Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Especially Tricky the Way It Works

Time for another round of that famed Sesame Street game "One of These Things Is Not Like the Others!"

Here's the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzalez:
It was more than just a 3.71 ERA that White Sox closer Bobby Jenks needed to trim.

For Jenks, the bigger transformation involved his diet habits in an effort to change his daily life and enhance his baseball longevity.

"Honestly, it was a lot of everything," the 6-foot-4 Jenks said of the alterations he made to drop his weight to 275 pounds. "Not drinking helps. But really it was a lifestyle choice I wanted to make — not just for myself but for my family.

Really, the drinking part was hard. But once you did it, it was easy."

The Sox's front office has been delighted at the way Jenks, 29, has responded. Four springs ago, following his breakout rookie season, Jenks reported to camp noticeably overweight and had to spend extra time with conditioning director Allen Thomas.

"In the past we've had to do two things — we had to get him in shape and his arm in shape," pitching coach Don Cooper said. "Right now it's just the arm because his body is in shape. It's great to see Bobby taking more responsibility and control of his career and life."

Jenks pitched through the 2005 postseason with a sore hip but managed to stay healthy until 2008, when he experienced discomfort behind his left shoulder blade. Last year he was sidelined because of kidney stones and missed the final 10 games because of a right calf strain.

As a result, Jenks embarked on measures to strengthen the shoulders, back and legs. He has also cut down on non-healthy food.

"Everyone knows not to eat certain things that aren't good for you, and the hard part is actually going to do it," Jenks said.
Good for Jenks.  As a guy who has made similar changes to his lifestyle, I appreciate how difficult it can be. But it's worth it.
Dr. Phil has another heart-warming story of a guy who's worked himself into shape:
Consider the highly motivated Andruw Jones. He arrived at the White Sox camp early and sassy, at one point calling himself the best center fielder on the property.

That seems unlikely, as Jones was only moderately adequate in the outfield for Texas last season. But the man has won 10 Gold Gloves and came to Glendale in good shape (minus the spare tire he packed in the last season or two of his 12-year stay in Atlanta). He's expected to get most of his playing time as part of a DH platoon, but if he could play well in the outfield he will give Ozzie Guillen a chance to use Carlos Quentin as the DH, lessening the chance he will have a recurrence of plantar fasciitis.
Ooohhhh...sassy! I like it!

And finally, it's our old buddy Sully, talkin' about the Cub's formerly pudgy catcher.  These are the first two paragraphs of his story:
After losing 40 pounds during the offseason, Geovany Soto looks like an air-brushed impression of his old self.

But losing weight means being under suspicion in the modern age. Soto laughed Tuesday when asked about talk show speculation he had been using performance-enhancing drugs.

"To me, (the rumors are) kind of ridiculous," Soto said. "I wasn't strong. I was just fat."
Sully shows superb self-restraint -- he waited almost two dozen words before he brought up the "speculation" that Geo's been doping!

To sum up:  the first thing we hear about Jenks is how he did "a lot of everything" to drop down to a sub-Fielder weight.  The first thing we hear about Jones is how he's "highly motivated."

And the first thing we hear about Soto is he's "air-brushed" (i.e., fake) and "under suspicion" for juicing.

So...which thing is not like the others?  The Soto piece, of course!

It's just another example of that damnable Tribune bias in favor of the Cubs.

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