Punto Wonders If Sliding Headfirst Into Virus Would Work
Image courtesy of Flickr/Ron GallegosSources close to former Minnesota Twins infielder Nick Punto say the retired major leaguer has taken an interest in public health and using his unique skill set to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak.
“He’s done the reading, he’s aware of the vaccine progress, and now he has one question,” said a source familiar with Punto’s thinking. “What if you slide headfirst into it?”
Punto, long recognized for his scrappy, hustling style of play, became a folk hero for his tendency to slide headfirst into first base on close plays, despite it demonstrably being the worst thing you can do, both in efficacy and injury risk.
“Nick recognizes the incredible work our brave medical professionals are doing to save lives, and he wants to do his part,” said a former teammate who is in the SHREDDERS group chat with Punto and other ex-Twins. “He’s proposing finding the virus, sizing it up, and sliding headfirst into it.”
Punto made clear this was not a metaphor for social distancing or mask-wearing, but rather the physical act of sliding headfirst into the deadly virus.
“He’s a firm believer in getting after it and want-to, and we all ‘want to’ crush this virus,” said a third source. “It’s right in Nick’s wheelhouse, which is wanting to slide headfirst into things.”
Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, disputes the efficacy of Punto’s plan.
“No, it won’t work,” said Osterholm. “It’s impossible. This is impossible. Why are you asking me about this?”
For his part, Punto is characterized as remaining motivated to make a difference in the COVID battle.
“He had a lot of people throughout his career tell him to stop sliding headfirst into first base,” said the former teammate. “All I know is he has a World Series ring now, and a lot of those guys don’t. Scoreboard.”
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