Friday, January 24, 2020

Teachable - Laz Diaz's Haywire First Base Slide

Tmac breaks down 1B Umpire Laz Diaz's journey during a wacky play culminating in Indians batter-runner Jason Kipnis sliding into first base after a booted ground ball and key backup by Twins second baseman Luis Arraez put Laz in a precarious position.

The Teachable Moment here is all about adjustment: 1B Umpire Diaz jogs into fair territory as Kipnis' ground ball bounds past Twins first baseman CJ Cron, with Diaz preparing for a continued roll into right field; however, it becomes quickly apparent that second baseman Arraez is backing up the play, and Diaz has to act.

At his present position, Diaz is likely standing in Arraez's throwing lane to first base—he can either backtrack into foul territory or continue further into fair territory to give the Twins fielders room to play. Wisely surmising that Arraez's momentum is taking him toward the foul line, Diaz instinctually expedites his move toward second base—or in the direction opposite that of Arraez.

By doing so, Diaz accomplishes two goals: First, he vacates the Twins' throwing lane, and second, he opens up a better angle with which to take the play at first base.

As batter-runner Kipnis slides headfirst, Diaz encounters the confounding variable of a throw in the dirt that Cron scoops with his glove hand facing away from Diaz. Based on the lobbed throw's trajectory, and the deceleration of Kipnis' sliding hands, Diaz correctly surmises that Kipnis is out, a call upheld via Replay Review.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Teachable - Laz Diaz's Haywire Slide at First Base (CCS)


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