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June 6, 2011

Tater Trot Tracker

Trot Times for June 5

by Larry Granillo

I usually do my best to keep abreast of the day's goings on in the baseball world (through Twitter and whatnot) so that I don't accidentally miss something home run-related when I watch through the videos. There are times, though, when I don't get a chance to do that and, as such, go into the home run videos pretty blind only to discover some pretty interesting things happened. Sunday was a day like that.

Let's get to those trots.

Home Run of the Day: Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals - 24.26 seconds* [video]
I could get away with not giving the Home Run of the Day to Pujols' walkoff yesterday because of the terrific play by Torii Hunter in the Yankees/Angels game. There is no valid excuse to skip over Pujols today, when he hit a walkoff home run for the second night in a row. I can only imagine how excited Cardinals fans are by the back-to-back walkoffs. You don't have to imagine how excited Pujols is, though - you can see it in his trots. Just watch Saturday's walkoff trot and then Sunday's trot. That's excitement right there.

Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley also had a big game, hitting a home run, a double, and earning a run-scoring walk in Cincinnati. Almost any other day that would be enough for Home Run of the Day, but it pales in comparison to Pujols today.

Slowest Trot: Wilson Ramos, Washington Nationals - 28.94 seconds [video]
This is the good one. I may be missing a little backstory here, so maybe some Diamondbacks or Nationals fans can fill me in.

The Ramos home run came late in the game Sunday and put the Nationals ahead 4-0. It also came one batter after Danny Espinosa was hit in the back (and, apparently, a few days after a Nationals player was nearly hit in the head by a D-backs pitcher). Ramos began his trot as normal, not sure if the ball would sail out. By the time he reached first, it was clearly gone. At that moment, you can see Ramos slow down some. My first thought, as I watched the home run the first time, was that it looked like Ramos had slowed down into his final walk - you know how trotters tend to slow down those last 10 or 15 feet before home plate - about 250 feet too early.

But it only got worse. At both second and third base, you can see Ramos go into an even slower trot before essentially strolling the last 45 feet. The Nationals feed (shown in the highlight above) shows Ramos get to the area of the plate, but it's hard to see when he touches home. Switching over to the Arizona feed, the steps are clearer but, as he gets to the plate, the camera moves over to a very angry Matt Williams in the Diamondbacks dugout. The Arizona broadcasters noticed the slow trot right away, commenting on it from the time he rounded second base until well after the play was done. They even went back and showed replays of the trot (which is where I was able to determine with certainty when Ramos stepped on the plate).

When I interviewed Duane Kuiper, he told me that the one trotter he admired more than anyone else was Matt Williams, for his no-nonsense way of rounding the bases. It makes sense, then, that Williams was so ticked off in the dugout. And it wasn't an accident on Ramos' part (nor could it be blamed on his injured leg from earlier in the game). Ramos told Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore that he did the slow trot on purpose, in order to "see those guys angry". Clearly it worked.

(And, in case anyone was wondering, this is the most spite-filled home run trot I've seen since Jose Bautista showed up the Yankees last year.)

Quickest Trot: Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers - 18.77 seconds [video]
As you can imagine, Andrus' home run was much less notable than Ramos'. Well, accept, of course, for the inherent notability of Elvis Andrus ever hitting a home run at all. It's pretty rare, after all.

 

All of Today's Trots

Wilson Ramos......28.94         Ryan Raburn.......21.23
Miguel Carbera....25.9          Brian McCann......21.19*
Adrian Gonzalez...25.36         Adam Lind #1......21.16
Albert Pujols.....24.26*        Mark Teixeira #1..21.07
Diory Hernandez...24.18         Chris Iannetta....20.88
Yunel Escobar.....23.63         Brett Hayes.......20.64
Nick Swisher......23.61*        Drew Stubbs.......20.44
Chad Billingsley..21.99         Michael Morse.....20.41
Carl Crawford.....21.97         Gordon Beckham....20.36
Kevin Kouzmanoff..21.91         Neil Walker.......20.02
Rickie Weeks......21.86         Mark Trumbo.......20.01
Matt Kemp.........21.82         Josh Wilson.......19.83*
Mark Reynolds.....21.71         Kelly Johnson.....19.74
Mitch Moreland....21.42         Miguel Olivo......19.19
Adam Lind #2......21.27         Elvis Andrus......18.77
Mark Teixeira #2..21.24

12 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Ian Miller

been waiting for this all day. kinda surprising that Ramos won by "only" 3 seconds.

I get the unwritten rules AND I loved Matt Williams as a player, but really, the fact that he got apoplectic over this is kinda ridiculous.

