Rowdy Tellez belted out his 22nd home run of the year Friday in Milwaukee, but that’s his… uh, speed? …many fans will remember.
Tellez, the 6-foot-4, 255-pound first baseman, caught the Cincinnati Reds napping in the third inning, taking off for second base without even firing a throw from catcher Michael Papierski.
“I didn’t throw it,” Tellez said afterwards, referring to the lack of a backstop throw. “Speed kills. I can’t wait for all the memes that look like cheeseburgers or hotdogs to float past me, running. They’re going to be everywhere, so it’s going to be fun. Luckily I don’t have contacts social media.”
It’s unfortunately not Tellez’s first career stolen base, but it’s his first since joining the Brewers last year. He also stole one with Toronto on June 12, 2019, although that also failed to fire a pitch as the Baltimore Orioles opted to keep an eye out for another runner at third base.
Perhaps emboldened by his newfound speed, Tellez was kicked out trying to fly a week later, one of two flights taken in his career. He was also officially caught stealing in 2020, despite being a selection game.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell was asked if he thought Tellez’s 432-foot first-inning outburst or stolen base was more impressive.
“I don’t watch a lot of home runs,” Counsell said. “It was worth watching, where he landed. I thought he had a chance for the next deck.”
Statcast ranks Tellez 490th out of 504 Major League Baseball players in sprint speed. But hey, he’s now back in the lead as circuit crew chief.
Fans applauded Tellez warmly after Friday’s robbery. Starter Eric Lauer doesn’t think it ends there, and he also suggested it’s the perfect cure for a team on a frustrating four-game skid.
“He’s going to steal another one this year,” Lauer said. “I’ll bet it. If he doesn’t steal another one this year, I’m going to be upset.
“That’s the fun of the game, that’s the part where it’s one of those, we’re still just big kids playing a game. It’s a lot more serious than that. But those fun little moments where you can just have fun with the game, take the stress and anxiety out of it, and just say, ‘Wow, that’s something you’re not going to see (unless) once in a while time.'”
So Is Tellez has another stolen base in him this year?
“No,” Tellez said emphatically. “If it happens again, maybe. I only have two in my career. I’m still out of breath. It was good; I had a lot of razzing and my phone explodes. Not about doing circuits, but about that.”
JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.