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?
Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.
This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.
So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.
The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.
As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.
The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.
Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.
Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.