March 22, 2012
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It’s that time of year again. Pitchers and catchers have already reported, hungry rookies are trying to earn a spot in the majors and aging veterans are scratching and clawing to hold on to their jobs. Baseball is in full swing, and the countdown to opening day is well underway.
It’s also the time of year where the 24-hour-news cycle demands that local beatwriters and correspondents break news about local teams. That’s not necessarily as easy as it may sounds. Absent a handful of trades, a few injuries and a certain arbitration hearing, the early days of spring training aren’t the most fertile ground for compelling stories about local franchises. Major leaguers are simply arriving at facilities, running around the diamond, playing catch and taking batting practice. Uh… woohoo?
Not surprisingly, in the collective wasteland of lackluster events, local correspondents are more than willing to author stories about sluggers exercising until they puke.
I’m talking about you, J.D. Martinez. The 24-year-old Astros outfielder recently explained that he hired a personal trainer to help with his conditioning. Martinez selected Nick Casazza, because the slugger wanted a trainer to use a program that would cause him to vomit. From the Ultimate Astros blog:
“I told him, ‘If you don’t make me puke in the first week, I’m not going to come back’ ” Martinez said.
Nick Casazza needed about 10 minutes to accomplish that.
“When he went outside and threw up, he was looking at me like I was the craziest person he ever met in his life,” Casazza said. “But you know what? The kid showed up the next day. He kept coming back. I said, ‘This guy is the real deal.’ ”
Martinez, 24, remembers that first week for “puking everywhere” and for this: “I knew then he was going to be the trainer I was going to be with.”
Uh… J.D…. Nick… your realize that you can get in pretty darn good shape without puking, right? It’s probably not the best of ideas unless, of course, you’re recycling last night’s StrasBurger.
March 13, 2012
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Remember Charles Schultz’s Pig-Pen, from The Peanuts comic strip? The grubby cartoon character was always surrounded by a palpable cloud of dirt and stench. The little guy just looked like he carried a stink that could bruise the olfactory glands.
I just got back from the gym, and I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the real life personification of Pig-Pen. It was pretty darn obvious that he hadn’t washed his soiled, sweaty, stained clothes in a hell of a long time. It literally hurt to find myself stuck beside the pollution only twenty minutes into my cardio workout.
Good grief, Charlie Brown – my nose hurt. It still hurts.
Look, I’m not exactly the most tidy person to walk the earth. From time to time, my refrigerator looks like a laboratory hiding some type of science experiment gone awry. I have three lazy, shedding dogs frequently conspire to hide small, organic gifts throughout the house. I’m often celebrating the joys associated with being a bachelor who lives by himself. I’m just not easily offended by a repugnant odor.
If I’m offended by a stench, though, I can only imagine how it’s affecting the poor elderly person on an adjacent elliptical machine. She was coughing and sneezing when I left. I hope she makes it.
Folks, I know it goes without saying, but please spread the word: washing old, soiled gym clothes and taking regular showers should not be optional.
February 19, 2012
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The weather was a little chilly during the small hours of the morning. At around 5:30am, the temperature was somewhere in the neighborhood of forty-seven degrees. And, of course, the wind knew little mercy.
Sounds like the perfect day for a brisk little run, no?
Earlier today, I was privileged to join more than 20,000 runners and approximately 40,000 spectators who descended upon downtown Austin, Texas for the LIVESTRONG Marathon and the LIVESTRONG Half-Marathon.
I’m not sure that I can find the appropriate words to describe the experience of the half-marathon, simply because the passion was almost overwhelming and the emotions were very nearly tangible. I’m certain that folks who are better able to reduce inspiration to text will post the details on a different blog or website. I’ll simply note that this is the first time that I’ve been part of an event where I truly felt that most participants were not competing against each other, but rather racing for something greater.
I will, however, also note that it’s time to check the calendar and save the date for the next LIVESTRONG Marathon and Half-Marathon, because February 17, 2013 is quickly approaching.
February 10, 2012
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Mark Twain and Benjamin Disraeli denounced the use of statistics to support weak or illusory arguments. Not surprisingly, I’m not nearly as smart as either Mr. Twain or British Prime Minister Disraeli. I’m therefore going to celebrate the quantitative joy of using statistics to set forth a few fun facts for a Friday afternoon:
- The typical person consumes 195.2 pounds of meat per year, or a little more than the weight of the average adult male. This is 50 pounds more than the average person consumed on an annual basis just fifty years ago.
- The average American now consumes approximately 2700 calories per day. Forty years ago, the average American consumed 2200 calories, which is almost 25 percent less than contemporary figures.
- Around fifty years ago, the average female weighed 140.2 pounds. The average weight of women is now 164.3 pounds.
- Also, fifty years ago, the average male weighted around 166.3 pounds. Today, the average man’s weight is 191 pounds.
- Not surprisingly, over 34 percent of adult men and women are now overweight. An additional 40 percent of adult men and women are obese.
One final statistic: reading 50% of the posts on this blog will make you 33% smarter than 23% of the population… most of the time.
February 6, 2012
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Babe Ruth was born on February 6, 1895. Today is his birthday.
Some things never change. “The Babe” will always be known as one of the greatest sluggers to ever play professional baseball. Modern athletes may be getting bigger, faster and stronger, but nobody has truly been able to touch upon Ruth’s legacy.
Some things, however, do change. Check out this picture, courtesy of Andy Gray at Sport’s Illustrated’s SI Vault. It shows a 13-year-old patient lighting Babe’s pipe…. at the hospital, while she is apparently confined to a bed.
/hat tip to Andy Gray @si_vault.