Calling Stephen Drew’s gruesome ankle break last Wednesday night “a freak fluke” , D-Backs first base coach Eric Young reminds fans and pupils alike there’s a more surefire path to injury (and a higher-pitched way of making the argument than Gary Cohen might provide). From the Arizona Republic’s Jim Gintonio :
“(Drew) is one guy I wouldn’t have to ever worry about getting hurt sliding. We would have never thought that, not with him, he has the proper technique always, and his spikes just got caught in the dirt, and that’s a freak accident, a freak terrible accident.”
Head-first slides – which Justin Upton executed Sunday – can prove to be even more dangerous to a player, and Young usually avoided those as a player.
“I’m not a big proponent of the head-first slide; you leave your hands exposed to a lot. I know as a base stealer, I did it sometimes at second base and at third base if I felt I got a slow jump,” he said.
“At home plate, definitely, no head-first. I’m totally against it, and pretty much I’ve indicated to the guys: Let me tell you something, I’ve seen a lot of guys get hurt going head-first because that catcher will, with all that equipment on, will fall on you, hands, elbows, everything, head, neck, just so many things, shoulder, that can happen going head first.
“During the intensity, the act of the game, you do whatever comes, but I try to tell them, please avoid that because we can find you on the (15-day disabled list) quickly.”