Nov 15, 2010, 4:30 PM EST
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!
- Matt Harvey makes his return. And he was really impressive. 10
- Hector Olivera’s camp denies any damage to ulnar collateral ligament 3
- UPDATE: Hunter Pence out 6-8 weeks with fracture in left forearm 28
- MLBPA: leaks are from people “who want to see Josh Hamilton hurt personally and professionally” 34
- Suspending Josh Hamilton for a year would be obscene 145
- Report: MLB panel split on rehab for Josh Hamilton; one-year suspension is in play 45
- Joc Pederson goes 2-for-2 in Cactus League debut 6
- Braves scratch Mike Minor from start with more shoulder problems 6
- Daniel Murphy on Billy Bean: “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual” (378)
- Suspending Josh Hamilton for a year would be obscene (146)
- Curt Schilling lowers the boom on some men tweeting threats against his daughter (137)
- That facts of Josh Hamilton’s case should not be a matter of public record (94)
- Billy Bean responds to Daniel Murphy’s comments (90)