Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
My previews of today's playoff games are up over at SI.com. The short version: the Rays have a significant home-field advantage, the Brewers must win today behind CC Sabathia, and the Cubs are in big trouble.
"Peters notes a growing number of players who will slide into first base, despite conventional wisdom that running through first is the faster way.
"Mathematically, you might think there's an advantage, but leaving your feet is actually a detriment because you're no longer pulsing (pumping your legs) and you start to decelerate," he says. "When you're running, your get your feet out in front of the center of gravity, so you're getting maybe three or four steps of an advantage."
Peters says the only advantage of any slide into first base is to avoid the first baseman's tag when he has to come off the base to spear an errant throw."
I think if your steps are timed incorrectly (requiring you to lunge with your leg to reach the base) then diving might get you there faster (as Neville showed in Bejing). To me, the biggest reason for not diving is the risk of injury (ask Roberto Alomar).
Lastly, I think the reason some players (like Melky) dive so much is because they think it shows that they are "hustling". In my view, if you have to "show" people that you hustle, then you probably don't. Just bust it down the line everytime, no matter what, even if it is a "meaningless" game. When you're getting paid big money to play a kid's game, is it too much to ask for you to run as hard as you can for 90 feet? (sorry for getting on my soapbox, but not running out a ground ball is a big pet peeve of mine)
Longoria made his major league debut in his age-22 season with 27 HR and a .272/.342/.531 line.
By the time he started his age-22 season, A-Rod had already won a batting title (he hit .358 at age 20), hit over 60 HR (then he hit 42 at age 22), and his career splits going into that season were .314/.366/.534. That includes the handfull of games he played at 18 and 19. IF you eliminate those, his line is .329/.383/.564 with 59 HR.
Longoria is special, but not like that.
Not looking good for the Brew Crew. Maybe starting Sabathia on short rest for the 4th straight time wasn't such a good idea.
Obviously, I've never tested my theory, but what I do know is that analogy to the sprinter is flawed because a sprinter never has to land on a defined spot.
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