View Full Version : "I'm in the best shape of my life" - 2011 Edition

01-06-2011, 05:39 PM
This is a cataloging of players and baseball personalities quoting of how great they feel, what new workout they are on, how much weight they've lost or what awesome shape they will be in by the time the season starts.

This was one of my favorite threads of the 2010 pre-season, keeping track of the hyperbole from various MLB players and how the media always seems to just lap it up.

So I'm repeating it again for 2011.

Here is the 2010 thread (http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=80294).

01-06-2011, 05:40 PM
First guest - CC Sabathia


“I’m feeling good,” Sabathia said. “I wasn’t really worried about the surgery because I had it before. It was just swelling up on me after starts during the year, just achy pain that affected me while I was pitching.”

Sabathia has lost 15 pounds from his 6-foot-7 frame through a tough offseason training program of cardiovascular workouts and weight training. His knee recovered in just less than a month after the procedure, so he is well into his full exercise program and playing light catch.

He hopes to lose an additional 15 pounds before the season starts.

“I’m turning 30 this year, getting a little older,” he said, chuckling. “Hopefully it will take some pressure off my knee and extend my career.”

01-06-2011, 05:42 PM
Bartolo Colon


Antonetti said the Indians are indeed interested in Bartolo Colon and have been getting good reports from his winter ball exploits with Aguilas in the Dominican Republic.
Colon, 37, has reportedly lost close to 40 pounds.

01-06-2011, 05:44 PM
Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder has reportedly lost a significant amount of weight in preparation for the 2011 season. Will a slimmed down Fielder equal bigger production ..


01-06-2011, 05:44 PM
Russell Martin


A two-time All-Star and former Gold Glove winner, Martin slipped offensively the last two seasons. He feels a new workout regimen will greatly benefit his hitting.

“I’m probably going to be in the best shape of my life going into spring training,” said Martin, who also could spell Alex Rodriguez some at third base this season.

01-06-2011, 05:46 PM
Pedro Cerrano...


01-06-2011, 06:17 PM
For kicks I am going to review the hits and misses of the 2010 thread in order of posting. A hit is if they maintained or showed improvement from the previous season, a miss is if they showed regressing

1. Griffey - a swing and a huge miss
2. Zambrano - another huge miss
3. Andrew McCutcheon - hit
4. Matt Stairs - hit, he lost 30 pounds in hopes of getting a job and played some for the Pads
5. Gary Mathews Jr - miss
6. Jose Reyes - hit, still had some nagging injuries but he did bounce back a produce in 133 games
7. Ricky Romero - hit
8. Ryan Zimmerman - hit
9.John Lannan - miss
10. Mike Pelfrey - hit
11. Sheffield - no enough information
12. Kyle Blanks - miss
13. Bobby Jenks - miss
14. Yadier Molina - miss
15. The whole Reds team - hit
16. Dice - K - debatable hit
17. Nick Swisher - hit
18. Cole Hamels - hit
19. Aaron Cook - miss
20. Jonathan Sanchez - hit
21. Geovany Soto - hit
22. Clay Bucholz - hit
23. Josh Johnson - hit
24. Lance Berkman - miss
25. Aubrey Huff - hit
26. Joe Nathan - not enough information
27. Matt Harrison - foul tip
28. David Wright - infield single
29. Big Papi - Hit
30. Carl Crawford - hit
31. Andruw Jones - hit
32. Magglio Ordonez - hit
33. Jose Guillen - hit
34. Jason Bay - miss
35. Carlos Silva - hit
36. Pat Burrell - hit
37. Corey Hart - miss
38. Delmon Young - hit
39. Russel Martin (already has made the 2010 list hehe) - miss
40. Anibal Sanchez - hit
41. Miggy Cabrera - hit

Overall there were more hits than I expected. From what I can tell there is very little variability then how the players careers have actually been trending. There were a few who jumped in performance out of the norm though.

01-06-2011, 07:26 PM
I can't believe I forgot about this--so classic. Thank you, McClain. These are great.

