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BRDSR
04-11-2010, 08:19 PM
For the last 10 or so years, it seems to me that professional baseball players are basically unidimensional when it comes to sliding.

Quentin's 8th inning run was a perfect example. He did the standard left leg under slide when, when a head-first slide with the right hand swiping the plate would have put him 2-3 feet further from Mauer. I've watched the replay a few times, and I'm pretty sure that, all else being equal, if the ball made it cleanly into Mauer's glove, Quentin would have out. If Mauer would have had to lunge for him, he would have been safe.

Quentin's slide today is just an example. It seems like ballplayers around the league have gotten away from sliding smart. Is it a risk of injury thing? I know players are getting away from sliding headfirst into second and third because you can break fingers on the bag, but that's not a concern at home. Is it something that used to be taught but just isn't anymore? Less intuitive ballplayers?

kevingrt
04-11-2010, 08:22 PM
For the last 10 or so years, it seems to me that professional baseball players are basically unidimensional when it comes to sliding.

Quentin's 8th inning run was a perfect example. He did the standard left leg under slide when, when a head-first slide with the right hand swiping the plate would have put him 2-3 feet further from Mauer. I've watched the replay a few times, and I'm pretty sure that, all else being equal, if the ball made it cleanly into Mauer's glove, Quentin would have out. If Mauer would have had to lunge for him, he would have been safe.

Quentin's slide today is just an example. It seems like ballplayers around the league have gotten away from sliding smart. Is it a risk of injury thing? I know players are getting away from sliding headfirst into second and third because you can break fingers on the bag, but that's not a concern at home. Is it something that used to be taught but just isn't anymore? Less intuitive ballplayers?

With a guy like Quentin I think he doesn't go head first mainly because the risk of injury. And I don't mind that at all. And in fact I don't know if I ever remember seeing TCQ slide head first. I see where your post is coming from. But for some players, especially injury-prone guys like TCQ, a simple feet first slide works best for me even if it might cost us a run early in the season.

DSpivack
04-11-2010, 09:09 PM
With a guy like Quentin I think he doesn't go head first mainly because the risk of injury. And I don't mind that at all. And in fact I don't know if I ever remember seeing TCQ slide head first. I see where your post is coming from. But for some players, especially injury-prone guys like TCQ, a simple feet first slide works best for me even if it might cost us a run early in the season.

Was at a game in Milwaukee last September, saw the Giants take on the Brewers. Prince Fielder hit a double in the gap, and had a headfirst slide into second base where he jumped a bit first. It made for an exciting play [I don't remember the throw being all that close], seeing a guy that size hustle that much [and he wasn't all that slow, either].

MarkZ35
04-11-2010, 09:16 PM
Your never really suppose to slide headfirst into home plate unless you are positive there will be no contact. Contact, as in the catcher jumping at you and colliding directly with his equipment. Even Quentin won't put a dent in Mauers shin guards.

Soxgirl22
04-11-2010, 09:53 PM
Your never really suppose to slide headfirst into home plate unless you are positive there will be no contact. Contact, as in the catcher jumping at you and colliding directly with his equipment. Even Quentin won't put a dent in Mauers shin guards.

Yeah, the catcher has a huge advantage with the amount of gear he wears. Any contact with your body flattented out like that would be asking for an injury.

I didn't specifically see Quentin's slide today since I didn't catch the whole game, but to add my opinion, the runner has a better chance at trying to knock the ball away or block the catcher's vision going in leg-first, sitting up higher.

asindc
04-12-2010, 08:53 AM
Rickey Henderson said he started sliding head first because he got to the bag quicker that way, even though he got banged up more doing it.

BRDSR
04-12-2010, 09:11 AM
These are good points about injury, I just don't think they apply to Quentin's slide yesterday afternoon. If Mauer fields the ball cleanly, I think Quentin's slide results in some sort of contact with him. But if he'd slide to the left and swiped with his right hand, I think he avoids any contact.

Obviously that's just my "woulda coulda" opinion having watched the replay. Still, even if the risk of avoiding injury is usually a good reason to slide feet first, that doesn't mean its always a good reason to slide feet first.

bigdommer
04-12-2010, 09:25 AM
While it was not a great slide, I would never advocate sliding in to home headfirst. As a former catcher, I never ever tried to intentionally hurt someone, but I tagged the head or hand the same way I would a foot or leg. Catchers are taught to drive through the tag with their body, and most use their shin guard/knee while others will use a shoulder.

AngryCollins
04-13-2010, 12:44 PM
I would never slide headfirst into home. The smallest problem would be jammed/broken fingers. Or nose. Or collarbone.

g0g0
04-13-2010, 01:37 PM
*For running into catcher see Pete Rose.

mantis1212
04-13-2010, 02:39 PM
I don't think sliding head-first into home has ever been considered "sliding smart". Very dangerous