Are we having more inside-the-park home runs than usual this year? I’m sure if you asked Nyjer Morgan, he’d say there have been. But that’s only because he’s caused two of them in the last week, so his opinion might be biased. Looking at the stats, it seems possible. Through Saturday, there have been five inside-the-park home runs in approximately 40 games. In all of 2009, there were 9 inside-the-parkers. In 2008, there were 11; in 2007, there were 15; and, in 2006, it was 13. If the pace keeps up for the rest of the season, we’ll end up with 20 inside-the-parkers on the season, the most in MLB since the 22 in 1997. But it’s hard to predict the pace of such a random event to continue throughout the season. However it ends up, though, we can say for sure that Adam Rosales has at least two home run trots faster than the inside-the-park home run trots of both Aubrey Huff and now Adam Jones.
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There’s nothing in this home run trot that stands out as a reason for it being so slow besides that fact that it’s Vladimir Guerrero. He gets out of the box quicker than usual and seems to be moving around the bases at a good clip. I guess it’s just the speed that a gimpy Vlad Guerrero can run at. The next slowest trot of the day belonged to Matt Stairs, at 24.14 seconds, which isn’t actually all that slow.
I guess there should probably be a little mention of Nyjer Morgan‘s tantrum that he threw out there in centerfield when he muffed the play. After letting the ball squeeze out of his glove, it bounced on the ground out of his sight. He apparently thought it had gone over the wall and, in a bit of frustration likely caused by it being the second home run of the week that he caused on a misplay, he slammed his glove down in disgust. Which, of course, allowed Jones to score the inside-the-parker. If he hadn’t have let himself get frustrated, he might have seen the ball on the ground and have been able to pick it up and get it back to the infield before Jones rounded third. So, yes, you can laugh and complain about Morgan’s lack of composure out there, but I think it’s silly if you think he intentionally let the ball roll away as Jones headed for home.