UPDATE: Click through for the video and a play-by-play of Bart’s colorful trot. (I had to move the video below the fold so things weren’t pushed off to the side much.)
For the first time in what might be five years, I made an explicit effort to watch tonight’s episode of The Simpsons. The news came out a few weeks ago that Bill James, the godfather to us all, would appear on a Simpsons episode. I wasn’t sure what to think about that at first – I’ve seen way too many terrible guest stars on The Simpson in the last ten, twelve years to react positively to any news – but I slowly came around to the idea. As today approached, the enthusiasm of people like Rob Neyer, Joe Posnanski, and Jonah Keri got to me and I just had to watch it.
And, frankly, I’m happy I did. It was much funnier and well-written than I expected, and they seemed to give a good point of view on the stats-vs-heart argument. Not that I’m reading much into a Simpsons storyline or anything. No way.
If you watched the episode – and if you didn’t, I guess I should say SPOILER WARNING – then you know that, about half-way through it, Bart hits a game-winning home run. Once he realizes it’s gone, he busts out an emphatic and well-choreographed home run trot, including cartwheels, the moonwalk, and the worm. As the keeper of the Tater Trot Tracker, I took it as my duty to time that trot. The trot comes in at a speedy 17.85 seconds.
We can’t judge Bart’s trot against that of major leaguers, though. Bart, as a 10-year-old boy, can’t be expected to run as fast as a grown man. Plus, on a Little League field, the bases are placed only 60 feet apart. This is just not an apples-to-apples comparison.
Still, I’ll take a colorful 17.85 second trot like that over the fast, but mostly boring, trots we see from speedsters like Andrew McCutchen or Marlon Byrd. Thanks for making things exciting, Bart.
(Click “Read More” to see the trot play-by-play.)
With Lisa, channeling her inner-Billy Beane to the best of her ability, imploring Bart not to swing and just take the walk, Bart takes the first two pitches. On the 2-0 count, the pitcher offers up a nice, fat pitch that Bart can’t refuse. He swings and makes good contact. Bart watches the ball fly over the centerfield fence. “Savor the moment”, right Bart?
Once the ball clears the fence, Bart busts out of the box at a nice clip. He’s not unlike Albert Pujols in that regard. He reaches first 7.9 seconds after making contact. As he rounds the bag, he goes into his first celebration – cartwheeling all the way to second base.
The cartwheels are nice and quick. Bart touches the second-base bag at 9.6 seconds. He’s on pace for an Adam Rosales trot!
Of course, he can’t help himself. As he rounds second, Bart switches into his next celebratory dance – the moonwalk.
He moonwalks all the way to third, slowing his trot time down considerably. He reaches third and switches into his next move at 13.4 seconds. He pulls out all the stops here, though. First, the Zombie!
…which morphs quickly into the Worm!
…which finally ends with the slow pimp-crawl.
Bart finally touches home at 17.85 seconds and is carried off the field by his teammates.
As I said, I love me some Andrew McCutchen, Chris Heisey, or Marlon Byrd tater trots, but if someone could bust out this Bart Simpson trot in a real game, I’ll die a happy man. Maybe Brooks Conrad could hit another walk-off grand slam and use this trot in celebration. We’d certainly all understand.