Back in the day, I used to lunge head first into first base on close plays. I've always held that a head first kamikaze lunge was faster than running through.
Note that I didn't say "sliding". Genuine (head first) sliding into first base to gain an advantage is for sissies, and I'm more than willing to admit is slower than running through the bag.
ESPN Sports Science did a careful high motion study of running through versus diving and overlaid an instance of each technique for a comparison.
ESPN's conclusion? Running through is faster than head first sliding.
But for all their effort, ESPN missed the obvious. The head first slide instance initially pulls ahead of the run-through instance. So...this isn't rocket science...the head first "slider" should arrive at first base while the technique is ahead.runner (at 1:19) in the video.
Now this shouldn't really be called "sliding" into first base because no sliding takes place until after the runner has reached first base. There is an injury risk downside in that the kamikaze lunge landing is going to be more violent than the slide, as the runner will be using some angular momentum to throw his top half downward while keeping his feet on the ground driving forward.
Dogmatic proponents of the run-through technique often counter with the argument "You never see sprinters dive, do you?" So much for that one. Last night, Shaunae Miller stole* the gold from Allyson Felix by diving.
Did this change anyone's opinion about diving into first base?
I think critics of Harold Reynold's opinion such as this sarcastic writer owe Reynolds an apology.
*stole in the non-pejorative sense
Winner goes to Williamsport. 5pm Eastern on ESPN 2. (Edit: scoreless after 1 but in a rain delay)
Who ya got? Kentucky's pitching is probably much more rested up, but this Michigan team can hit bombs.
The team representing the state of Michigan will now play Wisconsin. Nice game, fellas. 1-0, the good guys. The other guys go home to Hamilton, Ohio.
No love for 3,000 hits? I know it’s old news (Aug 7th)*, but we did get an A-Rod retirement thread on that day. I went back 7 pages looking for an Ichiro post and was surprised no one posted anything.
Ichiro is now one of 30 MLB players with 3,000 hits. Pretty cool that the 42 year old legged out a triple on his 3,000th hit. Ichiro and Rose are the only players with 3,000 hits in their first 16 seasons and he is tied with Rose for most 200 hit seasons (10). He started his “rookie” season as a 27 year old helped usher in the influx of Asian position players.
IMHO - Class act player with a beautiful swing and sure to be in the HOF. His jersey, cleats, arm guard and batting gloves he wore when he hit #3,000 were sent to the HOF.
My cool story – I met (briefly) his parents and wife after a Braves game last summer.
* I’ve been busy and neglected this blog recently. SIAP - I looked!
Home run. That's like storybook type stuff.