Ghosts of 1990
01-06-2011, 11:59 PM
Best thread on RZ.... keep em comin'

01-07-2011, 09:57 PM
Folks, I have been practicing my typing and research skills all winter. I feel more ready to post heading into the 2011 season than I ever have before. I have to say I'm in the best shape of my life for RedsZone this year--now it is time to take it up a notch, avoid all cliches, use the toolbar correctly, etc. etc.

01-13-2011, 07:45 AM
The Kung Fu Panda has lost 17 lbs. and counting.

01-13-2011, 10:16 AM
Brad Penny...of course, being engaged to Karina Smirnoff might actually help him stay in shape. Looks like Craig Calcaterra tracks the same thing for NBC:


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!

01-13-2011, 10:18 AM
Apparently Fangraphs track this trend as well.


01-13-2011, 10:31 AM
Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder has reportedly lost a significant amount of weight in preparation for the 2011 season. Will a slimmed down Fielder equal bigger production .

IIRC a couple of years ago Prince decided to go vegetarian in order to get in better shape. Not only did he not lose any weight but his game was awful at the start of the season.

01-13-2011, 10:40 AM
IIRC a couple of years ago Prince decided to go vegetarian in order to get in better shape. Not only did he not lose any weight but his game was awful at the start of the season.

I have a friend who was a vegetarian for a few years. He and his wife would cook for me when I visited and there would be mountains of pasta, potatoes, etc., on the plate. My friend's weight eventually got up to 380 pounds before he made some changes. Maybe that's the kind of vegetarian Mr. Fielder is.

01-13-2011, 02:32 PM
I have a friend who was a vegetarian for a few years. He and his wife would cook for me when I visited and there would be mountains of pasta, potatoes, etc., on the plate. My friend's weight eventually got up to 380 pounds before he made some changes. Maybe that's the kind of vegetarian Mr. Fielder is.

not eating meat definitely doesn't necessarily equate to eating healthy.

01-13-2011, 02:44 PM
IIRC a couple of years ago Prince decided to go vegetarian in order to get in better shape. Not only did he not lose any weight but his game was awful at the start of the season.

He went even further, he went vegan, it was after his wife read this book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinny_*****)

As for his body type the only way he'll ever be "skinny" like a hipster vegan is to starve himself.

01-14-2011, 11:40 AM
Lance Berkman

"If I have a repeat of last year I'm probably out of the game," Berkman says. "While that doesn't really bother me, I feel like God has given me a gift to play the game, and I want to take full advantage of that. I don't want to see it end because I'm not in the best possible shape. If my skills have eroded, fine. That happens to everybody. But I don't want it to be because I didn't put in the best possible effort forth to be in great shape."

The next chapter

Berkman has dropped 20 pounds and reduced his body fat from 19.5 percent to 12 percent while working with Fairchild. After typically ending a season carrying more than 230 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame, Berkman now hovers just above 210.


01-16-2011, 05:22 PM
Stephen Strasburg


"I'm definitely in the best shape of my life," Strasburg told Ted Robinson. " Once you start throwing, it's gonna be a long process just getting your strength back, but I feel great about it and I have a really good feeling that I'm gonna come back at 100 percent....The surgery's down to a science, and you've just got to do what the doctors tell you."

01-23-2011, 01:33 AM
Jose Tabata


“Yeah, I’m bigger. I worked out in the gym every day this winter. I want to be bigger and stronger. This year, my idea is to hit more home runs.”

01-23-2011, 01:34 AM
Casey McGehee


Meister said he also now is representing Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee, who certainly is a good pick-up for an agent. Meister said McGehee has been focusing on physical fitness this off-season and plans to come to spring training in his best shape ever.

01-23-2011, 01:35 AM
Brad Lincoln


At the end of the season, Lincoln talked about plans to get a personal trainer during the offseason. The focus, Lincoln explained, would be more on his legs and core than in years past.

“I am going to get my body in the best shape possible to come into spring strong so that I can go all year without breaking down,” Lincoln said. “I want to come in top physical form.”

