April 9, 2006
CHECK THEIR HAUNCHES, THEN THEIR ARMS:
Carrying Their Weight: Some Successful Pitchers Wind Up With More Than a Few Pounds to Spare (Washington Post, April 9, 2006)
Livan wears his spare tire like a crown.
Officially, Washington Nationals pitcher Livan Hernandez is listed at 245 pounds, but he reported to camp this spring a good deal heavier, perhaps the result of offseason knee surgery that curtailed his usual kickboxing training regimen.
And now, with Hernandez still visibly slowed by the knee injury in the early part of the regular season, there has been renewed scrutiny of his weight. At the same time, in Cleveland, there is angst over 290-pound ace C.C. Sabathia going on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle that some reports have suggested was partly attributable to his size.
To which we say: What's the big, fat deal?
For one thing, we kind of admire Hernandez's and Sabathia's portly figures and believe they should be considered the aesthetic standard for male beauty worldwide. (Especially in the case of sportswriters.)
And for another thing, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that additional weight is not necessarily detrimental to pitchers.
When the Mets were developing a stable of great young pitchers in the late '60s, they preached the idea that a pitcher ought to have a big butt and thick legs so that his lower portion could do most of the work. It's no coincidence that Roger Clemens is built like a bigger Tom Seaver. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 9, 2006 5:43 PM