Mike Pelfrey

Mike Pelfrey is in The Best Shape of His Life … but I’m not sure how

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Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports that Mike Pelfrey, who is on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery, is down to 240 pounds from a previous 270, and that he’s doing it based on a lot of cardio. Imagine, then, what he’d be doing if he didn’t eat like this the night before he pitched:

Dinner the night before had been fried chicken strips with gravy from a Dairy Queen drive-thru … “I don’t really eat the best,” he said. “I think I find myself every night in Fort Myers going to eat something fried.”

After a night game Wednesday, March 13, Pelfrey tried to head out for a pasta dinner but was deterred by the long line. So he went down the road to DQ.

Get that: the healthy option — the one he planned — was dinner at what was either an Olive Garden or a Carraba’s. It was when only deterred by the hordes at the door that he rocked the DQ.

But you know what? Given portion sizes and how much butter and stuff those places use, I bet he was better off eating at DQ. Unless he was wise and got a big Blizzard because oh my god I love Blizzards.

Joe Blanton is in The Best Shape of His Life

Joe Blanton
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When I was in Angels’ camp in Tempe a week ago Friday, I didn’t see Joe Blanton. I guess now we know why:

When Joe Blanton takes the mound for the first time in Angel Stadium with his new team, fans who have been oblivious to his career since he left the Phils may be a little surprised. Blanton, who signed with the Halos as a free agent in December, is about 30 pounds lighter than his normal 260.

He says he didn’t try to lose weight. “It just happened.” Tapeworms: is there no end to the good they can do?

(via Baseball Musings)

Alberto Callaspo is NOT in The Best Shape of His Life

Alberto Callaspo Getty
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For every 100 players who report to spring training in The Best Shape Of His Life one guy has to show up in sweatpants with Cheetos stains on them (or the equivalent). That’s the rule and Alberto Callaspo of the Angels was merely following it:

Callaspo is listed at 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, so that must be a helluva diet if he showed up to spring training 20 pounds heavy and has already lost most of it.

Jeff Francoeur is in The Best Shape of His Life

Jeff Francoeur
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He doesn’t utter the words, but when you have a story that spends multiple paragraphs on physical conditioning, change in diet and references to body fat percentage, all as a means of excusing last year’s poor performance and promising better performance in the coming year, you have captured the very essence of BSOHL.

I’m not gonna blockquote it. You have to read the whole thing to believe it. Not because of any specific passage, but because of how clearly this story is an apologia for Francouer’s shortcomings in 2012 and — as we’ve seen basically every year of his career — a rah-rah piece containing quotes about how he’s gonna turn it around in the coming season and assertions about how he’s too talented not to return to form, even if his good years are the aberration and his poor ones more the norm. I mean it: with the possible exception of last spring, every single year there is a story from someone in either Atlanta, New York or Kansas City talking about how Francoeur is poised to finally fulfill his promise and ascend to superstardom, as if it were preordained.

This edition of the story has it all: it has weight room talk, diet talk, swing-tinkering talk, change in bat weight talk, “gonna prove the naysayers wrong” talk. The whole deal. If he were a pitcher it would have something about a change in mechanics and pitch-tipping, I’m sure.

And like I said above: that’s what the BSOHL stuff is really about. It’s not about shape per se. It’s about optimistic spring training stories which serve as a basis for explaining away poor performance and raising expectations for better performance. Often as a player is either hitting free agency or entering his walk year. In this piece we have an almost perfect example of the form, applied to the player the meme was born to describe.

Hunter Pence is in The Best Shape of His Life

Hunter Pence
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The Giants own Twitter feed says so:

 

Accompanying that is this video detailing Pence’s adherence to the paleo diet:

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I’m trying to do this to some extent. Not hardcore or anything, but in the same direction. It’s only been a week for me and I have thus far been unable to not constantly think of pizza and fat sandwiches. So, yeah, it’s a process. Good for Pence, though.