We’re months away from tracking all the “Best Shape Of His Life” players, but here’s a new twist: Carlos Quentin is planning to get into the Best Shape Of His Life this offseason.
Quentin played just 86 games this season due knee problems that required one surgery in March and another surgery two weeks ago. And now the Padres outfielder told Corey Brock of MLB.com that he’s going to get into better shape, lose weight, and stay healthy next year:
Some of it will be training, some rest and some weight loss. It will all be geared to staying on the field. I liked my weight when I came in. But when you have a surgery, especially with your lower half, you can’t do the extra work you want to do. I had to limit that greatly.
Given the circumstances of my knee, I think a lighter weight will be beneficial to me. My best year in Chicago, I was around 230. This year, I was in the 240’s. It doesn’t seem like that much, but over a season, it takes a toll. Hopefully my durability will return.
Sounds like a solid plan, although it’s worth noting that Quentin has never really had “durability” in the first place. Even before missing half of this season he missed 44, 31, 63, and 32 games during the previous four seasons and has never played more than 131 games in a year. If anything he’s been one of the least durable outfielders in baseball. But when healthy Quentin has always been productive, which is why the Padres are helping him with the weight loss effort after signing him to a three-year, $27 million extension.
On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”
There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.
It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:
On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.
“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”
One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.
None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”