For Dodger’s Shortstop Dee Gordon, the correct saying would be, “live by the sword, die by the sword”, after hearing the news the young speed demon would be headed for thumb surgery and out for six weeks on the disabled list.
People have been telling Gordon to stop sliding headfirst for a while now, scared he would injure himself. Those fears were realized last night, in the bottom of the eighth inning, of the Dodger’s 4-1 win over the Reds, at Dodger Stadium. Gordon walked, and stole, second and third base, and then immediately left the field. Gordon while stealing his 30th base, dislocated his thumb while sliding into the third base bag. It appears, Dee’s thumb got caught underneath the bag momentarily, and was snapped back. This type of injury happens often with young base-stealers. We first thought the injury was just a dislocation, but the Dodger’s medical staff discovered Gordon actually tore his UCL in his thumb, and will require surgery, the recovery time is six weeks. Gordon had wrapped the thumb last night, but today it was made official, Gordon was placed on the DL, and middle reliever Javy Guerra was activated to take his roster spot.
This is another annoying injury, in a long list of them this season. Gordon was starting to hit better, and was showing improved plate discipline, and contact. He was bunting less, which is something I had previously suggested he do before. Gordon this season was batting .229, with a .280 OBP, while spending most of the season at the lead-off spot. He hit one home run, and drove in 17 runs, while scoring 36 in 301 At-bats. He drew 19 walks, and whiffed 62 times. While Gordon was struggling most of the season, he had throughout the year shown flashes of brilliance on the base-paths. Gordon was leading the majors with 30 steals, but also committed a league high 17 errors at shortstop.
You can’t tell Dee Gordon to not slide head first, because he is a base stealer. Would you tell Maury Wills to stop sliding head first? Of course you wouldn’t. That’s like the equivalent of telling Don Mattingly he couldn’t bunt ever. (Although maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing right?) This was something we knew would happen eventually, given that Gordon as a base stealer, who plays the game with passion, and fire, would live by the sword, die by the sword, of the head first slide.