01-23-2011, 01:39 AM
Manny Ramirez


But Ramirez, 38, is reportedly in great shape after working out at Athletes' Performance Institute in Arizona and should be motivated on this one-year deal, making him a threat in the Rays lineup.

01-28-2011, 11:40 AM
Well, Pedro Alvarez will not be making this list, apparently.

Maybe I need to start a new thread


It will take a big man to carry the Pirates offense next season, but not quite as big as Pedro Alvarez happens to be at the moment, apparently. Alvarez has put on a few pounds this off-season, and more than one team official isn’t thrilled about it. At last report, the third baseman had ballooned in excess of 240 pounds, at least 15 pounds more than he finished last season.

01-31-2011, 01:26 AM
Joe Nathan


"I don't want to ruin anything,'' he says. "My arm feels great. I'm in the best shape of my life, and there hasn't been a period of time where we haven't been able to do our workouts and progress. The next time I step on the field, it will be with my teammates, and that's a good feeling.''

01-31-2011, 01:28 AM
Nelson Figueroa


This year, going to Spring Training and not having to do all that, not having to do all that work ahead of time...I feel like I'm going to be in the best shape that I can possibly be because I've been working out the whole time. The competitive juices will start flowing, I'm sure, but it's definitely a different feeling. I'm not really sure how
relaxed I can be, and I don't want to be relaxed. I take nothing for granted. With a guaranteed deal, the salary is taken care of, the contract is taken care of and now I can just go out and play and I don't have to worry about that last week of Spring Training where I'm starting to count bodies and say, "OK, I'm number 27 (of 25 possible roster spots) and what's going to happen?"

01-31-2011, 08:38 AM
Nate McLouth won't be using that phrase, but for a different reason than Alverez:


"When I got back in the gym after the season, I noticed how much explosiveness and core strength I had lost," McLouth revealed. "That’s one thing that’s been encouraging this winter. It took a while to come back, but I’ve gotten most of my strength back. I feel good."

Laughing, McLouth added, "I will not use the phrase, 'I’m in the best shape of my life.' I promise I won’t use that, because everybody uses that."

Razor Shines
01-31-2011, 11:08 AM
WJ was on with Popo last night and here's basically some of what he said:

*couldve sent Stubbs and Bruce down in July
*said Joey asks him everything about Pujols
*last winter Joey stayed with coach Jackson in Fla. they worked on defense all winter
*constantly testing Cueto and giving him physicals
*arb, you have to talk bad about players and you still lose
*says Gomes understands whats going on and is in best shape ever
*not moving Phillips to SS, said BP said he would move if they acquired a quality 2Bman
*felt their offer was better than Texas for Lee, Seattle wanted a specific guy from Texas
*trying to get Edmunds in for 2 weeks in camp
*goal is to extend Leake's innings this year
*thinks reason for change in developing pitchers is, finding and drafting right guy and pitching coaches at every level
*likes Bailey's relationship with Price and Dusty
*difficult to make trades because of clauses and money is a big factor
*Price's suggestion at the end of last season is to keep Chapman in the bullpen even before they made the decision on Rhodes
*said he watches the big league team in ST to make sure they do what they have planned for them to do, he also watches the minors and makes 1 trip during summer to each team

Our very own Jonny Gomes.

Scrap Irony
01-31-2011, 01:03 PM
First Red.

And he needs to be, if he's going to earn more than mop-up duty against RH pitching. (Even then, most posters should be happy to learn that he's not the ertwhile starter after all.)

01-31-2011, 01:12 PM
Cueto himself didn't make the comment, but Doc Kremchek was quoted as saying Cueto's physical was pristine and that he was in the best shape of his life.

Edit - here is is:

After the pitcher's physical, Jocketty said team medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek told him that Cueto was in the best physical shape he's ever seen him.


02-03-2011, 01:51 PM
Add another Red to the list:

Good news for Reds fans: Left-hander Dontrelle Willis is in terrific physical and mental condition, according to his agent, Matt Sosnick.

