If I was a free agent and I was looking for a team that suited my needs, it’d be harder to find a better place to land than the south side of Chicago. Because as Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports, they encourage naps:
White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas thinks a 30-minute window can make a huge difference in a player’s energy level. Thomas said the team not only has reduced the workload of players’ specific workouts, but he also encourages them to find a pillow in the clubhouse or at the hotel whenever possible.
“There’s a whole lot of power in a 15-minute nap,” said Thomas, who is in his 10th season as director. “When you plug your battery back in for a few minutes, you still get some charge. Guys are doing a lot more contrast: we’re doing the hot tub, cold tub and just cutting down their volume of work. You try to get better efficiency out of a fewer number of reps and use the energy for the main event.”
I can see it. Which always makes me wonder why falling asleep at work will get you fired.
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.