Here’s the dirt on the Mets’ infield

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No, really: the actual dirt:

About two weeks before the players reported for spring training in February, a firm called Natural Sand Company trucked in two loads of dark, brown clay from its mine in central Pennsylvania and, with the assistance of the grounds crew here, completely renovated the infield skin at the main stadium, creating virtually the same infield surface used at Citi Field in Queens.

This may not be the most important article on the planet, but I really dug it because it taught me stuff I didn’t know. Stuff like players tend to think that Citi Field has the best infield in the majors, which is kind of neat to know.  And stuff like the dirt portion of a baseball diamond covers 11,000 square feet.

Don’t look at me like that. I just like trivia, OK?

Kyle Schwarber: Before and After

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It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear  a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.

Which brings us to Kyle Schwarber. All offseason long we’ve been getting reports about Schwarber working out, losing weight and, of course, getting into The Best Shape of His Life. And some of those pics have definitely shown a young man who has cut fat and gotten lean. Good for him!

Let’s see how that translates to Schwarber in uniform. Here is is at spring training last year:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 21, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

 

Here he is toward the end of last season:

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 09: at Wrigley Field on September 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

And here he is now:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 20: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 20, 2018 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Nice goin’, kid.