Friday, February 29, 2008

Best Shape: One Last Time

Actually, I had not planned to post another "best shape" roundup, but then my sister cleverly goaded me into it with one of her typically slow developing, yet well worth the read anecdotes from Germany.

Away we go!

Joba Chamberlain:
Saying that he believes he is in the best shape of his life, Chamberlain focused his offseason workouts on dropping body fat and strengthening his body's core, putting special attention on his legs to generate power and drive.
Yadier Molina:
Molina enters the season recovered, trim and singularly focused on the Gold Glove that went to Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, who started 42 more games than Molina last year. The off-season was designed to put him in the best shape of his career, he said, and now he's ready to show it with the Cardinals.
Russ Adams:
Buried on the depth chart of the Jays roster is former shortstop/second baseman Russ Adams. The first-round pick in 2002 was an everyday player in 2005, but has since bounced between the minors and the bigs. He's in arguably the best shape of his career, and has impressed his coaches during batting practice and in the batting cages. Jays manager John Gibbons admits it will be hard to "find a home for (Adams)," which is why the 27-year-old will see some time in the outfield during spring training.
Eddie Kunz:
After signing with the Mets last July, [Kunz] joined Class A Brooklyn, pitching in 12 games, before going to the Arizona Fall League to refine his changeup. All that pitching wore him out, and he returned home to Portland exhausted. Soon, he resumed training with the Oregon State team, losing 15 pounds, to put him around 250, and is in what he called the best shape of his life.
I'm sure there are more, but I can't spend all day trolling local papers, so I just get what Google News brings me. I'm sure my faithful readers won't mind too much, seeing as how you: don't care.

Also, since I mused last time about how journalists swallow this standard line (with hook and sinker), I thought I'd give some props to some brave skeptics out there.

Tom Verducci:
Joba Chamberlain is only 22 years old and has thrown just 24 innings in his major league career. Javy Lopez is 37 and has caught 1,351 major league games. What might these two players possibly have in common, considering the tremendous gap in age and workload? Both of them are in the best shape of their lives. Don't believe it? Just ask them, not to mention just about every other player in any camp this season who gladly helps a desperate beat writer knock another non-news day off the spring training calendar.
That's the opening paragraph to his column on the top ten spring training falsehoods.

Childs Walker:
That said, spring training is not an entirely helpful exercise for fantasy purposes. The swarms of reporters in Florida and Arizona don't have much to write about some days, so out come the tales of veterans who reported in the best shape of their lives and youngsters with as many tools as Mickey Mantle. There's always some obscure dude who hits .800 with four homers in the first two weeks and suddenly seems like a viable fantasy pick.
There were spring training games played today, and since tomorrow is March, this will be our final roundup.

But who cares?

Baseball's back!

2 comments:

die Amerikanerin said...

I feel proud that I was able to get a link out of you even though my blog has absolutely nothing to do with baseball. Score!

John Lynch said...

Well...

It had "nothing" to do with baseball until you used the phrase "best shape of my life" and linked to a baseball blog. =P