David Ortiz is certainly a pioneer.
In 2010, Big Papi was the first player to break the 30-second barrier since the start of this website, when he took 30.59 seconds to round the bases following a blast off of Tampa Bay’s Wade Davis. Earlier this month, Ortiz set the record for the slowest (non-injury) tater trot of the Tater Trot Tracker-era with a glacial 33.39 second stroll through Fenway Park after skying one over Pesky’s Pole.
After getting off to a typically slow start at the plate, Papi started his trek around the bases, touching first only 8.65 seconds after making contact with the ball (normal for Ortiz). At 22.61 seconds, Papi rounded third and headed for home. Although most players would already be home after 22 seconds, Ortiz still had nearly 7.5 seconds to touch the plate before passing into 30-second infamy — and he would have made it, too, if he hadn’t done the most Papi thing ever.
With only steps to go, and the clock ticking away, Ortiz slowed from a trot to a walk. Again, this is a fairly typical move from Big Papi, but he raised the stakes by taking a brief skip with his foot in the air before very slowly planting his foot on home plate and ending the trot 30.3 seconds after he began it. If he had just ran through the plate at normal speed, or even just set his foot down without the strange skip, the trot would have come in under the 30-second mark and we wouldn’t be here talking about this.
What strikes me about this trot is that there was no outside pressure slowing Papi down. In 2010, you could argue that his (very brief) entanglement with the home plate umpire slowed him down enough to excuse his milestone trot. And the trot earlier this month was very much a product of the odd angles at Fenway Park. On Friday, it was just David Ortiz being really slow for one entire tater trot.
By now, I don’t think there’s anything more that needs to be said — it’s just Papi being Papi.