National League rules could keep Ronald Guzman on the Texas Rangers’ bench until they finish off their two-game interleague series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, which would rob Chase Field fans of seeing something that happens at least once a series.
Guzman does the splits at first base.
Like clockwork, the crowd oohs, aahs, groans and gasps after the 6-foot-6, 250-pound rookie does what would appear to be impossible.
He showed it off twice last weekend in Houston, including once to put the capper on a dance-off victory with Astros mascot Orbit.
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Here’s something else unexpected about Guzman: The big guy can dance.
“You can not just challenge a Latin like that,” Guzman said. “I can move. I love dancing. Every time we go out to the club, it’s pretty much for dancing. So, I showed off a bit.”
But it wasn’t easy to get him moving. Fellow infielders Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor had to convince Guzman to take on the mascot, who started dancing and staring at Guzman as the Rangers stretched before Saturday’s game.
Guzman started off with the Floss, then did a few other moves as Orbit “fainted.” But he got up off the mat and again challenged Guzman. This time, the splits served as Guzman’s mic drop.
The crowd reacted accordingly.
“I like to hear the reaction,” Guzman said.
The Rangers have become used to Guzman’s flexibility, which he said has been a lifelong characteristic. There’s been no yoga training. There isn’t any pain.
“It hurts. I don’t think I can do that,” Andrus said. “Anybody but him who does that would probably hurt something.”
The first time Joey Gallo saw Guzman do the splits was in 2012 in the Arizona Rookie League. Gallo joined the team thinking he was the most flexible big man around, but that wasn’t the case.
“He basically showed me up,” Gallo said.
Guzman uses the splits effectively at first base, stretching as far as he can to shorten the distance on throws around the diamond. Andrus said that the Rangers love having him at first base, and Guzman is glad to do whatever it takes to turn an infield hit into an out.
“It gives my infielders a chance to make a great play,” he said.