Cameron Maybin may be in trouble with the Padres

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It’s early, but the leader in the “best story to come out of spring training” clubhouse comes from the guys at Gaslamp Ball.

The subject: Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin, who yesterday took to Twitter to complain — colorfully — how a meal at Panda Express disagreed with him:

Never eat panda express shits had me feeling awful for 2 days back on my grind tomorrow, We got action…

I saw that when he tweeted it. Didn’t think much of it besides “oh how un-fun Twitter will one day be when every athlete hands his tweeting over to PR professionals. When that happens we will no longer have that kind of stuff coming across the wire.”

But the Gaslamp Ball guys know something that apparently Maybin does not know: one of the minority owners of the Padres is Tom Davin, the CEO of Panda Express.

The Padres train in Arizona so presumably anyone who matters with that organization is snug in their beds at the moment and likely not yet aware of Maybin’s tweet.  I have this feeling though that all of this is going to lead to an awkward meeting of some kind.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

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All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