A long time ago I made up a word: “metafan.” I only had a vague idea of what it meant, but I liked the sound of it. Recently I’ve come to think that the word was too good to just sit by itself, undefined, so I decided to build a concept around it. That concept is laid out in a guest column I wrote for Baseball Prospectus. Unlike the bulk of BP’s content it’s free for all to read with or without a subscription.
Roughly speaking, the word “metafan” refers to a person who gets into the superfluous stuff surrounding baseball to the extent that, at some point, it starts to crowd out the consumption of actual baseball games. I’m talking about playing fantasy baseball, collecting memorabilia, writing about it, doing sabermetric analysis, going nuts on hot stove league things, whatever. I’m a metafan. Many of you are. Most people who truly go nuts about baseball are, I believe anyway, metafans. And that’s not bad. It just … is.
At any rate, I don’t do longish form columny things very often, so writing this was kind of fun. Let me know what you think of it. I’m actually not sure that it’s good — I really did think up the word first and built a concept around it afterwards, so it may be total bunk — but you can be the judge of that.
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!