If you ask a Twins fan what is the thing that frustrates you most about the Twins, most will say it's unwillingness to spend more $$$ on payroll. However one frustration that will also rise to the top is Nick Punto's proclivity to slide into first base on close plays. As anyone who has played baseball or has a rudimentary understanding of physics, sliding into first is slower than running through the base, not to say anything about greater possibility of injury while sliding.
Apparently Nick Punto knows how we all feel and has heard the same from coaches on every baseball team he's ever been on. In the article Punto admits that people have told him sliding is slower but he replies "for some reason I think it's faster." No word if Nick Punto is a Republican consultant telling the R's that tax cuts decrease the budget deficit and more greenhouse gases in the air doesn't contribute to global warming.
Punto goes on to say...
"I think if I wasn't personable, and a guy who loves to work hard and loves his team, people would just think I'm a jerk," ....It's just one of those things. It's the only thing I'm hard-headed about in life. I'm a good listener. It's just that I think it's faster."
No Nick Punto we don't think you're a jerk, we just think you are stupid. The evidence is there both at a theoretical level and based on experience. All your "hard work" and "personality" can't change the laws of physics.
Obviously it appears that the Twin can't coach Nick Punto into not sliding into first. I like SBG's idea of fining him every time he slides. Maybe a hit on his pocketbook would do the trick. And if he get's injured while sliding, double the fine. At least with the extra cash the Twins could pick up that reliever they so desparately need.