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Eric Young had an inside the park homer. Yawn.

Aug 9, 2012, 8:53 AM EST

Eric Young Inside the Park

I know I mention this a couple of times a year and I know it makes me sound like a big freakin’ crank, but I’ll say it again anyway: most inside the park homers are lame.

Case in point: Eric Young had one last night in the Rockies-Dodgers game. Video here. The picture to the right says it all, though: it was an inside the parker by virtue of Matt Kemp misplaying the ball off the wall, which he allowed to dribble back into shallow center.

Most inside the park homers are like that. Either a misplay, or an outfielder falling down or something. Much like triple plays — which are often themselves the product of a mental error by a baserunner or happen by sheer dumb luck — I find inside the park home runs to be kinda boring and anti-climactic.

For exciting plays, give me clean triples, or runners scoring from either first or second base on close plays. Defensively, give me an around-the-horn double play or a laser throw from an outfielder.

And get off my lawn.

  1. acdc363 - Aug 9, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    Funny stuff!

  2. kiwicricket - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    I was practically writing ‘get off of Craig’s bunker’s lawn’ before I read the last sentence.

  3. crisisjunky - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Craig, its posssible you may have been born a hundred-odd years too late, (or perhaps are channelling your most recent previous incarnation) longing for the days of cavernous distances
    to the outfield extremities, when a home run was a legitimate drive between the outfielders, or perhaps a decent ricochet off a horse-drawn carriage.

  4. delawarephilliesfan - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    Granted, Kemp over ran the ball otherwise he would have fielded it off the wall, but that was hardly a major miscue! He nearly had it, and it ain’t the easiest thing in the world to pick up a ball hit high and over your head.

    But to your main point – yes, there has to be some misplay for an inside the park home run. So what? No one should be able to steal home either, yet it happens, and when it does you appreciate the uniqueness of it and give credit to the runner. Ryan Howard would have been hard pressed to get a triple on Eric Youngs shot. Baseball is all about weird angles and odd hops – why do you think there is a frickin’ hill in center field in Houston? You want rigid regimentation, go watch Football.

    Don’t forget – Walt Kowalski eventually embraced the Hmong

    • nightman13 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      I’m with you to an extent. The hill in centerfield is ridiculous and shouldn’t be allowed. It reminds me of Mutant League Football on Sega Genesis where there were mines and holes in the middle of the field and players would just blow up or fall off into space never to be seen again.

      • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        Agreed – I too do not like that hill. I just used it to illustrate that baseball does go for the odd angles, asymmetric parks, etc., and they do that to produce unusual hops that can lead to the unexpected.

        But I agree, that hill is over the line

      • stex52 - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        I think it will be gone this winter. It is ridiculouse, and – besides – Tal Smith did not leave on good terms with the new ownership. Good bye, “Tal’s Hill.”

  5. yankeesgameday - Aug 9, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    And keep the neighbourhood kids from playing Marco polo

  6. ajcardsfan - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

    Old Gator vs Craig in a demonstration of who can sound the crankiest, go!

  7. hotkarlsandwich - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    The Best. http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/09/01/man-down-ryan-braun-wipes-out-going-for-inside-the-parker/

  8. metalhead65 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:32 AM

    what inside the park homers which do not happen that often mess up your precious saber stats or what? how do you not find those exciting?

    • salvomania - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      One word: punctuation.

      • metalhead65 - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        2 words- BLOW ME! it’s a sports blog and I do not come her for the grammer nazis!

      • salvomania - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:53 AM

        Obviously.

      • crisisjunky - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:02 PM

        pissing contest. Two words, one punctuation mark.

      • nightman13 - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        @metalhead

        Couple of points.

        1.) It’s probably more productive to learn to write properly than it is to yell at those who point out that you don’t.

        2.) What does “come her” mean?

        3.) Since we’re the ones that have to try to read the gibberish you type, WE should be yelling at you.

  9. stex52 - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    I’m pretty purist myself. But it is the very idea of the imperfections in the game that give it much of its excitement. Witness all the replays the Astro’s cluster-play on Tuesday got.

    I got a lot from the spirit of Morgan Ensberg’s comment several years back. The general thread was, “I don’t worry what a pitcher’s best stuff is. I hit mistakes.” It’s the nature of a game that requires reflexes, judgement, and precision.

  10. sabatimus - Aug 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Totally right about the inside-the-parks, though Fenway Park itself is very ripe for them, given the cavernous right field and the very-odd right-center. But the triple plays I remember are the ones that are 5-4-3 due to an infield liner. That however might be due to the fact that the Twins pulled off two of those against the Sox in one game, and Ned Martin said “Mercy me Gerald”.

  11. hushbrother - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Generally true, but an exception to this rule occurred in this game, which I was at:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS198906020.shtml

    An inside-the-park grand slam by Junior Felix. It was a bomb to the triangle, no misplay or bad bounce, with Junior absolutely flying around the bases; I remember watching the flight of the ball, and then looking at the runners, and being shocked that Felix was almost around the bases before the ball was back to the infield.

    Nothing yawn-inducing about that play. The crowd was electrified.

    • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:27 PM

      I have a similar story – I was in attendance for this game

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI198507240.shtml

      1 – 1 game, bottom of the 8th, Nolan Ryan pitching. Von Hayes hit a ball to right center with insane hang time, nearly went out of the park. Right Fielder was at the wall attempting to catch it, Center Fielder was right there to back it up if he missed. Ball was too high on the wall to be caught, then bounced straight up in the air on one on hop – a HUGE Astroturf hop. Hayes was already around 2nd when the ball hit the ground. The ball was fielded on that one High hop, and Hayes was nearly at 3rd. The Center fielder was standing with the ball 370 feet from home. Guess who won that race?

      3-1 lead, fans going insane. Even Craig would have loved it

  12. crisisjunky - Aug 9, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    Only baseball could make a legend of a man named Wambsganss.

  13. theawesomersfranchise - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    Craig feels it necessary to point out something in baseball that is “boring and anti-climatic”

    80% of the actual game of baseball is boring and anti-climatic

  14. dan1111 - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    I do believe it’s true that only a Nazi would want words to be put together in a way that gives them a discernable meaning. The rest of us are content to stare at this gibberish for a few seconds and then move on to the next bunch of inscrutable hieroglyphs, happy just to be here and playing the game. Meaning is for losers, and it doesn’t exist anyway, if you believe the sages of our age. Let’s go fish! Am I rooting for the Marlins, or do I want to grab hook and line and head for the river? Since I’m not a fascist, and neither are you, no one cares.

    • jimeejohnson - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:16 PM

      Fascist, like Nazi, should be capitalized! A grammar cop told me. As for the rest of your post: you must’ve failed English class a bunch of times, ok? You gave it away when you claimed “meaning is for losers”. I still gave you a thumbs up, but am not sure why.

  15. foreverchipper10 - Aug 9, 2012 at 2:42 PM

    Prince Fielder has one (or maybe two?) of these. If you can tell me seeing him rumble around the basepaths is NOT entertaining well, then I don’t know anymore.

    • nightman13 - Aug 9, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      Prince has two, but one should have an asterisk since it bounced off a speaker at the Metrodome…hey maybe that’s why it collapsed?

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