“He looks like an NFL receiver right now,” Sosnick said Thursday. “Very little body fat, totally ripped, eating meticulously. He’s in the best shape of his life. And mentally, he’s in the best place I’ve ever seen him.”

Chip R
02-03-2011, 01:57 PM
“He looks like an NFL receiver right now,” Sosnick said Thursday. “Very little body fat, totally ripped, eating meticulously. He’s in the best shape of his life. And mentally, he’s in the best place I’ve ever seen him.”

Eating meticulously? :confused:

02-03-2011, 02:40 PM
And you know if a player's agent is saying it, it HAS to be true.

02-05-2011, 03:53 PM
This week should really start to trickle in news, as the players all start showing up for ST.

Follow on from the earlier post - Pedro Alvarez really is not in the best shape of his life.

Even the club president took time out to call him fat. It's never good when the boss tells you to work on your girlish figure.


....we have continued to stress to Pedro the critical importance of his conditioning. Pedro has gotten stronger through an extensive offseason conditioning program, but there is still work to be done with respect to body weight and composition.”

02-10-2011, 10:51 PM
Andreas Torres


"I'm in the best shape of my life," Torres told me Friday. "I'm faster and stronger than I've ever been. ... Last year I was in shape, but not like this year."

The previous 12 offseasons, Torres played a full schedule of winter ball. This time, he skipped winter ball to concentrate on conditioning and hitting technique.

02-10-2011, 10:52 PM
Jake Peavy


"I'm in the best shape of my life. I feel blessed. I'm blessed with a great attitude. I'm thankful to be playing the game of baseball again."

02-10-2011, 10:53 PM
The Entire Boston Red Sox team (at least whomever showed up early)


"I know we say this every year but everyone I've seen [so far at camp] looks to be in great shape and we're all excited to get going," Epstein said

02-12-2011, 06:05 PM
Looks like Aaron Cook is on the list again in 2011. But this time, he really means it.


All I can say is that I'm trying to get in the best shape I can. Last year, I thought I was in the best shape of my life and I ended up having one of the most disappointing seasons of my career. So all I can do is get myself prepared.

02-12-2011, 06:09 PM
Colby Rasmus


The offseason was better spent making sure he'll keep his strength for that swing deeper into the season.
"Just wanted to get my body in good shape, get it ready for the whole season," Rasmus said, "and be the best athlete here at camp."

02-12-2011, 06:10 PM
Uh oh Yankee fans, looks like Joba is joining Pedro Alvarez on the "didn't get the memo" bus

From NY Post Yankees Beat Writer Brian Costello's Twitter


Joba looks like he gained some weight

02-14-2011, 01:13 AM
Jack Wilson

From the Seattle News Trib Beat Reporter's Twitter


SS Jack Wilson lost 12 pounds, did a lot of weight work with his legs in the off-season in effort to keep his hamstrings strong. Can't hurt

02-14-2011, 01:15 AM
Angles C Bobby Wilson and RP Kevin Jepsen


Catcher Bobby Wilson (pictured at left), whose playing time could increase dramatically after the Angels traded away Mike Napoli in January, lost 33 pounds over the winter, trimming down from 243 pounds to 210 pounds.

"When you have an opportunity in front of you, you have to take full advantage of it," said Wilson, who played in only 40 games while serving as a third catcher last season but will challenge Jeff Mathis for the starting job this spring. "I made a commitment going into the winter. The next step is to keep it off."

Wilson, who was slowed by knee problems in 2010, hired a nutritionist and adopted a diet heavy on protein, fruits and vegetables "instead of hamburgers, cheeseburgers and chicken fingers with French fries," he said. "It wasn't a 15-day crash diet. It was a gradual weight-loss program. The good thing is I kept all my strength."

Losing so much weight should help Wilson's mobility behind the plate and ease the burden on his knees.

"It will help not carrying around 33 extra pounds," Wilson said. "I want to feel better, and I want to be a little more athletic back there."

Reliever Kevin Jepsen also appeared to lose a big chunk of weight, but the hard-throwing reliever said he lost only 14 pounds, going from 242 pounds to 228.

"I carry all my weight in my face, which stinks," said Jepsen, who began eating smaller portions but more often throughout the day. "I can't hide when I get fat."

02-14-2011, 12:57 PM
On 2/8:
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia has lost 30 pounds from offseason workouts, a source told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.


Then, on 2/11, from Brian Cashman:
"I don't believe it," said the Yankees general manager. "I saw him (last week) at the B.A.T. dinner, and he didn't look like he lost 30 pounds to me. Maybe half that amount."


And today, 2/14, the trick to his successful diet:

Sabathia, who had knee surgery this offseason, said he is 25 pounds lighter after he stopped eating full boxes of Cap'n Crunch.


02-14-2011, 05:00 PM
So now we know....His name "CC" stands for Captain Crunch! Eating whole boxes in one sitting.......incredible.

02-14-2011, 05:10 PM
So now we know....His name "CC" stands for Captain Crunch! Eating whole boxes in one sitting.......incredible.

He's much healthier now: he eats half a box of Cap'n Crunch and half a box of Raisin Bran in one sitting now. Plus he uses 2% milk on his cereal instead of Yoo-hoo.

(The above may or may not be true. I can't find the supporting link.)

02-14-2011, 07:24 PM
I can easily eat a entire box of cereal in one sitting if I allow myself. Of course I also spend 2 hours a day in the weight room, which I doubt C.C. does.

02-14-2011, 07:44 PM
"I'm in the best shape of my life"- me. I lost 8 pounds the last month, and feel awesome and ready for baseball season. Just thought I'd throw it out there. :D


02-15-2011, 03:02 PM
@jcrasnick Jerry Crasnick
Bochy says Lincecum looks "great" and showed up in terrific shape. Always a good sign for #sfgiants. #espnst

Patrick Bateman
02-15-2011, 03:23 PM
"I'm in the best shape of my life"- me. I lost 8 pounds the last month, and feel awesome and ready for baseball season. Just thought I'd throw it out there. :D


Wow how is Chris Carpenter going to explain that to his son!!!!

02-17-2011, 01:32 PM
Nats OF Roger Bernadina


Roger Bernadina arrived today, and he is probably the leader in clubhouse for Best Shape of His Lifeiest player here. He looked more like a strong safety than a left fielder. Bernadina took some batting practice with coaches the other Nationals players who have gotten in early, and many of them joked with him about how much muscle he's put on.

Bernadina spent most of his offseason in the Netherlands, where he spent much of his youth and where he now lives. He worked out with a trainer who he's known for a few years, sometimes lifting weights twice a day. He said he ended last year at 192 pounds, and he packed on more than 10 pounds.

02-17-2011, 01:32 PM
John Lackey


John Lackey hopped from treadmill to treadmill this winter, 20 minutes on one machine, 20 minutes on the next, and 20 more on a third — anything to break up the boredom of running.

He put in the time, though, and the result is a noticeably sleeker starter. Lackey reported for his second spring training with the Red Sox 10 pounds lighter than the 250 or so he carried last season.

02-17-2011, 01:34 PM
Daisuke Matsuzaka


Matsuzaka decided to work out this offseason in Honolulu with some of his former teammates from Seibu Lions. He explained that his regimen included parts of the Red Sox' offseason workout program, and a portion of the plan given to him by a trainer from Japan. There was, the pitcher said, added emphasis on strengthening his legs.

"I carried over from the regular season and built a foundation for this season. That two worked out really well," he said. "I healed and then continued to build up. I also had no concerns this offseason about any injuries, which is something I really hoped for. I wanted to be able to be 100 percent when I got here, and it came true."

02-17-2011, 01:37 PM
This headline from the Wall Street Journal cracked me up

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703373404576148633980571882.html?m od=googlenews_wsj

Is This the Fattest Yankees Team Ever?

Everywhere you look on this Yankee team, there is a player tipping the scale with some serious heft. Baseball players are tall people, more so than fans might realize—but most of these giants aren't exactly boasting six-pack abs.

