Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part I
posted at 1/8/2014 9:15 AM EST
In response to tom-uk's comment:
In response to moonslav59's comment:
I have to admit, it really irked me bigtime when he came to ST out of shape his first year he had his big chance. Maybe I overreacted on making judgements about him, and maybe there was an underlying issue that might have made the situation more understandable.
Don.'t assume working out or being out of shape is important to a pitcher, IMO the evidence is not there.
"The list of overweight pitchers who have been successful include Babe Ruth, Early Wynn, Mickey Lolich, Rick Reuschel, David Wells and Bartolo Colon.
Leo Mazzone, a former pitching coach for the Atlanta Braves who tutored all shapes and sizes in his 32-year career, said that if it was not broke, don’t diet.
“He needs to gain 25 pounds back,” said Mazzone, who dispenses his pitching theories as a co-host on a daily sports radio show in Atlanta and on the Atlanta Braves’ radio network pregame show.
“Somebody probably told him if he loses weight, he’ll have more longevity,” Mazzone said. “Well guess what? I’d rather have effectiveness.”
Mazzone said that through the years, he found that pitchers had weight and fitness levels they were comfortable with. Dieting to reach ideal weights and working out to develop muscle tone do not necessarily help them pitch their best.
“In anything in sports, you have to find a happy medium,” Mazzone said. “It’s based on common sense.”http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/sports/baseball/for-yankees-sabathia-it-appears-less-weight-is-less-success.html?_r=0
Greg Maddux, the Braves’ four-time Cy Young Award winner, Mazzone added, “wasn’t muscle-bound, that’s for sure.”
Dan Plesac, who pitched in the major leagues for 18 years, said that better conditioning did not always equal a better performance. At 6-5, he struggled to keep his weight at 220 pounds.
“In 1993, I signed as a free agent with the Cubs, and they had a killer strength and conditioning program,” said Plesac, now an analyst for MLB Network. “I was in the best shape of my life. But it didn’t increase my velocity, and I didn’t have a very good year.”
Plesac said better conditioning did help him extend his career and feel better.
“But it won’t equate to having a 2.10 E.R.A. or a 4.00 E.R.A.,” said Plesac, who played with Wells in Toronto.
“A large majority of people thought that if David Wells would have gotten himself in better shape, he would have had a better career than he had,” Plesac said. “I’m not as convinced that being in super-tiptop shape for a pitcher is the difference between being a great pitcher or a good pitcher.”
I never meant to imply that Doubront needs to be muscle bound or a marathon runner, but I do believe most pitchers do better if they are better conditioned. They are also probably less likely to get injured fielding balls.