Dennis Eckersley's Crusade
Sports |  Source: N. Leeper, huffingtonpost.com

Dennis Eckersley's Crusade

The truth behind sliding.

Dennis Eckersley doesn't like sliding into first base, and the former closer-extraordinaire (and current Boston Red Sox commentator) isn't afraid to let people know it. This season I've heard him criticize more players (primarily Andrew Benintendi) for sliding into first than anyone I've ever heard before.

For those of you who have never played baseball, let me tell you about a certain situation that happens to every single baseball player at some point in their career. At the end of practice one day in Little League, everybody gathers around the coach and he tells you one of the cardinal rules of the sacred game of baseball: never slide into first base.

It's dangerous. It actually slows you down. There is no point.

Sliding into first is a bone-headed move, and will almost certainly result in an automatic spot on the bench. Unless, of course, we're talking about the coach's son, who will be a surefire blue chip shortstop/pitching prospect with a .999 batting average and a 110 mph fastball, destined to be the number one pick right out of high school. In that case, sliding into first base is not just permitted, but strongly encouraged.

The other 99.9 percent of us mere mortals are told that sliding into first is, and will always be, a big no-no. That's a lie: at times, it does make sense to slide head-first into first base, but the reasoning behind it has nothing to do with speed. Secondly, sliding head-first into first base doesn't necessarily slow you down. As a matter of fact, sliding into first base could possibly make you faster.

But only if you literally execute the slide to complete 100 percent perfection. Unfortunately, nobody, not even professional baseball players, are 100 percent perfect (just ask Matt Holliday), so thinking that sliding into first will have any real positive impact on coming out on the right side of a bang-bang play is completely ludicrous.

However, as I said before, that doesn't mean that sliding into first base is never a good move, because sometimes a play at first base isn't about speed. Don't believe me? Take a look at this move from the Pirates' Josh Harrison.

As you can clearly see, Harrison would have been cooked if he had stayed on his feet, but by sliding and thus bringing himself closer to the ground and further from the line, he made it more difficult for Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo to apply the tag, which was ultimately the difference between a baserunner and an out. In summary: sliding into first base does make sense if it's to avoid the tag.

So go tell your Little League coach to pound salt.

That being said, Dennis Eckersley isn't crusading against sliding to avoid tags, but rather sliding to gain speed, which we've already decided make no sense. Odds are, they're going to slow you down. Add that to the possible injuries that could result from a slide, and we come to the conclusion that sliding into first, generally, isn't worth the risk, even if you're trying to avoid a tag.

Now, some may be asking themselves, "Well, if sliding into first base is so maligned because it slows you down, why is sliding into other bases widely accepted as the norm? Wouldn't that slow you down too?"

The answer is yes, but in the case of other bases, that could be a good thing. See, first base and home plate are somewhat unique in baseball because you can run right through them without being tagged out. In the case of first base, that means that keeping your momentum going and running straight through the bag will almost certainly get you from point A to point B as fast as possible. And as far as home plate goes, disregard it for now, because almost all slides into home are solely for the purpose of avoiding a tag.

Sadly, the same courtesy isn't applied to second base or third base. Running through them would almost certainly result in you being tagged out. That means that you have to stop once you touch either of those bases. In a vacuum, the no-sliding rule would still apply: sprinting straight from first to second or second to third would definitely be faster than any other alternative, but only if you were capable of stopping on a dime.

I don't know about you, but I definitely can't just stop on a dime if I'm in a full sprint. Actually, I take that back, I may not know about you, but I know physics, and physics says that you can't stop on a dime. Take that, fellow scrub!

Therefore, if you're running to second or third, you have two choices: completely killing your momentum by slowing to a dead stop as you approach the base or sliding, which allows you to maintain at least some of that momentum even after you touch the base. Now the choice seems obvious.

But back to the main point: Dennis Eckersley may look like a hippie, and may come from a generation of baseball that emphasized being tough and getting dirty, but his crusade against sliding into first base is completely righteous.

