05.27.05

Check Your Head

Posted in Baseball at 11:21 am by

The Toronto Star’s Allan Ryan on the perils of sliding head-first.

Let’s call this one “diving” for the cycle ” not to mention the disabled list.

Run the video:

The Padres’ Mark Loretta messes up his left thumb (the one he had reconstructive surgery on in 2001) diving into first base and will be lost eight to 10 weeks.

The Jays’ Corey Koskie celebrates his Minnesota homecoming by breaking his right thumb when he tags and tries to go first to second on a fly to centre. Out six to eight weeks.

The Indians’ Coco (Puff) Crisp tears ligaments in his thumb when he jams it oversliding the bag at third. Gone for maybe 12.

And the Angels’ Vlad Guerrero partially separates a shoulder diving across the plate when he tries to score from first on a double (in a 9-0 win). The two-week minimum, it’s hoped.

Common to this recent lot of misfortune: Headfirst slides.

Will they ever learn? Answer, instinct being what it is: No. You do, in that split-second, what you think you have to do.

HEAD TRIP: Given this risk of injury, you’ll never come across a manager who professes to loving nothing better than a good headfirst slide.

And while some players (Robby Alomar comes to mind) have argued that headfirst is faster, fact is, once you leave your feet, you’re slowing down.

Or as Twins manager Ron Gardenhire once explained to his troops: “You don’t see greyhounds diving across the finish line.”

Padre manager Bruce Bochy, who’ll occasionally put a dollar or two on the pooches, smiled when he heard that.
“I’ve seen ‘em take a dive ” with my money on ‘em,” he said.

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