Sportress of Blogitude

Kris Bryant on changing to feet-first slide: ‘I only have one head’

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Kris Bryant suffered a scare on Sunday following a head-first slide into second base during the fifth inning of the Chicago Cubs’ 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. The rookie phenom was left experiencing dizziness after making contact with Brewers shortstop Jean Segura during the slide. He was forced to leave the game, although it was later determined that he had not suffered a concussion.

Still, given the close-call nature of the incident, Bryant has decided to do his best to give up the head-first slide, instead opting to implement a feet-first style. The reasons he provides are pretty straightforward and abundantly clear.

“I only have one head,” Bryant told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers on Monday. “I only have one life so there’s nothing really to joke about.”

After passing league concussion protocols, Bryant was cleared to be in the Cubs lineup for the team’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night, a game that ultimately was postponed.

Bryant admits it might be difficult to make the switch as sliding has as much to do with “instincts” as opposed to a conscious effort.

“I’ve always slid head first but I’ve made some pretty good strides in sliding feet first,” he said. “Sometimes it’s hard to think on the run.”

Rogers notes in his report that Bryant previously has witnessed firsthand how the aftermath of a head-first slide gone awry can have drastic, even tragic consequences. Cory Hahn, a friend of Bryant’s, was left paralyzed after a headfirst slide.

“There’s more important things than being safe (at the base),” he said, acknowledging the seriousness and gravity of suffering a potential head injury.