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Ryan Howard is in the Best Shape of His Life

Nov 6, 2012, 6:48 AM EDT

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Getty Images

Man, it’s starting early this year. Take it away Ruben Amaro:

Amaro said Ryan Howard’s offseason conditioning program has already shown results. “I think he’s lost a significant amount of weight, which bodes well for him,” the GM said.

Good for Howard. And good for Amaro for making it safe for all general managers and agents to make reference to a player’s offseason conditioning program as if a player getting into decent shape is a net positive as opposed to the rectification of previous problem. It’s a long offseason and we have to fill it with stuff that doesn’t really matter at all between now and spring training.

In other news, tell me how these two statements later in the article, separated by a mere couple of sentences, conflict with one another:

The Phillies have a reputation for being a by-the-book organization that values good citizenship. It’s difficult to envision them making serious plays for [Josh Hamilton or Melky Cabrera]

and

“I don’t have any problem with Brett [Myers], as long as he could help us,” Amaro said.

Viva by-the-book behavior and good citizenship.

  1. brewcrewfan54 - Nov 6, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Its a long 3-4 months. We’ll see where Howard is in mid-february.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 6, 2012 at 7:15 AM

      I was thinking the same thing. Getting into BSOHL *before* the holidays? We’ll see how that works out. Doesn’t everyone start strong on a workout program? I think it’s the long-term maintenance that is the real challenge.

      • kiwicricket - Nov 6, 2012 at 7:29 AM

        Just look at Miggy. Looking like a tank in spring training, sporting ‘moobs’ by the playoffs.
        Love the quote….’bodes well for him’.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 6, 2012 at 7:34 AM

        Why you gotta hate moobs, kiwi? Is it gonna be like that today? Alright, that’s one anti-moobs vote.

        It’s off-season and there’s already foreboding. Geez.

      • kiwicricket - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:06 AM

        Well if I had to vote, I would go ‘boobz’ over ‘moobs’ in most instances. That’s just my particular preference however. Neither are particularly useful in the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse.

      • indaburg - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:09 AM

        The moobs are the source of Miggy’s power. One vote for moobs here.

      • cur68 - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        moobs? It has come to this, has it? So early in the off season and we have a moob v booz vote off. Jeez. Fine. Let me then cast one seal blubber smeared vote for boobz. Boobz all day, any day.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        Staters and their dualism. I won’t do it! Moobs and boobz! I’m no hater. I love both….for very different reasons (just to be clear).

  2. kkolchak - Nov 6, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    If I had a dollar for every “best shape of his life” story that preceded an awful season…

  3. proudlycanadian - Nov 6, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    Good luck to “Slim” Howard. He needs it after the injury.

  4. scotttheskeptic - Nov 6, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    The GM was a member of the 93 Phils. Not a history that suggests “by-the-book”. (Loved watching that team play, though.)

  5. mdpickles - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    At no point in this piece does Howard say, “I’m in the best shape of my life.”

    • 6stn - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:09 AM

      He was going to, but it was dinnertime, and he didn’t want to talk with a mouthful of mashed potatoes.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:16 AM

      It has never been the case that those magic words need to be said. The point of the meme is players — or more often their agents or GMs — touting their physical shape in the offseason for purposes of creating a positive offseason narrative.

      With shockingly few exceptions, players do not end up being in significantly better shape the next season than they were the previous season, nor does it bear any relation to them playing better. It is almost always spin.

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:31 AM

        Well, considering how out of shape he was last year, it’s practically a given he will be in better shape. As for playing better? Well better than last year hopefully.

      • cur68 - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        You have to cite Roger Bernadina when you mention the exception. He got into the best shape of anyone’s life, remember?

      • townballblog - Nov 6, 2012 at 7:24 PM

        I do remember. Hahaha, it was kind of scary how jacked that guy is.

    • snowbirdgothic - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:47 AM

      Excessive literalism is an affliction affecting over two million Americans, but the good news is, there is hope. You can get help.

  6. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    Considering his history of foot problem and a ruptured achilles, slimming down does bode well for him and his ability to walk.

    • heyblueyoustink - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:20 AM

      Why walk when he can swing, swing, swing the night away?

  7. townballblog - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Already!?!?

    > >

  8. willclarkgameface - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    If that guy keeps eating Subway, he’s sure to be in the best shape of his life – the shape of a very large circle.

  9. paperlions - Nov 6, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    Trollin’ trollin’ trollin’
    Though the season’s over
    Keep those bloggers trollin’
    Rawhide!

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:05 AM

      Great song. Rawhide was one of the Frankie Lane songs I listened to last night along with 3:10 to Yuma and Gunfight at the OK Coral.

    • historiophiliac - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      I heard Devil Went Down to Georgia this am on the way in to work.

  10. em26jamie - Nov 6, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Being in great shape and being able to hit a baseball are two completely different things.

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      Just ask John Kruk!

      • historiophiliac - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM

        best batting stance ever

  11. leerosenthall - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    As I recall, when Howie slimmed down a couple of seasons ago, his power followed suit. As long as he drives in RBIs, I personally don’t care, but let’s face it, being slim and trim doesn’t make you a great hitter. I’d prefer a chubby Howard who hits like (regular season) Miggy and Prince.

    • snowbirdgothic - Nov 6, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      The problem was, he got fed a steady diet of lefthanded pitching.

  12. cur68 - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    I always wonder about the BSOHL guys. Don’t they realize its like taking a load of cement out of your car? Performance is altered. Sometimes for the worse. Certainly the driver must take some time to get used to how the car handles now. Perhaps, by cutting weight and improving his cardio now, long before he has to back it up with on-field play, Howard has a chance to get used to the new handling. We’ll see.

  13. rjmarrella - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    All RAJ was inferring was that Howard is still on the way back from the Achilles injury. When he came back this season he was heavier. And frankly he doesn’t need to hit homers. RBI doubles work well too. Something he used to do at an epic rate, once upon a time.

  14. Chris Fiorentino - Nov 6, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    To answer Craig’s question, how can the writer with a straight-face say the Phillies won’t look at guys like Hamilton and Melky when Ruben says he would be interested in that scumbag, wife-beating A-hole Brett Myers?

  15. greymares - Nov 6, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    the difference is beating your wife( unless charges are filed) doesn”t cost you 50 games

  16. schmedley69 - Nov 6, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Howard lost a lot of weight a few years ago and kept it off until the injury. To be honest, I prefer the fatter Howard. His best years were when he was fat. Seemed to go downhill as soon as he started losing weight.

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