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!
- Tigers acquire closer Joakim Soria from the Rangers 8
- Phillies officials “have contemplated the possibility of paying off” and releasing Ryan Howard 28
- The dizzying intellect of Tom Glavine 17
- Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts 158
- Chase Headley plays the hero in his first game in pinstripes 30
- And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights 29
- Rockies place Troy Tulowitzki on the disabled list 18
- Rob Manfred “heavily favored” to be Bud Selig’s replacement 29
- Verducci: baseball should think about an “illegal defense” rule to combat shifts (158)
- Luke Scott released from Korean team after calling coach a “liar” and a “coward” (108)
- Yankees acquire Chase Headley from Padres (108)
- Who is the next Face of Baseball? (96)
- David Ortiz passes Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time home run list — is he a Hall of Famer? (92)