Josh Hamilton Breaks Arm: That Happens When You Head-First Slide into Home Plate

Cliff EasthamSenior Writer IIApril 13, 2011

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 12:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers slides into home plate during the third inning while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 12, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Hamilton was out from a tag by Victor Martinez  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Texas Ranger’s center-fielder Josh Hamilton is sitting on the Disabled List with a broken arm pointing blame at his third-base coach.

Dave Anderson may have told the reigning American League MVP to go home, but he didn’t tell the “fragile” star to slide face first into a potential catastrophe.

Bad things outweigh the good things on a play like that by a vast majority. The only good thing that can happen is that you score a run.

The bad things include, but are clearly not limited to, broken arms, concussions, broken collar bones, broken wrists, broken hands, broken fingers, broken neck and cuts or abrasions on the face or head.

That is just a partial list, I am not a doctor nor do I play one while writing articles.

Oh, did I also mention you may not score the run? If you put the potential outcomes on the blind-justice scales, you do not need to be a Rhodes Scholar to predict the outcome. The deck is stacked my young daredevils.

Head-first sliding is fun to watch, but then again so is Robbie Knievel. I wouldn’t particularly like to ride a motorcycle over 30 or 40 cars though.

It is such a dangerous maneuver that back in 2004 the Houston Astros put a unique policy into effect for all players in their farm system. It stated that, “If any of them try it at first base or home plate, their manager is required to immediately pull them.”1

The Associated Press article went on to say, ”the policy went into effect after Roger Cedeno broke his hand on a headfirst slide into first base in May 2000. The Houston speedster spent nearly three months on the disabled list…”

Had Hamilton refused to dash to the plate, he would not have made an out and he would be playing Wednesday in Detroit instead of sitting on the shelf.

The only thing that would have happened is perhaps a butt-chewing by his manager, Ron Washington and doubtfully a monetary fine.

Players miss signals intentionally or don't follow them all the time. Hamilton had almost the same view as Anderson and should have been able to discern for himself what to do.

Remember the scales I mentioned earlier? Use them again and see what you get. It just isn’t worth it.

Look at Hamilton’s lame after-the-fact comment, “I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to do this, something is going to happen.’ But I listened to my coach.”2

 What a disingenuous thing to say. Here we have a multi-millionaire saying that he doesn’t want to do something, but does it notwithstanding.

Did he have a cartoon character on each shoulder? Was there a devil on one side telling him to go for it, and an angel on the other reminding him of his value to the club and the fragile state of his bones?

Now he watches the games for approximately two months and can do absolutely nothing to help his squad in their quest for another World Series run.

Most businesses would not allow a piece of machinery that costs them $8 million per year to run, to be used in such a dangerous situation.

I would like to have been a fly on the wall when Washington, Hamilton and Anderson talked in private. Oh, let us throw in the owner and GM for good measure.

If the Rangers falter and miss the World Series this year, they will probably look back at that game and scratch their collective heads.



1- Houston discouraging low-percentage play

2- Rangers' Josh Hamilton out 6-8 weeks with broken arm