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Bill Hall doesn't want to be in the best shape of his life

Feb 3, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

Bill Hall.jpgWe’ve heard about guys coming to camp in the best shape of their life, but Red Sox’ utilityman Bill Hall doesn’t want any part of that. Why? Because he thinks his workout program was a large part of what caused his post-2006 swoon:

Hall traces his problems since – he batted just .201 last year with Milwaukee and Seattle – to two root causes.

One was a workout regime he attacked with “reckless abandon,” in a
misguided attempt to look like an Adonis. He fasted to keep his body
fat down and neglected baseball-specific exercises, a problem he has
since rectified.

“I was trying to get in the best shape ever, and it probably hurt me
more than helped me as far as injuries,” Hall said. “I blame that on
myself and my own lack of knowledge.”

The other problem, he claims, was a severe high ankle sprain that he rushed back from and which ultimately messed with his swing.

There’s another explanation that Hall doesn’t mention, but which seems more plausible than a three-year ankle sprain and being too buff: teams just started paying closer attention to the guy after his breakout year, throwing him a lot more low and away stuff to see if he can reach it with that open, bat-on-the-shoulder stance of his, and he hasn’t yet been able to adjust to it and lay off the slop.

But maybe that’s too simple an explanation.

  1. GBSimons - Feb 3, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    Just seeing the linked picture of baseball being played brought the smell of the grass, the warmth of the breeze and the buzz of the crowd to my mind. I can’t wait for the games to begin again.

  2. Joey B - Feb 3, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    It’s possible to be overbuff, and if he was lifting weights at the expense of batting practice, that might hurt, but if he’d focus on the career 797/236 K/W ratio, he be better off. As a RS fan, I wish him well, but he had a 120/27 ratio last year, ~ 4.5/1. Pitchers aren’t stupid. If they know you’re going to swing at something two inches off the plate, they won’t throw anything closer than that. If there is one constant in BB, it’s that the 4.5/1 guys rarely succeed.

  3. Grant - Feb 3, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    Jeez, Craig, you’re hard to please. You give guys crap for “best shape of my life” statements/columns, and then when they repudiate that you give them crap, anyway. The joys of being a blogger…

    Then again, I guess nobody wants to read a “well fellas, I’m not really that good at baseball” column, either.

  4. Craig Calcaterra - Feb 3, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Common denominator of the “best shape of my life” stories and the “I was in too good shape” stories: baloney.

  5. Jason - Feb 3, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    Flashback to Spring Training 2007, when Bill Hall was in the best shape of his life:
    A fond memory.

  6. BC - Feb 3, 2010 at 10:54 AM

    He’s still in the majors?

  7. Adonis Effect - Feb 10, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    Thanks for another fab article – I enjoyed that!

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