Never do you want to see a ball player have a slide where they face plant into the dirt like what happened yesterday to Yangervis Solarte. It’s even more difficult to watch when the player that made such a slide is a fan favourite and admired for the wonderful spirit with which he plays the game.
I don’t want to say what happened in Cleveland to Solarte was a blessing in disguise. But maybe that’s exactly what it was, because Solarte turned what was a painful moment into a performance that will surely go down as one of, if not the best of his career.
With a scraped-up nose, fat upper lip, and who knows what else, Solarte ended up going 5 for 6, with 6 RBI, and a game winning grand slam in the 11th inning. I’ve never seen anything like it. On a play that would have knocked many other players out of the game, Solarte not only stayed in, but he ended up being the single biggest reason the Blue Jays won that 13-11 slugfest.
In his short time with the Blue Jays, Solarte has won over the hearts of anyone associated with this ball club. Whether you’re his teammate, coach, or a fan, you love the way he plays the game and that he’s a part of this team. Solarte is so likeable, even the opposition likes him. You could see this by the way the players on Cleveland were asking Solarte if he was OK after making that head first slide.
The Blue Jays are lucky to have Solarte. He’s been a big part of what this team has been able to accomplish so far this season. And at least we know now it’ll take a heck of a lot more than a banged-up face to keep Solarte and the Blue Jays from continuing to play such wonderful baseball.