Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez is a magician on the field. Let’s break the magician’s code and reveal Baez’ biggest secret: the art of the swim move.
Chicago Cubs fans recognize that sometimes a player comes along who just makes you feel good about being a fan. I had that same feeling when growing up watching Michael Jordan. We just wanted the ball in Michael’s hand no matter what. It was amazing to watch and see what he would do on the court with a basketball.
One of my favorite Jordan moves is when he’s flying through the air with the ball extended, just daring opponents to try and snatch it from his hand. Of course, someone always takes the bait and as they reach for the ball he casually ‘flicks’ it to his other hand and stuffs the basket (with tongue out). I had that déjà vu feeling recently watching Chicago Cubs infielder, Javier (Javy) Baez.
It’s no wonder his nickname is “El Mago” (The Magician), as every day he pulls a new trick out of his hat on the field. Just like Jordan, Baez is a master of offense and defense but it’s his offensive play that has fans flocking to televisions or the Internet to see his home runs, base running techniques and his now famous ‘swim-slide’.
Baez told Tony Andracki of NBC Sports Chicago,
"“We saw it last year with [Dodgers outfielder Yasiel] Puig,” Baez said….”It’s baseball instincts and it’s reacting to what you’re seeing. Like I said, don’t plan it, but as soon as I see it, I just react to it.”"
Let’s take a closer look at what is being called, “the game’s most exciting slide“.