If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you know that I obsessively track those players who are reported to be “in the best shape of their life” each spring.
Best Shape of His Life stories can take a couple of different forms. There’s the straightforward “Player X is looking good” story which, if we’re lucky, actually uses the phrase “best shape of his life.” Close relatives to these stories are the “Pitcher X has developed a new pitch/developed a new grip/is standing on the other end of the rubber now” stories and “Player Y has taken up yoga/medicine ball work/Thighmaster and is now way more flexible than he used to be. The specifics aren’t terribly important. What’s key is that they are put out there by some anonymous source or agent or someone, and are clearly designed to counteract a public flaw assigned to the player the previous season related to conditioning, fragility or just plain sucking. They’re as predictable as the first crocuses of spring.
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!
Major League Baseball announced that Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell has received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his actions during an argument with third base umpire Bill Miller in the top of the seventh inning of the Sox’ game against the Angels on Saturday night at Fenway Park.
The argument was over a balk call on Fernando Abad, which brought in a run for the Angels. It wasn’t Miller’s call — home plate ump Ryan Blakney made the call — but Miller is the crew chief. Things got pretty animated as Farrell got face-to-face with Miller and the spittle flew:
Managers do not have the right to appeal a suspension, so Farrell will be sitting out tonight’s game against the Twins.
Last Tuesday night, the Braves hosted the San Francisco Giants at SunTrust Park. They lost 6-3. An Alabama man named Marcus Stephens almost came away a winner, however. At least if stealing a $4,500 golf cart that belongs to the Braves makes you a winner, which in some circles I suppose it would.
Stephens lost, however, when he crashed the cart into a metal pole, attempted to flee on foot and was apprehended by Cobb County Sheriff’s deputies. This all went down at 1:40AM Wednesday morning. The report doesn’t mention anything about alcohol being involved but I’ve read enough stories like this to make educated guesses about such things.
That being said, Stephens seems relatively composed in his mugshot:
I mean, yeah, the eyes look a bit red and puffy and the overall vibe he gives off is “I came to the game as part of the Sigma Nu reunion (Auburn University class of ’06, WAR DAMN EAGLE!),” but I expected much worse after reading the headline.
Anyway, dude is out on bail. Somewhere, someone is really super proud of him, I’m sure.