In this morning’s Manny Ramirez post, I excerpted a passage from Sara Rimer’s New York Times story in which she described a one-handed, 400+ foot home run Ramirez allegedly hit while in high school. It elicited a comment from a former high school teammate of Ramirez’s, vouching for the veracity of the story and adding an old nickname of Ramirez’ I had never heard before:
I could assure you this is true. I was there. I was part of that team. It happened in late April 1991 again Brandis HS (Jose “Kiki” Jimenez). Manny has never been a public persona. Although his way of playing the game made him and I don’t think he ever got around that. We used to called him the “La Tabla” the wood plank.
See, “La Tabla” would have been a really useful thing to know back when Ramirez was playing.
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!