The poop on Camp Panda

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Last week Bob told us all about “Camp Panda,” the intensive conditioning regimen for the Giants’ portly slugger Pablo Sandoval.  Fresh details today from the San Francisco Chronicle:

With a host of others, including Giants head trainer Dave Groeschner and strength and conditioning coordinator Ben Potenziano, infielder Pablo Sandoval climbed Phoenix’s Camelback Mountain on Thursday, 54 minutes up, 38 minutes down, and thought he was done for the day.

Then, Potenziano gave him the bad news: another weightlifting circuit and 30 more minutes of cardio.

“He was a little poopy-pants the rest of the afternoon,” Potenziano said. “He wasn’t his happy self.”

Lucky he got the panda nickname first, because otherwise there’d be no way he’d avoid being called poopy-pants for the rest of his career.

Beyond that, however, it’s a fascinating read.  The extent to which the Sandoval and the Giants are working on his diet and putting his body through the wringer is impressive.  How many times have you wondered what would have happened if a guy like Mo Vaughn or Kevin Mitchell or Dimitri Young had taken care of themselves? With Sandoval, we’re going to get to see it.

That is, if he can keep up the discipline as he heads down to his native Venezuela for winter ball.  His trainer is a bit worried:

As Potenziano said, Sandoval is an “icon” in his home country, where people will tackle each other to provide him food and drink.

That includes Sandoval’s family. Potenziano has urged [Sandoval’s brother] Michael to “attack their mom” to make sure she prepares healthy and prudently sized meals.

Moms are rough when it comes to portion control.  But can I make one request?  Given what’s been happening with ballplayers’ families in Venezuela lately, do you suppose we could use a phrase other than “attack” when it comes to talking about a VZ player’s mom?

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.