In most cases, it is totally useless and possibly harmful.

That is, if you're not the coach's son.

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Sports |  Source: nj.com

Ryan Howard's 2016 Isn't Going Too Well

Nothing like eating up a massive salary!

Does the name Ryan Howard conjure memories of gigantic, towering home runs? Opportunistic advertising? A gigantic grin?

Unfortunately, it's just been a parade of disappointing plays and big ol' whiffs at the plate as of late.

Howard's 2016 season is just two months old, but things are starting to fall apart for the veteran.

His defense isn't hurting terribly, which is cool. For reference, check out this play he made just Tuesday night.

Howard's offense, however, is a different story.

In May, Howard batted a brutal .106. His batting average on the season (.156) is lower than Phillies pitcher Jerad Eickhoff (.200) and nearly as bad as Phillies pitcher Jeremy Hellickson (.154).

It's been a frustrating month for the big guy, and it's all led up to this.

(Well, not really that. He lost control of his bat after a swing. But you get the idea.)

In short, this is bad.

(We're going to pretend he says "this is bad" instead of "this is big.")

Howard was one of the few pieces from the team's World Series-winning golden days who didn't find a new home for the 2015 season. Shortstop Jimmy Rollins started his 2015 season out in Los Angeles with the Dodgers, and second baseman Chase Utley joined him there mid-season. Then pitcher Cole Hamels was jettisoned to Texas.

Now, with the Dodgers and Rangers competing while Howard and the Phillies flounder, it's become harder and harder to watch what will likely be The Big Piece's final season in Philadelphia.

(Different Ryan Howard, same feeling.)

But you know what's weird? Howard isn't even in the top 10 of the league in strikeouts this year. And he's still tied for the team lead with eight home runs.

Because of how passable he looked in the first month of the season -- 15 hits, five home runs, and 10 RBI -- his numbers, batting average aside, aren't dismal for a 36-year-old on the decline.

Still, Howard's precipitous dropoff, paired with one of the worst offenses in baseball, has the Phillies sliding real fast. The Phils were the league's feel-good story of the season in April, but they're just 2-9 in their last 11 games and have regressed to playing .500 ball for the first time since April 26.

All told, this season has been one to forget for Howard, and fast. Maybe it's time for him to move on, either from the Phillies or from baseball altogether. It's been a tremendous ride for Howard and Phillies fans.

Still, watching it end this way has been brutal for all involved.

Something tells us Ryan would much rather be eating Subway sandwiches. What say you, Ryan?

Yeah. Same.

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Sports |  Source: FlockU, Shutterstock

This Guy Dressed In Trash Bags To Steal A Cash Register

ROBBERS ARE TRASH. (Get it?)

Here's a new one!

A man in New Jersey (of course it was New Jersey) dressed up in a bunch of trash bags and burst into a (thankfully) empty convenience store in order to steal money, and eventually took the whole dang cash register.

No, that wasn't a Mad Lib. It's something that actually happened.

And because we live in the glorious year of 2017, when literally anything you can think of is on the internet for our consumption, there is a spectacular video of Trash Bag Man:

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I have sooooo many questions, comments, and concerns.

1. Sir, did you not realize those trash bags might not make for the most agile outfit ever? There's a reason you're slipping and sliding all over the counter: you're wearing TRASH BAGS.

2. Did he not have enough trash bags while making the outfit? If you'll notice, the one on his torso is black, but the bag on his head (and the ones on his feet) look like the plastic bags you get your takeout in! Sir, if you don't own more than one trash bag, maybe you have bigger fish to fry in your life than stealing money.

3. Why'd you have to make such a mess on your wait out, man? That's just rude. You're already stealing their money, and now you're making a mess they've gotta clean up in the morning. Pretty whack.

4. Just... why? WHY? WHY TO ALL OF IT?!?

5. This video really got me thinking about the man in those trash bags, and his outfit choice.

I think I understand why he wore them: to make it very hard to identify him outside of the store, in the real world, where no one wears trash bags all over town.

