Nyjer Morgan gets new style

Nyjer Morgan is the Nationals young superstar CFer. acquired from the Pirates in 2009 Morgan was second in the national league in stolen bases with  42. He also was first in getting caught with 17  failed attempts.  Oh yeah he also batted .307.

Morgan missed the Final five weeks of the season on the DL after breaking his wrist sliding headfirst . Morgan admits he slides like he does partly for show. In reality most of the time its not even close he is safe by a mile.

So this season Morgan will have to find another way to get dirty as Manager Jim Riggleman is instilling a feet first policy that not only applys  to Morgan but to Nats throughout the system.

“There’s a transition there. It takes a little time, but that’s why we got to keep practicing it,” Riggleman said. “Our message to the guys — not just Nyjer, but all of them — is any of them who have always slid headfirst, we would like to get you going feetfirst.”       (quote compliments of the Associated press)

It has been shown that players that slide feet first can begin thier slide later than those who go head first. This late slide causes the baserunner to reach the bag quicker. The feet first technique is also more effective in breaking up the play, this is especially true at the plate when coming in hard is often your best move on  aclose play.

Because baseball shoes are spiked on the bottom, sliding with the spikes up increases the probability of injury to the defensive player covering the base. Knowledge of this fact can often increase the defensive player’s fear of the possible contact from an impending slide and thus increase his distraction while attempting to make a play.

On the other side of the coin often the head first slide gives much less body exposure to the defender. Advocates of the head first slide often feel that they have more control of which side of the bag we slide to. One other move associated with such a slide is the swim move when the slider lifts his arm over the tag in an effort to tag the base and avoid the tag.

The Risks of the head first slide outweigh the benefits as 90% of injuries associated with slide happen during the head first slide. Makes you wonder if more teams will take this approach.

For now we are going to file this under interesting ideas. Lets take a look at it later in the year and see if its working out for them. I know ill be eatching to see if they really stick to this new  Philosophy or if its just a wild eyed nationals fantasy.

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