Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Spring Training Highlights Thus Far

Originally uploaded by dangunderman.
A big story from the Mets' facility in Port St. Lucie is that 47-year-old Julio Franco is participating in his 29th spring training. Should Julio hit a home run this year, which is likely, he'll be the oldest man ever to hit one in Major League Baseball.

More amazing than this, though, is that Julio was signed to a two-year deal with the Mets. At 47, a two-year deal. Younger players at the camp marvel at Julio's body (in a completely un-gay way) with an I'll-Have-What-He's-Having attitude. I've always suspected he's been having steroids, but he claims that the primary tactic for staying in shape (on top of rigorous training, of course) is to eat a high-protein, organic diet.

Well, now, that sounds almost as hippie-dippy as when Robin Ventura attributed his torrid first-half of the season with the Yankees a couple years ago to doing hot yoga. What do they put in these organic foods, anyway?

On the other end of the age spectrum is Brian Bannister, son of Floyd, who was a pitcher with the Astros (among others) when I was a kid rooting for all things Houston. Brian's the Mets' hottest pitching prospect at the moment, and the NYTimes just ran this story about him. It's almost as if the kid went to college to go to college!

I love sports writers. Like so many of us, they desperately wish they were professional athletes, so someone like Brian Bannister comes along with a genuine interest in something outside the realm of baseball (hunting doesn't count), and they're completely floored that he'd waste his time doing anything besides adding a fifth pitch to his repertoire. I feel like most sports writers would give up writing altogether if they only had a 95-mile-an-hour fastball.

Oh, like I'm any different. My three readers would be forced to stop enjoying B&E if I suddenly discovered I could hit that 95-mile-an-hour fastball 450 feet.

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At 5:01 PM , Blogger Ted Carter said...

The only thing worse than a sports writer is a sports commentator. Granted, I'm not much of a sports buff, but the wife and I have been watching a lot of the Olympics, and I'v developed a list of people I'd love to kick squarely in the teeth based on their lame-ass comments during skating and skiing and whatnot. Sometimes it really is better just to shut the f*ck up, you know?

At 5:06 PM , Blogger dan g said...

I can't listen to a word the Canadian says during the downhill skiing events. I'm too busy laughing at his cute little accent.


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