Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Black on Arenado's slide: 'Can't coach that out'

Rockies manager texted star third baseman after seeing aggressive play
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nolan Arenado's head-first slide into first base was inspiring for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on Friday night. Meanwhile in Arizona, the play inspired the Rockies to thank their lucky stars Arenado was unhurt.

Arenado's dive to beat a throw, after he struck out swinging and the ball bounced to the backstop, allowed an important run to score from third in Team USA's 3-2, 10-inning victory over Colombia in Miami. Concurrently, the Rockies were in the midst of a 5-4 victory over the Reds in Surprise, Ariz.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Nolan Arenado's head-first slide into first base was inspiring for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on Friday night. Meanwhile in Arizona, the play inspired the Rockies to thank their lucky stars Arenado was unhurt.

Arenado's dive to beat a throw, after he struck out swinging and the ball bounced to the backstop, allowed an important run to score from third in Team USA's 3-2, 10-inning victory over Colombia in Miami. Concurrently, the Rockies were in the midst of a 5-4 victory over the Reds in Surprise, Ariz.

Considering that Arenado missed 37 games in 2014 with a broken finger on a head-first slide into second, and the team lost shortstop Trevor Story for two months last year to a thumb injury on a head-first slide followed by a defensive play gone awry, such plays don't go unnoticed. Arenado finished the game 0-for-4.

Video: COL@USA: Arenado hustles to tie game for USA

:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::

It didn't take long for Rockies manager Bud Black to learn of Arenado's daring move. Head athletic trainer Keith Dugger saw to that as soon as he saw the highlight.

"I heard about it almost as soon as it happened," Black said Saturday, smiling. "Right away, we knew he was fine. People who saw it live were probably like, 'Oh no.'"

Black said he texted Arenado, and he was sure Dugger did the same. But with the emotion of representing the country, there was no way the Rockies could be angry. They'd love for Arenado to let it all hang out in a big Rockies game.

"You can't coach that out," Black said. "You want that aggressiveness in your players. What you do try to coach out is the head-first slide. But it's hard for some guys. You were taught to slide feet first. But in competition, they're trying to get to a base as quickly as they can, and instinct takes over.

"And how do you practice that?"

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado