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June 17, 2012
Tater Trot Tracker
Miguel Cabrera's Little League Home Run
Early last year, Peter Bourjos circled the bases on a basehit that skipped over the glove of charging leftfielder David Murphy. With Bourjos' incredible speed, he sped around the bases on what looked like an inside-the-park home run in 14.02 seconds, far and away the quickest trot seen by the Tater Trot Tracker. However, when the scoring decision came down, we were disappointed to learn that an error had been called on David Murphy, turning Bourjos' inside-the-park home run into a little league home run. The run still counted on the board, but the trot couldn't officially be included in the Tater Trot Tracker because it wasn't actually a tater trot.
On Saturday, Detroit's Miguel Cabrera joined Bourjos in the little league home run club, though in a very different way.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Cabrera tapped a grounder back to Colorado pitcher Christian Friedrich. Friedrich reached out for the ball but it bounced off his glove.
He scooted off the mound and pounced on the ball, hoping to nail the slow-running Cabrera at first. Friedrich fired the ball to first, but overthrew the outstretched Todd Helton. As Helton fell face first into the dirt, the ball sailed deep into foul territory and off the rolled up tarp. Colorado catcher Wilin Rosario was forced to hustle down the ball.
In the meantime, Cabrera kept running, obviously very happy that his groundout to the pitcher had somehow turned into a triple. He finally reached the bag 14.23 seconds into the play and stopped. One Detroit announcer says "And he'll get [to third] standing up!" But Rosario, like Friedrich, presumably thought that Cabrera would be slow enough to nail at third. After picking up the ball on a slide, Rosario threw all the way across the field to thirdbaseman Jordan Pacheco. Cabrera reached the base before the ball did, but the ball took a nasty hop in front of Pacheco, skipping past him.
Cabrera wasted no time and headed straight for home, scoring on a stand-up little league home run. On a normal trot, the fact that Cabrera stopped at third base would nullify his trot time. Trots must be continuous for them to count in the Tater Trot Tracker. But seeing as how this little league home run is anything but normal, we'll skip over that detail.
The official trot time for Miguel Cabrera's little league home run on Saturday afternoon was 20.01 seconds, including the briefest of pauses at third base. The single quickest trot from Cabrera these past 2+ years was a 21.04 second trot on August 27, 2011.
Cabrera seemed pleased with the trot, little league home run or not.