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Friday, May 09, 2014

The Base: Approach at Your Own Risk (ESPN)

Obscure Pavement lyric here…

[bq]It’s called baseball for a reason. The concept of a safe haven for voyagers on their way home provides the subtext for every game, and when we look out upon the field, we think we see the same three comforting, white, 15-inch-by-15-inch squares that our ancestors did. “Pillows,” they used to be called. “Bags,” they still are.

Bases.

Even the Major League Baseball Rule Book makes them sound inviting:

1.06 First, second and third bases shall be marked by white canvas bags, securely attached to the ground ... The bags shall be 15 inches square, not less than three nor more than five inches thick, and filled with soft material.

Hello, sweetheart, get me rewrite. The base is not a canvas bag filled with soft material. It is a hard rubber shell around more rubber, and it has very little give. It is so securely anchored to the ground that it would take a bulldozer to move it. Painted regularly for aesthetics, it is so slippery that players feel the need to put dirt on it. The base is high enough to trip up runners—and bear a team logo on the side that is visible from the upper deck. It is crowned in such a way that an occupant is liable to feel as if he or she is standing on a boat.[/bq]

[bq]Equally unforgiving are the critics, both casual and seasoned, who attach sole blame on this rash of injuries to the headfirst-happy players themselves. Asked about the propensity of his own dynamic rookie George Springer to launch himself, Astros manager Bo Porter said, “I don’t like headfirst sliding. It just exposes too much of your body. You can get fingers, hands [hurt]. We tell them [not to] all the time.”[/bq]

Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: May 09, 2014 at 02:35 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: equipment, injuries, safety

 

 

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