Sports Science: Breaking down the buttslide

Last night, baseball gave us its version of the buttfumble when Astros SS Jonathan Villar faceplanted into Brandon Phillips’ butt. It was hilarious, it was bad, it was the most Astros thing ever.

What happened exactly?

In the bottom of the first inning, Jonathan Villar hit a ball off Reds pitcher Mike Leake. It appeared to be an easy single but Villar tried stretching it into a double. Shin-Soo Choo threw a strike to Brandon Phillips at second who tagged Villar in-between his legs.

Is there a GIF of the play?

Is there more than one angle?

Can we see it in super slow-motion?

Is there an HD pic so we can frame it?


Can we see it side-by-side with the buttfumble?


What did Villar have to say?

That’s the way I play,” Villar said. “I’m aggressive. I was trying to make something happen, motivate my team. It’s hard to change because that’s the way I’ve always played.”

Why did Brandon Phillips tag him between the legs?

“That’s me,” he said with a laugh. “I do things off the wall, yes.”

Was it worse than the buttfumble?


As far as its place in sports history, no.

The buttfumble occurred on Thanskgiving, on national TV, in front of millions. It was the New York Jets. It was Mark Sanchez. It was a player everyone’s heard of.
The buttslide occurred on a random weekday, on local TV, in front of hundreds. It was the Houston Astros. It was Jonathan Villar. It was a player no one’s heard of.

Yes, Villar gets a nod in pure quality. The fact-to-butt contact is simply amazing. Had it stayed there any longer we would have had a human centipede moment. But we have to consider historical significance here. The buttslide, while amusing and grotesque in nature, falls short.