Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Nick Punto and a sprinter's gold medal dive

Shaunae Miller of  Bahamas won the 400 meter gold medal
Monday by diving across the finish line.
I haven't watched much of the Olympics, but ... in the final of the womens' 400-meter race Monday in Rio, Shaunae Miller dove across the finish line to edge out Allyson Felix for the gold.

This sparked a series of tweets (from Minnesota-based reporters and others) about Nick Punto and his notorious insistence that his dives into first base got him there faster than running through the base. Including from the former Twins infielder himself:

I've referred here to "Nick Punto's fantasies of physics," and of course the cliche argument against diving into first that "you don't see Olympic sprinters diving across the finish line." Well, now we have. And it worked.

One big difference: Miller's goal was a vertical plane; Punto's was an object on the ground. Miller didn't hit the ground with her knee, chest or hands until after she crossed the finish line; Punto almost always did, and that creates friction, and that slowed him down.

It's still not a good idea, even if a sprinter did it on the biggest stage.

No comments:

Post a Comment