How many times have you seen your favorite player on your favorite team slide into first base? It isn’t something that happens often but when it does, it is enough to make thousands of fans cringe. Studies have shown that at least at first, where the runner can run through the bag and down the line, it is faster to do just that instead of slide. Never, ever slide into first. It is not faster and it is way more dangerous. Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Bourn found that out once again.
Bourn hit a little grounder and rushed down the line. It was one of those plays where the pitcher was racing to the bag to cover. Pause right here for a moment. Even if you or someone you know thinks that sliding headfirst into first base is faster, at least admit that it is not a good idea to do it when the pitcher is racing towards the bag at a different angle. Un-pause.
As soon as they both got to the bag, the pitcher’s cleat unintentionally spiked Bourn’s hand. For the Indians, this could have been a huge loss. It turns out that it just needed stitches and a few days of rest. Man oh man, with the hand involved how many ligaments could have been damaged that would have ruined the rest of the season?
If I were Terry Francona I would enforce a strict no sliding into first rule for Bourn and the rest of his team. Never, ever do it! Even if it did get you to the bag quicker by a fraction of a second, it wouldn’t be worth the injury risk. Pass it along to family and friends, folks. Never let a friend slide into first. The world of baseball will be a better place for it.