Carl Crawford starts spring with a mouthful of dirt

The good news is that Carl has plenty of time to remember how to slide. The bad news is this slide.

Baseball seems to come easily to the game's best players, at times so easily that it can seem almost unfair. This is a difficult game, and everyone who has ever attempted to play it knows as much, but it seems so much simpler than it truly is -- so much more fluid and so much less cruel -- when played by those whose bodies seem so innately to understand it. For instance:


Whoa, sorry, that is obviously not correct. I mean, yes, Prince Fielder is a great athlete and a great player in his Shaped Like An RBI Baseball Character way, but that is clearly not the appropriate GIF, and you have my apologies for that. The point I was trying to make was that baseball's myriad interwoven difficulties, big and small, tend to disappear into the broader seamlessness of great players playing baseball well. @Oracle GIF me Seamlessness of Great Players Playing Baseball Well.


Dang it. Really awesome Oracle we've got here.

Right, so one last time: Baseball is very difficult. Some of the greatest athletes alive spend their working lives trying to find some way to play a game designed for humbling and heartbreak with expressiveness and grace. Spring training, these first new breaths of a new season, is where this work begins again, both anew and eternal. Carl Crawford, for instance, has approached perfection as a player in the past. He, like his teammates and everyone else who has given themselves to it, is once again in its pursuit. Here's how he's doing:


So, yeah. Once again: It's a very tough game and the season hasn't even started yet. There's plenty of time to figure it out.

(For fuller context on this slide, which surprisingly does not involve him getting thrown from a rocket-powered tricycle just offscreen right, please consult this Vine.)

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