We all know a “no-doubter” when we see one hit. There is, as a rule, “no doubt” it will leave the yard. Pretty simple, really.
ESPN’s Home Run Tracker classifies home runs three different ways: Just Enough, Plenty, and No Doubters. No doubters are balls which “cleared the fence by at least 20 vertical feet AND landed at least 50 feet past the fence.” by their in-house definition. The really deep blasts, they sexily go on to note.
Jose Bautista hit a No Doubt home run off Jeff Niemann on Tuesday night. At 449 estimated feet, it travelled farther than any Blue Jays tater this season. As soon as it left the bat, it was clearly gone.
There are two terrific indicators that Bautista’s blast was a no doubter, beyond the whole “ball go far” thing. First, the reaction of Jeff Niemann on the hill. He swears and throws up his hands immediately after impact, turning his back to the ball with its fate already assured.
The other, as you can see in second half of the below gif, is the reaction of left fielder Matt Joyce. He doesn’t move. Not even an inch. He barely turns his head to watch it fly.
Standing like a statue while a home runs screams out of the yard is something of a baseball faux pas. Fielders usually offer a token jog on even the most mammoth of blasts.
Not Joyce. He has a nice little spot carved out on the Rogers Centre carpet and has no intention of giving it up, especially in the futile pursuit of a guaranteed souvenir. It really sells the moment, the helplessness of watching another prodigious Bautista Bomb sail high into the seats.