However!

What if the guy we're dealing with here is just some random dude who dresses up in the complete wrong outfit for every occasion? Like, he has no sense of appropriate attire at all?

He wears a full baseball uniform (Phillies, because he's from South Jersey) to the dentist's office, for instance, or he wears an inflatable sumo suit to go grocery shopping. He put on a suit jacket made entirely out of lettuce when he went to pick up his dry cleaning and didn't understand the confused looks.

Maybe we're just dealing with a terribly out-of-touch man who wanted to steal some money (stop doing that!) and thought the head-to-toe trash bag look was the most appropriate 'fit he could get off? Makes as much as anything else in this video, right?

In any case, this is my new favorite thing. If you'll excuse me, I have to go see if there are any trash bags left in my apartment...

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Sports |  Source: espn.go.com

Stephen Piscotty Hit By Baseball Three Times On His Trip Around The Diamond

That is..... unfortunate.

Some players get hit once at the plate and storm the mound to beat the living hell out of the pitcher. Stephen Piscotty doesn't seem like that type of guy.

He got hit three separate times on his way around the bases. Once at the plate, once going from first base to second base, and one as he is sliding into home. Piscotty tooks the shots like a man and didn't whine or complain like some of those one hit mound chargers out there (like this Little League girl).

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Sports | 

The Smoothest Ice Skater On His Way To Steal Your Girl (Video)

He's sliding straight into your girl's heart. And DMs. And pants.

Equilibrium on point.

A Norwegian man was filmed effortlessly gliding down a snow-covered street in his most gangsta bathrobe, book and coffee in hand, all the while serving sensual looks directly into the camera--and my slain soul. I'm pretty sure The Geto Boys wrote Damn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta specifically for this moment 'cause this guy is definitely playing his cards right.

DISCLAIMER: Don't try this at home... Unless you have this much swag.

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Sports |  Source: FlockU

Social Media is Not the Root of Your Relationship Problems

Social media doesn't ruin relationships, shitty people do.

I'm sick of hearing people say that social media destroys relationships.

As someone who has made a living off of social media for the past 6 years, (both being in the spotlight as a 'fitspo' account and running branded accounts), all the while being in a relationship (with the same guy), I feel compelled to combat this ignorant statement with some sort of rebuttal.


Social media is NOT what kills relationships. Bad people, with poor morals and lack of self control is what kills relationships.

Trust me, as a 'fitspo' IG account and Snapchatter with a large-ish following, I have gotten my fair share of dickpics and, "hey baby, how you doin"'s sliding into my DMs.

What I've chosen to do with those pictures (first laugh at how desperate and pathetic the guy is of course--then block and report), is what sets me and my healthy, long-term relationship apart from these failing relationships.

It's the people that choose to indulge in these idiotic and pathetic DM's (and whatever other shady social activity it is that they're doing) that are throwing their relationships (and self-respect, TBH) right into the trash. Social media isn't forcing them to be a crappy person, it's 100 percent their own choice.


At the end of the day, a shady person is a shady person. So, social media or no social media, these shady a-holes are going to find a way to go behind their SO's back no matter what.

It's time to stop blaming social media for your relationship problems, and start evaluating the types of people you are choosing to be in a relationship with.

Chances are, if you meet a guy/girl via them sliding into your DM's, they're probs not gonna be a keeper...just sayin'.

Don't get me wrong, social media definitely makes it easier for shady people to do shady things, but its mere existence is not the root of your relationship problems.

The biggest thing that it comes down to is weeding out the fuckboys and fuckgirls of the world and being patient enough to meet the right person for you. He/she is out there, I promise.

So, choose wisely, choose people with good morals and good values and PLEASE, PLEASE stop blaming social media for your probs. Social media is an amazing way to connect with people, it's just about how and with whom you choose to connect that can become the issue.