¡Vive la máquina jonrón!
The Marlins "finally" hit a home run at Marlins Park yesterday, setting off the most glorious addition to baseball since the Astros rainbow uniforms. It was everything we've been waiting for.
But the day belonged to more than just South Beach. Balls were clobbered all over the league yesterday, with upper-deck shots from Raul Ibanez and Josh Hamilton, a near-upper deck shot from Adam Jones (in the Rogers Centre, however), and the single longest home run of the year off the bat of Travis Hafner in Kansas City, in which the ball cleared all of Kauffman Stadium's right-field seats and landed in the sports bar in the land beyond [trust me, watch the video]. At 481 feet (according to Hit Tracker Online), that ball could end up the longest home run hit all year.
It was a fun day. Let's get to the trots!
Home Run of the Day: Hanley Ramirez, Miami Marlins – 26.2* seconds [video]
As if I were going to choose anything else, Hafner moonshots or not. It was actually Omar Infante's home run [video] that lit up la máquina jonrón for the first time (and the ball ended up in the hands of a lingerie model, no less!). So why does Ramirez get the Home Run of the Day honors instead? Watch the highlight. Ramirez's home run goes out to straightaway center, the deepest part of the ballpark. It lands above and beyond the 418-foot sign in center, which happens to be printed near the top of the roughly 20-foot wall. That is one very impressive home run.
And for those thinking that Marlins Park might be playing a bit big, there's this evidence: Hit Tracker Online lists Ramirez's home run as having a true distance of 443 feet. It also categorizes the home run as "Just Enough." Maybe we should start calling Marlins Parks "Polo Grounds South Beach."
Slowest Trot: Hanley Ramirez, Miami Marlins – 26.2* seconds [video]
This trot is marked with an asterisk because I was unable to tell which foot Ramirez used to step on the plate. In cases like this, I usually go to the other team's video feed and watch from that angle, to see if they have a different view of the runner coming in to home. Sadly, with this Ramirez home run, both the Marlins and Astros were showing the same angle. I marked the 26.2 seconds at Ramirez's second step near the plate, as that looked to be closer to where I imagined the plate to be.
Ramirez wasn't the only slow trotter on Sunday, though. Both Chipper Jones—hitting his first home run in front of the Atlanta crowd this year—and Shelley Duncan—who crushed another home run off Kansas City pitching—found themselves in the 25-second trot range yesterday.
Quickest Trot: Brendan Ryan, Seattle Mariners – 17.51 seconds [video]
It's the quickest non-inside-the-park home run trot time of the year, besting the previous mark by nearly a half-second. Ryan Ludwick, Jason Heyward, and Matt Carpenter all gave impressively quick trots on Sunday as well, each coming home in the 18-second range, but it wasn't enough this particular day.
All of Today's Trots Hanley Ramirez.....26.2* Raul Ibanez........20.99 Chipper Jones......25.82 Casey Kotchman.....20.89 Shelley Duncan.....25.09 Chris Iannetta.....20.84 Mike Napoli........24.22 Matt Kemp..........20.76 Adam Jones.........23.38 Garrett Jones......20.63 Luke Scott.........23.24 Omar Infante.......20.32* Chris Young........23.16 Jonathan Lucroy....20.26 Travis Hafner......23.11 Eric Sogard........20.17 Ike Davis..........22.75 Brett Lawrie.......19.95 Yadier Molina......22.36 Josh Hamilton......19.84 Edwin Encarnacion..22.32 Mike Aviles........19.6 Jason Kipnis.......21.84 Mark Trumbo........19.4 Gerald Laird.......21.65 Clete Thomas.......19.21 Cody Ross..........21.64 Ryan Ludwick.......18.96 Dayan Viciedo......21.55 Jason Heyward......18.94 Derek Jeter........21.36* Matt Carpenter.....18.87 Justin Smoak.......21.2 Brendan Ryan.......17.51