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Punto’s firm beliefs

The always delightful Jim Souhan penned an article in the Star Tribune today about Nick Punto’s affinity for sliding into first base.  Head first. First off, Souhan compares this to some sort of drug addiction, which probably isn’t cool.  However, I’m not here to critique Souhan’s writing ability.  I’m here to discuss why Punto slides into first.  The answer is simple: he is an idiot. 

Punto isn’t so sure. “For some reason, I think it’s faster,” he said. “For all the people who have told me it’s not, I still think it is.
What does that even mean.  He has had experts from two different organizations show him on a watch that it is faster to run through the base.  How on earth does he think its faster when science tells him otherwise.  Does he not believe in dinosaurs either? Maybe him and Carl Everett should hang out and burn people at the stake or something. 

For those of you who can still put up with Rick Riley, he wrote a pretty standard puff piece today about role models.  The basic premise was athletes are role models to young people even if they don’t want to be.  Punto is setting a bad example for little leaguers.  Most young people probably look up to Nick Punto because he isn’t the biggest guy on the team, but he tries really hard.  Or some such nonsense that children believe.  Can you imagine a team from Minnesota in the Little League World Series, and all the players are sliding head first into first base? Our state would be the laughingstock of the country, not only have we had a pro wrassler as a governor, Stuart Smalley (probably the most unfunny character in SNL history, but that is neither here nor there) as a (potential) US Senator, and a bunch of kids who think sliding into first base is faster.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t live with that.

Punto’s coaches have tried to get him to stop.  To no avail.  I don’t care if this act gives off the appearance of his trying harder.  Plain and simple it just isn’t a good way to do things. So we have determined its slower.  That isn’t up for debate.  However,  Punto “firmly believes” it is faster. 

So not only does he choose to do something that is slower than the mainstream method, it is much riskier.  If he were to catch him thumb on the bag, he could easily dislocate his shoulder.  In fact, it happened to Nick Punto, Jr. (Matt Tolbert) last season.  It also happened to Glenn Williams a few years back. 

Is there anyone out there who likes that Punto does this?  It doesn’t mean he is “trying harder”.   If it were faster, Mr. Punto, why are you the only one who does it?  There are many things about Punto that infuriate me.  But two stand out.  1) Casual (and sometimes serious) fans’ irrational love for him despite his being a sub-par baseball player.  2) Sliding into first base. 2a) would probably be: Not only does he slide into first base but he is convinced it is the right thing to do.  That is just being ignorant.  Maybe one of the team leaders like Cuddyer or Mauer can address it in a serious fashion.  It seems like everyone says “that is just Nicky, nothing we can do to change it”.  I say fine his ass in kangaroo court (or with a legitimate team fine) every time he does it.  Hopefully that will teach him. 

Sorry for the rant, but it needed to be said.

8 comments

8 Comments so far

  1. sirsean February 25th, 2009 1:55 pm

    “I started when I was 8 years old,” Punto said. “I don’t know why. It wasn’t to be cool. It was to be safe.”

    I think that explains everything. Punto grew up in Bizarro World.

  2. Schulte February 25th, 2009 1:58 pm

    Fine him and then double his fine every single time he slides into first thereafter.

    Thinks it’s faster…sheesh.

  3. MarkW February 25th, 2009 3:34 pm

    I think you can blame coaching and the ahem Manager as well on this. They have the power to stop it, and they dont do it.

    Rule 1: Don’t slide head first into 1st base. This is not faster, it is not safer, it can only cause you to get out and injure yourself. If you do this in a game, you will be benched the following game, if you continue to do this, you will be benched and fined by the team (like money in the swear jar)

    There would be no need for anymore rules regarding this… you threaten the only two things that you can, playing time and their wallets.

    Then maybe little Nicky P will just think otherwise…

  4. FunBobby February 25th, 2009 3:42 pm

    That is the best idea, in theory. But like I mentioned, most people laugh it off and don’t view it as a serious problem that can hurt Punto and the team.

  5. MarkW February 25th, 2009 3:46 pm

    Well, since you put that way, hurting Punto might not be the worst of ideas! :) Sorry… but maybe I’m not…

    Harris at SS, bring up Tolbert… problem solved.

  6. sirsean February 25th, 2009 3:58 pm

    It’s only funny when it’s Punto. Anyone else does that crap and it’s time to get pissed off.

  7. Schulte February 25th, 2009 4:49 pm

    Punto signed this nice contract and all…is it possible that the Twins built in some terms of employment or conditions of his contract prohibiting him from engaging in such acts of stupidity?

  8. sirsean February 25th, 2009 8:58 pm

    Not really, no.

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