On first at the time of the home run is Yoenis Cespedes. From what we can tell in the video, Cespedes seems to start moving from first at first contact. However, by the time Gomes rounds third base (meaning Gomes has run through three bases and Cespedes has run through two), Gomes has caught up to Cespedes, forcing him to run at Cespedes' speed the rest of the way home. Gomes took 27 seconds to get home, sure, but that's only because Cespedes also took 27 seconds to go from first to home. (Granted, it took roughly seven seconds for the ball to clear the fence and before Cespedes could safely move from the bag, but 27 seconds is still pretty ridiculous.)

Quickest Trot: Peter Bourjos, Los Angeles Angels – 14.26 seconds [video]
I think this one was covered pretty well above. The next two slowest trots belonged to Chicago's Alejandro De Aza at 19.12 seconds and Atlanta's Jason Heyward, in 19.52 seconds. There's nothing to be ashamed of in those 19-second trots, but they do feel awfully slow compared to Bourjos' inside-the-parker.

All of Today's Trots

Jonny Gomes..........27.07    Jon Jay..............20.81
Billy Butler.........24.64    Curtis Granderson....20.57
AJ Pierzynski........24       Clint Barmes.........20.48
Josh Willingham......23.34    Elvis Andrus.........20.43
Nate Schierholtz #2..23       Brandon Crawford.....20.33
Travis Hafner........22.31    George Kottaras......20.15
Nick Swisher.........22.1     Alex Gordon..........20.14
Shelley Duncan.......22.06    Chris Denorfia.......19.57
Ian Kinsler..........21.94    Jason Heyward........19.52
Nate Schierholtz #1..21.84    Alejandro De Aza.....19.12
JD Martinez..........21.71    Peter Bourjos........14.26
Carlos Ruiz..........21.1

Click here for the ongoing 2012 Tater Trot Tracker Leaderboard. You can also follow @TaterTrotTrkr on Twitter for more up-to-the-minute trot times.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Future Shock: Miguel S... (04/11)
<< Previous Column
Tater Trot Tracker: Tr... (04/11)
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Tater Trot Tracker: Tr... (04/13)
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