Monday, July 12, 2010
The Wellness Train Rolls On
By virtue of patience and remembering that interacting with other people can be fun, I made my way to a BBQ with a whole pile of old friends on Saturday afternoon. After being the most excited guy on the subway on the way there, I heard a couple interesting things. The first was a quote I submit without comment: "They're from Barrie, they eat cheeseburgers every day."
A couple friends of friends provided the second thing. Turns out a two members of the Toronto Maple Leafs inter-county team were in attendance, one of which is an old friend of my host. I got to talking to one dude and it turns out he played a couple years in the Jays minor league systems, both at Auburn and another short-season stop. Following up a comment-section discussion from earlier this summer, I set out to ask him about nutrition in the minor leagues. Thrusting on my quasi-reporter hat I asked how they were treated at the outset of their careers.
His answer (paraphrased): other than a short tutorial in the spring, the only time players hear anything about their eating is if they gain so much weight that it impacts their performance.
I then asked him about the way they're treated; if the team treats bonus babies better or differently. His (shocking) answer: of course! They have a vested interest in the kids with big price tags attached to their names. In his words "some guys don't even get a shot, they're just there to fill out the rosters." Sad but true, likely with no small amount of autobiography.
The other thing that struck me was how big these dudes are. Both pitchers, they had chests so far around you could go over Niagara Falls in their rib cages. Big, thick dudes who got close and now play semi-pro for love of the game or whatever. They also said people are crazy, as random dudes start adding them on facebook and send along weird messages. I don't think I need to tell anyone reading this: don't be that guy.
Image Courtesy of This is Why You're Fat