Jun 06, 2011 11:55 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

Yeah. I was shocked that it only came to ~29 seconds. The way he was plodding after second base, I thought for sure we'd see something over 30 seconds (just goes to show how hard that 30-second barrier really is). Also, having to compete against a trot from Miguel Cabrera makes it difficult to run away with things.

I imagine it was a combination of the trot and everything else that had been going on that made him so upset.

Jun 06, 2011 12:24 PM
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

And I might as well take this opportunity to plug the Tater Trot Tracker twitter account. If you see something like this, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (or email). If I had known about the Ramos trot since yesterday, I may have been able to address it much sooner. I can't be watching 30 teams at once!

The Tater Trot Tracker twitter account is @TaterTrotTrkr (there's also @wezen_ball).

Thanks.

Jun 06, 2011 12:27 PM
 
comish4lif

Ramos' homer was amidst a game where both managers and 2 pitchers were ejected for hitting batters. In the 8th, Esmerling Vasquez plunked Danny Espinosa (Nats Jason Marquis and Jim Riggleman were ejected in the 5th for plunking Upton). Ramos was the first batter after Espinosa.

Jayson Werth was HBP 3 times in the series.
Justin Upton was HBP 3 times in the series.

Jun 06, 2011 12:07 PM
rating: 0
 
comish4lif

Edit: Justin Upton was HBP 4 times in the series.

Jun 06, 2011 12:08 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

Thanks for the info. I had a feeling there was a lot of testiness going on. Sutton and Grace only mentioned a headhunting type of incident from Thursday in the couple of minutes I saw, so this clears things up some.

Jun 06, 2011 12:22 PM
 
tomterp

The incident didn't quite rise to the level of Jose Guillen's episode with the Angels in 2005, nor Nyjer Morgan's taking on the Marlins in 2010, but when the D-Backs come to DC later this season there may be unfinished business.

Longtime Nats fans (if there is such a thing) remember well that it was really the D-Backs' Lance Cormier who started it all on the home opener at RFK in 2005 when he intentionally plunked Vinnie Castilla, who committed the offense of having had a homer, triple and double before his at-bat vs. Cormier.

Jun 06, 2011 12:14 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

I'm trying to remember the Nyjer Morgan incident you're talking about. It seems to ring a bell, but I can't recall any specifics.

And I love hearing about old rivalries between seemingly unrelated teams. Those things don't make it outside of the local areas all that much.

Jun 06, 2011 12:30 PM
 
comish4lif

Last August/September, Nyjer Morgan had a rough week. He cheap shotted the Cards' catcher, Bryan Anderson, but missed him mostly. Two days later he lays out Brett Hayes from the Marlins in a play at home that was mostly clean. But, I think the Marlins were aware of Nyjer's shot at Anderson. So, Riggleman sits Morgan for a game, and on Thursday, Chris Volstad plunks Morgna in a 10-1 game. Morgan steals 2nd and 3rd and does his hulk routine after each swipe - boasting and fist pumping kind of stuff. The Marlins didn't like it - not really baseball smart moves by Morgan running when down 10-1. Anyway, Morgan gets plunked again next time up. Morgan charges Volstad, but gets nailed by Gaby Sanchez before he canget to Volstad. Benches empty. Morgan ejected - still taunting the crowd.

Jun 06, 2011 12:51 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Larry Granillo
BP staff

Oh yes, I certainly remember all that. I thought tomterp was referring to a home run trot where Morgan did a little bit of intentional showboating. That makes sense. Thanks.

Jun 06, 2011 12:57 PM
 
tomterp

Morgan vs the Marlins, 9-1-2010. There is so much going on here I don't know where to start. Maybe in the middle? After Morgan bowled over Marlins catcher Brett Hayes the night before (injuring Hayes in a clean, but very physical play), Chris Volsted plunked Morgan in the 4th inning. Apparently if plunked, you are supposed to go quietly to first base, but Morgan taunted the Marlins by promptly stealing 2nd AND 3rd. Volsted then later threw behind Morgan, Morgan charged the mound and the melee ensued. Highly entertaining stuff, strongly recommend the video, but keep in mind there was a lot going on before the fight itself.

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=11615635

Note that Morgan had his first homer of the this season June 4, off of.....Chris Volsted. Huge history there.

Jun 06, 2011 13:04 PM
rating: 0
 
jhardman

It was a true bummer that Andrus hit the homer in Cleveland, depriving fans of the rare sight of the ribbon board in Arlington saying "Elvis has left the building".

Chad Billingsley - power hitter.

Jun 07, 2011 08:07 AM
rating: 0
 
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