Bucs address but won't ban headfirst slides

Bucs address but won't ban headfirst slides

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates outfielder Starling Marte had to stagger off the Tropicana Field turf on Tuesday night after sliding into second base and leading with his head into Sean Rodriguez's left knee.

Neither Andrew McCutchen nor Gregory Polanco had to make such a harrowing exit from Wrigley Field last weekend. However, both also got dinged on headfirst slides into second base.

On Saturday, McCutchen needed a couple of minutes to regroup after getting tagged on the head. The next day, Darwin Barney stepped on Polanco's hand and, for good measure, also landed atop his shoulder.

Should Major League teams use their heads in this situation … and try to curb headfirst slides?

Perhaps sensible in theory, but …

"When you're that guy, it's hard to be realistic about doing away with something like that," Bucs skipper Clint Hurdle said. "You can make suggestions, especially after an injury. It's something we address frequently.

"I don't want to take away the backyard mentality of trying to make a play the best way they feel they can make it.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.