What do you do when two different players each hit an inside-the-park home run on the same night? Normally, one is good enough for Home Run of the Day, but how do you choose? And what if they both come on a once-in-a-century day where two storied teams are wearing fantastic uniforms from generations past while celebrating the birthday of a park like Fenway? Especially when there are six different home runs in that game? And let's not forget a pair of home runs from last year's sad sack story Adam Dunn, or home run number 631(good enough for fifth all-time) from Alex Rodriguez?
Such are the woes of the Tater Trot tracker. Let's get to the trots!
Home Run of the Day: Norichika Aoki, Milwaukee Brewers – 15.5 seconds [video]
Aoki's was the second inside-the-parker of the night. It gets Home Run of the Day honors, however, because it happens to be the first major-league home run of Aoki's career. After playing eight years in Japan and collecting 1,284 hits, of which 84 were home runs, the only man in Nippon Professional League history to have two 200-hit seasons earned his first big-league home run in only his second career start. A short line drive that got past a diving Carlos Gonzalez, Aoki was able to score standing up when the ball rolled to the wall and the Colorado outfielders had trouble picking it up. But such is the way of the inside-the-park home run. Judging by Aoki's smile afterward, it clearly didn't matter to him how it happened.
Slowest Trot: Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies – 24.5 seconds [video]
Helton makes it to the top of the slowest trot list, but there was nothing particularly egregious about his trot. It just happened to come on a day with nothing slower.
It should be noted that David Ortiz's home run was originally ruled a double on the field. After play ended with Papi standing on second, it was reviewed by the umpires and ruled a home run. As per the Tater Trot Tracker policy, this home run goes down as "not recordable." In order to be tracked, a trot must be continuous. Anything else gives meaningless trot times.
Quickest Trot: Alex Presley, Pittsburgh Pirates – 14.75 seconds [video]
Pittsburgh's Alex Presley had the first inside-the-park home run of the day, and the fastest. Leading off the first inning for Pittsburgh, Presley laced a ball to the center-field wall at PNC Park. Cardinals outfielder Skip Schumaker tried to make the play, but he missed the ball and crashed hard into the wall. As Schumaker rolled around in pain, the ball stayed untouched and Presley put on the jets. Any inside-the-park home run under 15 seconds is really fast, but Presley managed his 14.75 second trot even though he was slow around first base (he didn't start running his hardest until he saw Schumaker's crash) and even though he slowed his last step or two down at the plate. It'd be great to see just how fast he could clear the bases if he was running his hardest from start to finish.
All of Today's Trots Todd Helton.......24.5 Matt Kemp.........21.19 Adam Dunn #1......24.27 Jason Bay.........20.89 Adam Dunn #2......24.1 Kirk Nieuwenhuis..20.72 Jesus Montero.....24.03 Brian McCann......20.61 Nolan Reimold.....23.05 Rick Ankiel.......20.48 Nick Swisher......22.56 Alex Rodriguez....20.4 Matt Joyce........22.13 Mike Moustakas....19.86 Evan Longoria.....21.89 Daniel Descalso...19.62 Josh Reddick......21.7 Angel Pagan.......18.91 Eric Chavez #1....21.66 Norichika Aoki....15.5 Eric Chavez #2....21.58 Alex Presley......14.75 Shane Victorino...21.57 David Ortiz.......N/A Russell Martin....21.25