Monday’s notes: Tracking Cabrera’s moon shot

I watched this replay of Miguel Cabrera’s home run of Jonathan Papelbon several times. I saw the ball disappear somewhere around the left-field concourse. I still couldn’t figure out whether it left the ballpark, no matter how many times I watched.

Finally, as the Tigers and Phillies were wrapped up this 10-1 affair, I decided to head out to the concourse and try to figure it out myself. I’m not good at this. I have neither a tape measure nor a very good sense of distance. But I figured I’d give it a shot.

The left-field concourse at Bright House Networks Field has two tiki bars — a big one for Frenchy’s, the local bar and grill known for their grouper sandwiches, and a smaller one that just serves drinks. The home run seemingly headed over the smaller one.

The bartender there was very nice, and tried to explain it as best she could while trying to take care of customers. She knew about the home run I was asking about, and said it hit off the fence behind her bar, as shown in this picture.

springtraining 032

Beyond that fence, you can see there’s a drop. That’s pretty much where the ballpark ends. There’s a player parking lot behind there, but the ball reportedly did not land there. There was another report that the ball hit a refrigeration unit down there. But in an area with two tiki bars and no shortage of customers, I’m taking the word of the one who hasn’t had a drink.

springtraining 031The concourse looks to be about 50 feet wide, followed by another 50 feet to the fence. It’s 329 feet down the left-field line, but no other measurement between there and center field. Best guess is that it’s about 350 feet to the fence where he hit it. Add another 100 feet as explained above, and you have a (loosely, and perhaps conservatively) estimated 450-foot drive.

The picture on the right shows what the view looks like from just in front of that back fence, demonstrating how far back it is.

From what the bartender and the Philadelphia media said, it’s not rare to see a ball travel that far in that area. Home runs have landed in the player parking lot before, shattering windshields. One of those happened last spring. Most of those, though, were hit in batting practice. Cabrera did it in a game.

However, Cabrera did it in a spring training game, and spring training games don’t get official estimates. This was my best shot.

Other information, hopefully more accurate, from today in Tigers camp:

  • Drew Smyly felt very good about the few changeups he threw in his two innings of work. The mechanical adjustment pitching coach Jeff Jones made with him feels more like a natural pitch, he said. Before, he was trying to force the changeup as he released it.
  • Look for a feature on Nick Castellanos on the site tonight, but one of the interesting points he made was that he thinks he feels some of his success hitting left-handers comes from the fact that he grew up hitting pitches thrown by his father, a left-hander. Over the years, he developed an inside-out swing by trying to send the pitch back from the angle it came. Ironically, he roughed up right-handed pitching all day Monday after lefty Cliff Lee struck him out on a called third strike, but Lee does that a lot.
  • Leyland said he spent Sunday night going over potential rosters. It sounds like Ramon Santiago’s spot is safe, barring injury, as is Brayan Pena’s role as backup catcher. That leaves two spots left, at least one going to an extra outfielder, and at least some consideration for a right-handed hitter and a pinch-runner. You can see the opportunity there for Jeff Kobernus to take if he hits, and his leadoff single through the middle ahead of Castellanos’ home run in the fifth didn’t hurt.
  • Max Scherzer felt fine today, according to Leyland. He’ll throw one more live batting practice session before he’s cleared to start next Saturday in one of the Tigers’ split-squad games, likely at home against the Pirates.


I estimated 450 feet to the power pole behind the tiki bar using Google Maps.

Can we please start the campaign to nickname him McTriple? It’s got his initials + triple crown + slightly large reference. He’s overdue for a nickname. Somebody get this to Rod ASAP.

He is called The Pope Cabrera. ( El Papa Cabrera , papa means both Pope and potato ).Also El muchacho de la película , the venezuelan expression for the good guy of the movie

2 spots left. Somebody’s gonna be disappointed. Keep playiing guys. You never know what could happen.

Downs def. put in his bid today.
Starting pitchers outside of the big 6 …. not looking so go, thus far.

We’re under a tornado watch today in Florida. Heavy weather coming, although radar projects we could at least get this one started for enough innings to make it worthwhile. I’ve been to Kissimmee’s ballpark twice and both were rainouts.

That would be 2008 (one inning played) and 2012.

All of a sudden the Tigers are looking pretty good in the outfield. I must admit to a great deal of impatience having to wait for Castellanos and Garcia. I like them both and feel that Garcia will be a better player (with Miggy here) than he might be somewhere else. But, I think he will be going somewhere else. Just a feeling. Not happy about it but, like I say, just a feeling.
The conundrum of playing time for the above must be difficult for DD. I also feel that they need to be getting 450 PAs this year too.
Boesch’s time here looks about done. I have mixed feelings about that too. In his case he might be a better player if he WAS traded away, rather than stay.
Dirks just keeps playing the game of baseball. He must be a little (just a little) put off with all the media pronouncements of NC being the Tiger left-fielder in 2014. He also must be thinking that if Castellanos just bangs the stuffing out of the ball this spring he may have to worry about 2013.
There are two guys I just don’t see making the cut. Berry and Kelly. The competition is just too talented. Heck, even Kobernus has a shot.
If I had to predict, (provided Andy is and stays healthy) I would say NC and AG go to Toledo; Berry & Kelly don’t make the 25; Boesch & Kobernus go north. With Tyler Collins on the rise!

The press conference presenting Fielder was also the farewell conference for Miguel ( or Verlander)
Fenway park is a paradise if you nan pull the ball being LH.
The RF porch is short in the Bronx
So, there is a remote chance of being fred from the burden d by the Red Sox trying to prey on the Yankees moment of weakness .Or the Evil Empire © , after a year of futility and not going to the postseason for the first time since 1993
I expect them to trade or cut Boesch

For the first time, I watched “Moneyball” last night. Absolutely loved it.

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