Tracking The Yankees' Trips Around The Bases

For a game without a clock of any sort, there's an awful lot of talk of timing. Managers stalling for time with throws to first, can't have replay because it slows the game down, Yankees vs. Red Sox marathons and staring down home runs. Always with the home run watching. Few things get a fan base riled up like watching David Ortiz or Jose Bautista just reach first base by the time a home run ball is up for auction.

Like it or not, the long homer trot is here to stay. Umpires can do a lot of things to help speed up the game, but they can't really stop that. I suppose they could if it incited a bean ball war. How likely is that, though? Odds are if the pitcher gave up a home run worthy of staring down, they aren't going to be in the game very long. The umpires should make the pitcher sprint off the field rather than the slow walk sulking. That's the bigger issue here. Hide your shame.

The Yankees hit a lot of home runs and the entire baseball world is on it. Circling this world is the not so distant moon of Baseball Prospectus, which keeps an interesting series called the Tater Trot Tracker tucked away in one of its craters. Space. Basically, some adventurous, or cloistered, person times every home run trot from the ball leaving the bat to the hitter crossing home. Bet you can't guess which Yankee likes to take their sweet time rounding the bases more than the rest of the team. You probably can, but at least act surprised.

No. of Home Runs

Longest Trot

Shortest Trot Average Trot Time Total Trot Time
Curtis Granderson 23 21.86 17.8 19.1 439.37
Robinson Cano 19 23.58 18.13 20.51 389.7
Alex Rodriguez 13 27.05 20.39 23.46 304.95
Mark Teixeira 13 23.74 20.55 21.67 260.04*
Nick Swisher 12 24.61 19.64 22.11 265.32
Raul Ibanez 11 20.99 19.15 19.78 217.59
Russell Martin 8 22.11 19.4 20.74 165.91
Andruw Jones 7 23.9 21.27 22.09 154.62
Derek Jeter 7 21.36 19.28 19.84 138.89
Eric Chavez 5 21.85 20.8 21.49 107.45

(All times in seconds)

Longest trot of the season: Alex Rodriguez - 27.05 sec. at KC

Shortest trot of the season: Curtis Granderson - 17.8 sec. vs. CWS

If this isn't enough, which I assume it isn't, times for every home run this year can be found here.

Thoughts:

  • The Yankees have spent over 40 minutes walking out home runs this season. There 22,362 things you can cook in less time. That's probably not an exact figure, but the Internet told me told me that's how many things can be done, so I'm inclined to believe it.
  • Teixeira's numbers will forever be slightly inaccurate, hence the asterisk. His average and high/low numbers will always be for one home run less than his actual total. Unless video that shows something other than Bobby Valentine staring at the dugout wall after his second home run on April 21 surfaces, there's no way to know when he crossed the plate. Of course, it was a Saturday game on FOX, so these mistakes are to be expected.
  • Cano might admire his homers off the bat, but doesn't waste much time getting around the bases from there. Someone tell him everything he hits is a home run so people will stop whining about him being out on a grounder by six steps instead of three.
  • Jeter and Ibanez circle the bases like they have something important to do right now. Almost like they're trying to add one extra at-bat on the back-end of their careers through accumulation. Not exactly sure what Granderson's problem is.
  • A-Rod is A-Rod. It was just about the least surprising thing possible to find his home run trots were almost across the board the slowest. If there's anything to justify his times it would be that he breaks it down to a crawl ten feet or so before the plate. He takes baby steps at the finish line. He would probably shuffle if not for fear of getting his cleats stuck in the ground and face planting.

The top-ten for the season can be found here. Luckily, the Yankees don't have a representative in the "mother of God, will you hurry up" list yet. It might be tough for anyone on the team to crack that list given the roster of prolific home run admirers they're competing with, but the good news is they'll probably get plenty of chances to try. Can't let the Red Sox have nice things, even if they aren't all that nice. Let them have no things.

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