Friday, April 8, 2011

Start with Sliding, Move to the Dougie

If the Cali Swag District isn't available, perhaps we can get Davey Lopes, Cali Slide District - Bureau Chief, to swing by the Jays while they're in LA to teach Yunel Escobar how to slide.

Headfirst is risky, this much I know. But am I crazy in thinking that Yunel slides headfirst into a base in an, um, unorthodox manner? Take a look at the screencaps of varying quality below.

Two separate triples (first against the Twins last Saturday, the second the ominous concussion-causing slide from Wednesday), two God-awful slides. Is he doing some sort of Bill Madlock, rolling block homage? I don't get it.

Why on Earth does he come into the base on his side? I know Cuban baseball players pride themselves on being stylish and swagging out every single moment on the field, but Yunel's headfirst sliding is awkward & ugly.

Leaving aside the strained expressions of Escobar in flight — seriously, for such a slick fielder he doesn't appear especially athletic when chugging around the bases — sometimes needs to pull him aside and teach him how to slide. Headfirst or otherwise.

Not only might he get himself killed, he just looks bad. And that isn't what I've come to expect from the swaggering wonder. Keep swinging that mean stick though, first pitch destruction!


  1. When the head-first slide is done well, it can be pretty G. That's why I'm guessing Yunel does it.

    However, those are just brutal attempts. They drop his swag factor for me.

  2. The crazy thing about Yunel is that his lateral speed seems so much better than his straight-ahead speed. I can't figure him out.

    That was a brutal slide.

  3. Drew, good find - I knew the slide wasn't pretty, but didn't realize it was THAT bad. With the angle he takes towards the bag, it looks like he's running in from the outfield.

  4. Maybe if he actually started running right after he hit the ball instead of jogging til he found out the fielder missed it in the lights he wouldn't have to come into 3rd like a freight train off its tracks.

    Methinks he could have made it standing up.

    Talented but a headcase I fear, but he is our head case!!!

  5. While I appreciate that what you've said is true, I can understand not bolting out of the box when you see a line drive hit directly at a fielder. In his own mind, that ball was already caught.

  6. This whole blog is downright awful, whoever writes this should be ashamed. Although, perhaps this could be an effective introduction to baseball for children.

  7. You make a great point anon. Thanks!

  8. "Not only might he get himself killed, he just looks bad"

    I think that might actually be the only way to get through to him.

    Bautista will have to pull him aside and tell him his swag has lag.

  9. @anon

    How can something be both awful AND a good introduction for children? It can't possibly be both.


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