San Diego Padres second baseman Cory Spangenberg saw his promising rookie season interrupted for almost seven weeks due to a knee injury suffered on a takeout slide by Arizona’s Nick Ahmed. Should such slides be made illegal?
Even after being injured on such a slide, Spangenberg tells The Season that he’s not sure rules need to be changed.
Instead, Spangenberg contends that umpires have to be diligent about enforcing the current rules while sliding players have to take responsibility for keeping the game safe.
Spangenberg said players are able to slide in hard to the shortstop or second baseman, potentially disrupting the pivot, without creating as violent or dangerous contact.
“I’m all for playing the game hard and the right way, but I do believe that slide was late,” Spangenberg said when asked to assess Utley’s slide. “He could have still taken him out without sliding so late, and (Tejada) might have still gotten hurt, but he would not have gotten hurt so bad.
“So I definitely think he could have had a more clean slide than he did.”
Spangenberg said he tries combine aggression and safety on the base paths. The key is starting the slide at a normal time and going in low to the bag, which still disrupts the footwork of the infielder.
“I’ve been in that situation,” said Spangenberg, who hit .271 in 108 games in his first full season. “You obviously try to take the guy out. I try to take him out low, toward the ankles. That way, if you hit him, he might roll a little bit, but he’s not going to be injured.”