Headlines you don’t expect to see in the Wall Street Journal: “Is this the fattest Yankees team ever?” But I gotta admit, the WSJ’s antiquated “Mr.” this and “Mr.” that is particularly comical when it’s basically an article calling everyone fatties:
Everywhere you look on this Yankee team, there is a player tipping the scale with some serious heft. Baseball players are tall people, more so than fans might realize—but most of these giants aren’t exactly boasting six-pack abs.
Going by the listed weights, the Yankees have 18 players in camp listed at 225 pounds or more, just under one-third of the total group in camp. Five players are listed at 250 pounds or more. On the pitching staff, new arrivals Freddy Garcia (250) and Bartolo Colon (245) join the mammoth Mr. Sabathia (290) and the voluminous Phil Hughes (240).
I like to point out the weight stories all winter and early spring because I think they’re fun, but really, I don’t care. Like Kruk said “Lady, I’m not an athlete. I’m a baseball player.”
I will note for the record, however, that “The Voluminous Phil Hughes” would make an excellent name for a rock band.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.