There weren’t any bad experiences during my trip to spring training, but being honest — and trying to be as fair as possible — I’ll have to say that the Mets’ facilities in Port St. Lucie were my least favorite. I’m not saying there was anything particularly wrong the place, just that the whole setup — the ballpark, the press stuff, the people, the town, the overall scene — fell short of the more or less exceptional experiences I had elsewhere.
One thing that did stand out, though, was the name of the Mets’ spring training park: Tradition Field. I have no idea if that is a covert corporate name like “Great American Park” or something, but it just sounds cool. Feels like baseball! Or, should I say, felt like baseball. Here’s Tyler Kepner of the NYT a few minutes ago:
Here’s a new one: in the middle of a game, the
Mets announce they’ve renamed their spring training stadium. It’s now
Digital Domain Park.
Ah, the Mets. Impeccable timing! Impeccable taste!
Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.
Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.
As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.
We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.
James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:
Spring training is less than a month away, folks!