A day later, Jayson Werth’s mammoth home run – the one that flew clear out of Space Coast Stadium and may or may not have hit his large, white pick-up truck – remained the talk of Nationals’ spring training. Davey Johnson again called it the hardest ball Werth has hit as a National. The effort to determine if Werth really did hit his own truck raged on.
“It just left a hole in the Earth where my truck used to be,” Werth said. Then Werth relented and said the ball, according to a parking lot attendant, had actually hit the bumper.
The question that remained: How far did the home run travel?
Boz was on the case this morning. No, he was not just on the case. He grabbed the case, bear-hugged the case and smothered the case until he had strangled all life from the case.
Boz walked out behind the left field fence and found two eye witnesses of Werth’s homer: the parking lot attendant and the bartender who mans the Tiki hut behind the bleachers.
The parking lot attendant again confirmed the ball had struck Werth’s bumper. The bartender added a new clue: He saw Werth’s home run clang off the top of a palm tree before bouncing to the bumper.
The bartender had provided Boz crucial information with the palm tree detail: Boz knew exactly the point where the ball landed.
From there, Boz used the 340-foot measurement down the line, painted on the fence. “It’s a straight fence, not a belly fence,” Boz said. “That means it doesn’t go out as fast.” Eye-balling it, Boz concluded Werth’s home run had gone over the fence at the 352-foot mark.
Boz put his heels to the fence and marched 37 long paces, over a berm and all the way to the fence that protects the player’s parking lot. Because the berm provided 15 paces of uphill and downhill walking, he could not be sure how many feet that walk covered. He considered 111 the max.
Boz then walked out of the park and so he could cover the ground between the player’s parking lot fence and the tree. He paced off 24 feet.
The bartender had told Boz the ball had hit “right below the ruffle” on the tree, beneath the palms. Boz estimated that to be 12 feet up the tree.
At this point, Boz employed the “3-4-5 triangle rule we all learned in school,” he said. If the ball had hit 12 feet up the tree, he figured, the ball would have carried another nine feet had the tree not been there. Just to be sure, he put the extra distance at 9 to 12 feet.
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.”
And all of that is why Boz is the greatest.