Nov 15, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT
If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you know that I obsessively track those players who are reported to be “in the best shape of their life” each spring.
Best Shape of His Life stories can take a couple of different forms. There’s the straightforward “Player X is looking good” story which, if we’re lucky, actually uses the phrase “best shape of his life.” Close relatives to these stories are the “Pitcher X has developed a new pitch/developed a new grip/is standing on the other end of the rubber now” stories and “Player Y has taken up yoga/medicine ball work/Thighmaster and is now way more flexible than he used to be. The specifics aren’t terribly important. What’s key is that they are put out there by some anonymous source or agent or someone, and are clearly designed to counteract a public flaw assigned to the player the previous season related to conditioning, fragility or just plain sucking. They’re as predictable as the first crocuses of spring.
And they’re getting earlier! Today we had what I consider to be my first official sighting of a Best Shape of His Life story. Self-reported, from Brad Penny:
Heading to the gym. I’m going to be i’n the best shape I’ve ever been for the upcoming season.
I know the season just ended, my friends, but with that report, I feel like spring is right around the corner!
- Sandy Alderson is not going to “roll over” for Scott Boras and shut down Matt Harvey 64
- Dodgers are already fed up with 6.56 ERA-pitching, excuse-making Mat Latos 50
- And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights 58
- Bryce Harper walks in all four of his plate appearances, scores four runs 24
- ESPN pulls Curt Schilling off broadcasts for rest of regular season and Wild Card game 146
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff 145
- And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights 74
- The Marlins are going to change everything except their biggest problem this offseason 53
- ESPN pulls Curt Schilling off broadcasts for rest of regular season and Wild Card game (147)
- David Ortiz is more likely to be boned in Hall of Fame voting for being a DH than for PED stuff (145)
- Matt Williams puts up another strong performance in his quest to get himself fired (107)
- David Ortiz tweets his happiness about the Deflategate decision (101)
- Why Mike Mussina keeps getting hosed in the Hall of Fame voting (90)