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Just in case the local media needed another reason to rip on A-Rod, here are the results of a study done by the WSJ on time around the bases:
In case New Yorkers needed another way to compare Derek Jeter to Alex Rodriguez, we’ve found something new. When Mr. Jeter hits a home run, it takes him 20.19 seconds to round the bases, the second-fastest time among Yankees starters. Mr. Rodriguez needs 24.94 seconds, the slowest mark on the team….
The average home-run time in the majors is 21.89 seconds, according to Marquette University data coordinator Larry Granillo. As a team, the Yankees are the 12th-fastest, edging the Mets by two-tenths of a second.
Outfielder Curtis Granderson is the fastest Yankee at 18.81 seconds, but that’s partly because many of his home runs barely leave the yard—he runs quickly because he doesn’t know where the ball will end up.
Most of Mr. Rodriguez’s home runs are sure things. Maybe that’s why he pauses for a second to admire them.
Those last two sentences are simply not true, as Alex was second on the team in “just enough” home runs last year with 11, according to Hit Tracker, and only hit 5 “no doubt” homers. Being that I cannot remember a single time during which Alex did not hustle out of the box, I would assume that he was running hard on those shots. That would suggest that he was taking his time on the other homers, such that he ended up with an average time 3 seconds longer than the league average.
All that said, this is just a bit of observational minutiae that does not amount to much. We are talking about a handful of seconds here on a decidedly small sample, such that one slow trot on a walkoff home run could skew the sample. Furthermore, even if he does go slower than most, it does not mean that he is stopping to admire his shot, just that he takes his “free” bases slower than some other players. In all, it is much ado about nothing.
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