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Discussion: Sliding head first base or running thru.

Posted Discussion
Oct. 18, 2012
120 posts
Sliding head first base or running thru.
Baseball announcers repeatedly mock fast runners who slide into first on close plays, saying it is slower than running thru. They reference that track runners don't slide across the finish line. I thought the track finish line uses a chest high tape as the finish line. Interesting that none of the announcers were fast baseball runners when they played, if they played, yet they claim to know more than those who are playing now for a living. Decided to Google the subject and found a reference in which stated a slide is faster, if done correctly, especially a feet first slide. Amazing how readily some can ridicule others based on what is considered popular opinion. I suspect umpires may often miss calls when they are listening for the sound of the foot hitting the bag and the sound of the ball hitting the glove to decide. Point is its not as clear as the announcers made it seem when they mocked NYs Gardner when he slide into first base today. Oh well, back to the game. The commercials are done.
Oct. 19, 2012
Wayne 37
Men's 60
397 posts
To be blunt, it makes it hard for the umpire to judge safe or out.....a good umpire anyway. A bad umpire is just that, a bad umpire.

As a former a high school baseball umpire, if you use your ears to tell the sound of foot hitting the bag, and ball hitting the glove, you will never hear a sound most the time. Maybe the ball hitting the glove on a hard throw. Proper tracking of the ball with your eyes, and your positioning on the field are keys for the umpire in making the correct. Most bad calls at the higher levels are because the umpire somehow was of position. A play can blow up in your face in a split second.
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