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Florida Baseball Season Opens as Spring Training Homer Falls Short

Paul Sancya/AP - “I think the skipper wanted to win today. We had a little extra giddy-up,” said Jayson Werth.

Major League Baseball opens Wednesday night at Miami’s brand new, retractable roof ballpark as the Miami Marlins host the St. Louis Cardinals. Along with the new ballpark, the team gets a new manager, Ozzie Guillén.

The Tampa Bay Rays open their season Friday at 3:10 p.m. against the Yankees at Tropicana Field with manager Joe Maddon, a two-time American League Manager of the Year.

But, spring training isn’t wrapping up on Florida’s Space Coast without some controversy. It seems a “mammoth home run” hit by Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth last week is not as gargantuan as originally characterized by sports writers.

Washington Post reporter Adam Kilgore documents how fellow sports columnist Thomas Boswell calculated that Werth’s spring training smash fell short:

Boz had his figures: 352 feet to the fence, a max of 111 feet to the player’s lot, 24 feet to the tree and another 12 to 9 feet of hypothetical post-tree flight. With those numbers, Boz arrived at his answer: Jayson Werth’s home run traveled between 489 and 499 feet. His best guess was 492 feet. “I would have liked to get him 500,” Boz said. “I just couldn’t.”

You can read the Washington Post article HERE.

The longest home run in baseball history - well the tall tales vary. Here’s what the online baseball almanac said:

Few people like the response given because, unlike other baseball stats, it is the farthest thing from perfect as illustrated by this superb article called Long Distance Home Runs written by William J. Jenkinson.

You can read Jenkinson’s article HERE.

Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.
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