Athletics catcher Bryan Anderson ripped a home run in the fourth inning off of Chris Smith in an intrasquad game. As is baseball tradition, one must successively touch each base, ending with home plate, for the home run to become official. On a hot day in Mesa, Arizona, there wasn’t anything Anderson felt like doing less, so he veered right to go back towards the dugout, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Anderson’s teammates gave him some grief and made him round the bases. Outfielder Andrew Lambo called it the “most awkward home run trot ever”. Defending himself, Anderson said, “I just wanted to get back in the dugout, speed the game up a little bit.”
This all makes me realize that I’m a home run trot anarchist. In 99 percent of cases, the trot adds little or no value to the game and just creates an unnecessary 30-60 second pause, disrupting the flow of the game. A player should be allowed to opt out of running the bases, if he wants to, after hitting a homer. Players would still have to run hard out of the box most of the time and we wouldn’t lose the most important thing of all: the bat flip.
The 360-foot stroll around the bases, as Anderson points out, can be more of a punishment than anything. It’s about time for Major League Baseball to tackle this pressing issue.