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How did the BSOHL guys do in 2012?

Oct 29, 2012, 12:03 PM EDT

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Each winter we keep tabs on which players — and sometimes which managers or even bloggers — report to spring training in The Best Shape of Their Lives.  Let’s see how the winter 2011-12 roster did compared to their 2011 seasons when, presumably, they were in terrible shape.

Note: there may have been a few stragglers after this list was compiled back in February.  If I’m missing someone, let’s talk about them in the comments:

  • Chris Tillman:  WAY better in 2012. IMPROVED
  • Franklin Gutierrez: Played better when available, but only played 40 games. DECLINED
  • Miguel Olivo: OPS decreased, games played decreased. DECLINED
  • Miguel Cabrera: Was awesome, became awesomer on the surface, but actually saw his batting average and on base percentage go down and had his worst OPS+ in three years. Still, the dude did move to third base, and that’s a way better indication of his shape than the offensive stat line: IMPROVED
  • Justin Smoak: Took a nose dive. DECLINED
  • Dexter Fowler: Improved in most offsensive categories and played more games. IMPROVED
  • Jaime Garcia:  Declined in most categories and spent much of the year injured. DECLINED
  • Miguel Tejada: 36 games in Triple-A and called it quits. Gonna go out on a limb and say that his BSOHL was an agent’s talking point. DECLINED, perhaps DIED
  • Aubrey Huff: Fell into a pit and is presumably still plummetting. His season highlight was getting injured trying to jump the dugout railing to celebrate Matt Cain‘s perfect game. DECLINED
  • Vicente Padilla: Hadn’t pitched much the past couple of years but took the ball 56 times from the bullpen. Results were pretty “meh” and he remained the same irritable SOB he always has been, but just in terms of durability one has to say he improved, yes? IMPROVED
  • Carlos Zambrano: He pitched in 35 games and didn’t cause any riots or anything, even when demoted to the bullpen. Still, a stiff back limited his innings and effectiveness. I’m going to go with NO CHANGE.
  • Yonder Alonso: Weird for a guy as young as he is to even make the BSOHL claim. He was adequate at times in his first full season of action, but his ballpark and the playing time certainly exposed him. He did lose some weight over the offseason I guess, so it was a legit claim of BSOHL, but we need more data to see if he improved. For now: NO CHANGE.
  • Carlos Gutierrez: Spent the whole season in the minors again, but his “whole season” was 10 relief starts before a shoulder injury ended his season in July. Then he was waived. Gonna say that he was not in the BSOHL at any time in 2012. DECLINED
  • Mark Teixeira: Was injured and hit worse for most of the season when he did play. DECLINED
  • Dmitri Young: He actually had no real chance to make a major league roster, but given his dramatic weight loss, he certainly was in the BSOHL. And based on this picture from last night, he has kept it off.  Life is more important than baseball, and Young is taking charge of his life. IMPROVED
  • Yoenis Cespedes: I can’t remember the basis for this claim, but given that he exceeded most reasonable expectations, I’d say he IMPROVED
  • Phil Hughes: He frustrated Yankees fans at times in 2012, but he was healthy most of the year, pitched nearly 200 innings and bounced back from a disastrous 2011. IMPROVED
  • Brett Cecil: Didn’t make the Jays out of camp and the was demoted again to Las Vegas after some time in Toronto. DECLINED
  • Bill Hall: Multiple signings — Yankees, Orioles — and a DFA by the Orioles to Triple-A where he really didn’t hit like he needed to.  He’s done, it seems. He, Miguel Tejada and Aubrey Huff should go open a bar somewhere and make the BSOHL Cocktail their feature drinks. DECLINED

So there you have it.  It’s almost enough to suggest that, when someone says they’re in the Best Shape of His Life, they may not actually be.  Troubling, I’ll admit, but let’s not stop keeping track of it.

If you see a BSOHL claim this offseason, be sure to raise the alarm with the HardballTalk BSOHL Strike Team.

  1. indaburg - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    How about the entire Pittsburgh Pirates team and their Navy SEALs boot camp?

    • dowhatifeellike - Oct 29, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      Maybe if they do it twice this winter they can put a whole season together.

  2. danandcasey - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    As I indicated back in February, I too was in the BSOML (http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/02/the-official-2012-bsohl-roster/#comments) – declaring that “I am going to rock the Comments this upcoming season!”

    I was named “Comment of the Day” in May (http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/05/07/comment-of-the-day-if-youre-gonna-be-old-school-be-old-school/). I think I deserve an IMPROVED.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM

      Fine season. Tremendous effort.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 29, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      Great job DC! You commented your ass off this year.
      In fact, you set the bar so high it’s gonna’ be hard to top it in 2013!

  3. husky2score - Oct 29, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    I forgot that Aubrey Huff was on the Giants.

    • gogigantos - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      I spent a lot of days hoping he would not make an appearance, never for a minute forgot that he was there.

  4. wlschneider09 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    One could argue that death would have been an improvement for Tejada…

  5. Detroit Michael - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    It might also demonstrate that the correlation between being in good shape and performing well in professional baseball is weak.

    • sportsdrenched - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Thank you for that clarification. I got in good shape by running, cycling, swimming for distance and lifting weights.

      Do not confuse that with actually being fast at any of those things, or being athletic at anything. I’m still a clumsy oaff. I’m just a clumsy oaff that doesn’t worry diabetes, heart diseas, or even the Dr yelling at me about my weight.

      • sportsdrenched - Oct 29, 2012 at 3:30 PM

        Obviously I don’t worry about spelling or sentence structure, either.

  6. cur68 - Oct 29, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Roger Bernadia was in BSOHL from spring training 2011. I contend that his 2012 .291/.372/.405/.777 is good enough for IMPROVED: he’s just so BSHOL that it took him a full extra season to get used to it.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 29, 2012 at 8:00 PM

      If we ever start a BSOHL Hall of Fame, I’ll nominate Roger.

  7. adeedothatswho - Oct 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Didn’t Olivo only say he was in the fourth or fifth best shape of his life?

  8. okobojicat - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    kopy’s more complete list is available here:

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/07/brandon-inge-is-in-the-best-shape-of-his-life/#comments

    and if we compile the WAR to see if our team would do very well…

    Lineup 1:

    Name: Position: (f)WAR
    Fowler – CF 2.9
    Heyward – RF 2.1
    Longoria – 3B 2.4
    Cabrera – DH 7.1
    Teixera – 1B 2.9
    Cespedes – LF 3.1
    Martin – C 2.2
    Lowrie – SS 2.5
    Barney – 2B 2.5

    S1: McCarthy 1.8
    S2: Garcia 2.9
    S3: Cecil .1
    S4: Hughes 1.9
    S5: Zambrano .8
    CL: Wilson

    43 wins is a replacement level team.
    our starting lineup turns in 35.2 wins, so right now, we’re at 78 wins.

    In hindsight, I should’ve taken Molina (6.5 WAR) over Martin, but I anticipated some regression from Molina.
    Also, sliding in Lance Lynn (2.9) over Bret Cecil gives us 2.8 more. But you know. that’s life.

    Also, clicking back through all those posts from Mid march was amusing. Remember when Miguel Cabrera broke is fricken face? Or the Rockies being relevent.

    • bh192012 - Oct 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      What no relief pitching?

  9. dowhatifeellike - Oct 29, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Bill Hall’s problem is that he can’t catch a baseball. I’m not sure that really has anything to do with his level of fitness.

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