Going by the listed weights, the Yankees have 18 players in camp listed at 225 pounds or more, just under one-third of the total group in camp. Five players are listed at 250 pounds or more. On the pitching staff, new arrivals Freddy Garcia (250) and Bartolo Colon (245) join the mammoth Mr. Sabathia (290) and the voluminous Phil Hughes (240).

If Mr. Colon and Mr. Garcia both made the staff alongside A.J. Burnett (230), the Yankees would have perhaps the heaviest rotation in baseball history, weighing in at a positively amplitudinous 1,255 pounds.

"I tell you what, we've got some big ol' pitchers. Good gosh," Manager Joe Girardi said.

Based on average listed weights, a 25-man Yankee roster with both Mr. Garcia and Mr. Colon included would weigh in at just under 216 pounds, fat enough to be among the 20 heaviest teams of all time, according to Stats Inc.

Come on Yanks, you're not following the correct protocol for ST hyperbole.

02-17-2011, 01:38 PM
Tommy Hanson


Hanson said Monday morning on the first day of the Braves’ pre-spring pitching camp that he’s gained 10 pounds of muscle. He also strengthened his back, a big priority of his.

“My lower back was bothering me pretty much all year last year,” Hanson said. “So I incorporated a couple of exercises in and really worked on my flexibility too.”

02-17-2011, 01:40 PM
Rangers P Colby Lewis


Right-hander Colby Lewis dropped 15 pounds and came into camp weighing 223 pounds.
“It’s always easy gaining weight, but you can’t lose it, especially during the season,” Lewis said. “My trainer competes as a bodybuilder, and I did the same kind of thing he did. I didn’t eat carbs after noon, and it kind of fell off.”
Lewis, who won 12 games last season, is hoping the weight loss pays dividends this season.
“It’s the lightest I’ve been in almost 10 years ,” Lewis said. “I feel like I’m a lot stronger, too.”

02-17-2011, 01:41 PM
Cole Hamels


Pitching coach Rich Dubee told reporters that Cole Hamels is in such good shape that he could pitch today. That says something to me.
I hear loud and clear that Cole Hamels is coming to camp with something to prove. He knows he’s going to be compared with the great pitching teammates he has and obviously he plans on being at his best from day one.

02-17-2011, 05:09 PM
Gotta love Satire. This is from the Sports Pickle Humor site


“I’m in the fourth best shape of my life,” said a sort of noticeably trim Olivo. “Last year I was only in the 11th best shape of my life, so I really put time in the gym this offseason. I wanted to get into the top 5 shapes of my life.”
Olivo entered his offseason workout regimen hoping to get into the best shape of his life, but soon realized that wasn’t realistic.

“You can never be 18 again,” he said. “I look at pictures of myself from back then and I had noticeable abs and I didn’t even have to workout. I looked great. Now I’m 32 and have pretty much let myself go for more than a decade. So I can’t turn back the clock. Especially when the off-season is really only three months. So I’m more than happy to get into the 4th-best shape of my life. You can’t see my abs, but my gut doesn’t hang out to the point it covers up my belt anymore.”

02-17-2011, 10:25 PM
Uh oh Yankee fans, looks like Joba is joining Pedro Alvarez on the "didn't get the memo" bus

From NY Post Yankees Beat Writer Brian Costello's Twitter


When will someone photo shop a Star Wars photo to include a certain face :thumbup:.

02-18-2011, 09:38 AM
I don't think we can top this one. Jim Leyland this morning on Miguel Cabrera:

“Miguel Cabrera is in the best shape of his life. He’s stronger than he’s ever been. And he’s quicker than he’s ever been.”

02-19-2011, 06:10 PM
Jorge de la Rosa


After missing the first two workouts because of visa issues, Jorge De La Rosa reported to Rockies spring training in the best shape of his career. He's down to 216 pounds, thanks to daily two- hour workouts with the Hermosillo winter league team — and his twin 13-month-old sons, Matias and Bernabe.

Bob Borkowski
03-09-2011, 12:35 AM
Don't forget David Freese


Freese has worked extremely hard for the last several months, getting himself back to full capacity after last summer's double ankle surgery. And this was no minor stuff; one of the ankles required reconstruction. But Freese is probably in the best shape of his career.

