Jayson Werth’s stop-sliding exploits are hypnotizing


(Ed Szczepanski / USA Today Sports)

Jayson Werth’s slide-stop between bases is nothing new. Heck, Kilgore wrote the definitive piece on the issue nearly three years ago. Excerpt:

“I’ve been doing that since I was kid,” Werth explained. “In my mind, it’s the best option. Maybe it was my size and being tall, kind of gangly when I was younger. Short strides when I was younger to stop were not really the easiest thing for me to do. So I just was kind of like, ‘I’ll just pop-up slide and get back.’ It’s stayed with me, and I’ve always done it. For me, it’s the best option.”

It is also the safest option. Players can roll ankles trying to make a hard stop after coming around the bag. Anthony Rendon, the Nationals’ first draft pick, broke his ankle trying to do it playing for Team USA a couple years ago.

“It’s not easy to shut it down like that, to plant, turn around and go back the other way, with spikes on,” Werth said.

As far as I’ve seen, Werth is the only major leaguer who uses the slide-to-stop technique on the bases.

So why revisit this now? Because — at least according to my own recent cataloging of Werth base-running exploits — the outfielder has now accomplished a rare, possibly unprecedented feat. We now have video evidence of Werth completing a career basepath pop-up stop-slide cycle: sliding randomly to a stop between first and second, between second and third and between third and home. This could be like DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak: a record that will never be broken.

Obviously this isn’t a complete record of Werth slide-stopping, but it is definitive evidence of his slide-stop cycle. Congrats to Werth and his family.

Here he is between first and second.

Here he is between second and third.

And here he is between third and home.

As a special bonus, here is a different sort of halting maneuver, via @recordsANDradio.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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