The Red Sox were down 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, and it looked like they might drop their second series of the year despite a strong effort from starting pitcher Jake Peavy. David Ortiz came to the rescue against Rangers' reliever Neal Cotts, though, destroying a 1-1 pitch left right out over the plate, depositing it into the right field bleachers.
This was no Pesky Pole special, either: according to Hit Tracker Online, this ball was out of all 30 parks, and gave Ortiz the early-season lead for homers classified as "No Doubt" shots as well. Ortiz just crushed it, as it came off the bat at almost 108 miles per hour, and traveled 409 feet at a dead pull. That dead pull caused the shot to just make it in terms of being fair, however:
The home run would be reviewed immediately, as umpire Jerry Meals even hesitated prior to calling the ball fair to begin with. The original call would stand, though, giving the Red Sox the lead, while also giving Ortiz a curious piece of baseball history: the longest recorded time between contact with the pitch and home plate, according to Larry Granillo's Tater Trot Tracker.
Ortiz is known to take his time on his homer trots, and was the first player to ever in Granillo's now five seasons of trot tacking to take more than 30 seconds to cross home plate. Wednesday's shot took 32.91 seconds per Granillo's time keeping, besting the previous record held by Bobby Abreu by about 1.5 seconds. There's a simple explanation for this, though, that goes beyond Ortiz rubbing it in the Rangers' faces -- hey, he's done it before -- and that's the fact that this shot might have been foul. Ortiz took his time to wait and see, just like the umpires:
Big Papi watched it for six seconds until he was sure it was in the Red Sox' favor, and then took off on his typical slow victory jaunt. It's not the most ridiculous trot he's ever taken, but hey, it still counts as the lengthiest.