Matt Adams projects to open the 2014 baseball season as the Cardinals’ starting first baseman and is preparing for that role with an extensive offseason diet and workout program. Listed last year at 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, he showed off a much more slender physique this weekend at the Cardinals’ annual Winter Warmup fan festival in downtown St. Louis.
The 25-year-old is, by all indications, in The Very Best Shape of His Life. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch had a chat with Adams early Sunday morning …
And Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides the video evidence …
Adams batted .284/.335/.503 with 17 home runs and 51 RBI in 108 games last season for the NL champs.
Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles is 23 years-old, so if he isn’t in The Best Shape of His Life he’s doing things wrong. Still, this feature does not pass judgments. It merely chronicles history. And sketchy claims of superior, unprecedented fitness:
New White Sox reliever Scott Downs may be getting up there in years, but Chicago has a great physical specimen to work with. Here’s Downs, talking to MLB.com:
“I’m in the best shape of my life the last couple of years, and if my arm holds up, I still feel like I can go out and compete and get outs. I still feel like I can pitch for another four or five years. I want to pitch until they take the uniform off of my back.”
Appeals to physical fitness or not, I think claiming you’re in the Best Shape of Your Life over the winter is way better for an aging pitcher than having to claim that you’re working on a new pitch or that you’re changing your arm slot or something. A BSOHL claim is much stronger. Those other ones have the whiff of desperation to them.
Add another name to the list, as Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is getting into The Best Shape Of His Life:
The Cubs are making sure shortstop Starlin Castro reports to Spring Training in better shape. The team assigned strength and conditioning coach Tim Buss to the Dominican Republic to work with Castro for three weeks in November. In January, Castro will start workouts at the Cubs’ facility in the Dominican. …
“I think we felt like there’s no reason he can’t be a little faster and he can’t have more range than he does,” [general manager Jed] Hoyer said. “He’s at that age–he’s going to be 24 years old–where he’s going to start to put on a little bit of that man strength.”
Maybe, but I’m 30 now and still waiting for “a little bit of that man strength” to arrive.
A true sign that the Winter Meetings are snoozeville: we’re already seeing January BSOHL stories. Case in point, Buster Posey, who is lifting weights and stuff:
When the Giants training staff checked in with Buster Posey recently, the former National League MVP had a goal in mind.
“He’s trying to get a little stronger in the lower half,” trainer Dave Groeschner said Monday, the first day of the annual Winter Meetings. Near the end of a disappointing second half of last season, Posey said he would do additional strength training this offseason so that he might “feel good all year.”
Because it was never, ever a priority for him to feel good all year in the past. Like, in 2012, Posey said he wanted to feel good until, say, August, then let himself slide slowly into exhaustion. Let’s not even talk about his rookie year when his clearly stated goal was to “totally hit a wall in July,” after which he would need orthopedic shoes.
So, there we have it: “professional athlete working out to keep himself in top physical condition” news at a time when we’re supposed to be talking about trades and signings and things.