03-12-2011, 01:32 AM
Corey Hart


"I still get random sharp pains in it when I make certain moves," he said. "It's still a pretty big area that's sore, so they can't really inject one spot (with cortisone). It's very frustrating.

"Every day is Groundhog Day. I get up hoping it'll feel better but it's the same. What's frustrating is that I was in the best shape of my life and this happened.

03-12-2011, 01:34 AM
Former No. 1 overall pick Matt Anderson


So he drove to California earlier this year, picked up some equipment from his friend and former teammate Robert Fick, and impressed the Phillies enough in a workout to warrant the chance he's getting.
At 34, in great shape — and sounding extremely confident — Anderson surveyed the scene of his pierced youth on Sunday.
"It's going to happen," he said about his quest to get back to the big leagues. "It's definitely going to happen. You haven't seen the best from me yet."
Anderson regrets nothing.
He's divorced with four children. That's what induced his depression. His baseball career fell apart, but he neither sounds nor acts like someone who wishes his past had been smoother.
"Without him," he said, referring to the younger version of himself, "I wouldn't be me now. It's totally awesome, because it's a process. You learn a lot as you go through life.
"Until I was right again with my body and mind, I didn't realize how awesome it is to be right."

03-12-2011, 01:35 AM
Alfonso Soriano


Alfonso Soriano is having his best spring since becoming a Cub after working out all winter in the Dominican Republic and working with hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo this spring.

"He's cut, he's in great shape, he's ready to go from Day One," manager Mike Quade said. "We had to push him to really get into working out (in left). I ran him into the wall and hurt him once. That was not good."

03-12-2011, 01:36 AM
More on Dice-K

If you were expecting Terry Francona to throw up his hands when discussing Daisuke Matsuzaka's brutal spring, forget it.

"I think he's in great shape. I think his shoulder's strong. The ball's coming out. He's what, eight, nine innings into camp and he hasn't commanded at times. I don't think that means he's out of shape or he's disappointing," the manager said. "A couple of outings haven't been good. I don't think we're going to pack in the season after March 9th or whatever."

03-12-2011, 01:37 AM
Jacoby Ellsbury


Meanwhile, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury turned in four innings in center field. He didn't manage a hit, but he looked to be in great shape. Most importantly, he didn't make any physical contact with the ground or another player; considering his 2010 woes, that's a good thing. By all accounts, those who have been watching him this spring, including ESPNBoston.com writer Gordon Edes, have been saying he looks solid and appears to be past the rib injuries that plagued him in 2010.

03-12-2011, 01:38 AM
Mike Cameron


The player who garnered the bulk of my attention, however, was Mike Cameron. The 38-year-old outfielder (who, incidentally, is in better shape than many twenty-somethings)

03-12-2011, 01:39 AM
According to A-Rod, all of the Yankees are in great shape


Rodriguez said. "I think everybody came out ready this year, in great shape and with a chip on their shoulder."
What's different this year, Rodriguez said, is the mix of young talent with proven stars.
"Of the eight years I've been here, from an organizational point of view, I don't think it's been a healthier, stronger point than it is right now.

03-14-2011, 04:13 PM

Investigating the "Best Shape" Phenomenon

If you're reading this, chances are you not only know all about the "best shape of my life" stories that resurface every spring, you've also mocked those stories (and maybe even joked about the stories written about those stories). This isn't new; we've snarked about it for years.

Since I was never any good at writing jokes, I originally figured that my contribution to this fine baseball tradition could be to compile a long list of all the BSOML players, just for the absurdity of it all. I undertook that effort four years ago with no grander goal than to have a few laughs with some friends. But one thing led to another, lists turned into spreadsheets, and before I could lift one off-season weight, I had a multi-year study on how BSOMLers perform while being in—you guessed it—the best shape of their lives. Now, this meant that I was, at least on some level, studying the effects of chicken-finger consumption on run production, but I soldiered on nonetheless, curious to see how it would turn