Red Sox and a fat spring training
Will there be a tub of goo in camp? Maybe more than one?
Teams provide what a player needs to stay in shape. A workout regime, nutritional advice, monitoring by staff and anything else a player may need to stay in reasonable shape. Those deep into seven and eight figure contracts often have their own personal trainers, medical advisers and even a personal chef. But, again, it is a personal choice.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a few that view the off-season with a certain sense of entitlement for excess. The excess usually is on display as the offender wobbles around like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
The last one of notoriety was Felix Doubront who is now in Chicago. Invariably there will be another and another. Even Dustin Pedroia had that awful introduction .191 in late 2006. Petey took off some pounds and the rest is history.
"The great football quarterback, Sonny Jurgensen, was constantly asked about his weight. Those of you who remember Sonny his stomach would hang over his belt like any couch potato in the neighborhood. Sonny’s reply was “I throw with my arm and not my stomach.”"
John Lackey managed to come to camp a few years ago with a svelte new look. The results were obvious during the season as the formerly plump Lackey became a reliable force during the season and especially the post season.
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Lackey followed up 2013 with an impressive 2014 and eventually became a valuable trade commodity while still maintaining a more polished physical presence. With so much on the line from money to pride Lackey pushed away from the all you can eat at the Golden Corral.
David Ortiz was constantly being analyzed by the weight watcher experts in the media and RSN. Ortiz, however, has maintained a rather vigorous workout regimen and has managed to keep his weight under control in the last several off seasons. Conditioning could be a prime (not as in rib) factor that Ortiz still pumps out 30 home runs in his late thirties.
Now the baseball microscope will be on Pablo Sandoval.
The Panda, rotund in presence, yet with a certain nimbleness with the bat and the glove. Weight was the occasional focal point with Panda and his former employers, the San Francisco Giants. It still is now that Sandoval has signed with Boston as his weight became fodder (no pun intended) for sports talk. The Red Sox appear have a wait (or is it weight?) and see attitude with their new third baseman. Hopefully he will not emulate another Red Sox third baseman of the distant past – Joe Foy.
Camp will provide a glimpse of conditioning of players during the winter break. That should give some insight to long-term personal responsibility to their team and career.