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Thread: Article: One for the Fat Boys

  1. #1
    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Article: One for the Fat Boys


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    Senior Member All-Star
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    Another good article Parker. That's the first one that made me want to cry though. What could have been.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
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    Very nice article. Thank you Parker.
    He played the way he wanted to. Had he been a jerk, well, that would be one thing. He played hard, comments suggest his teammates liked playing with him and he took pride in his work and his team.
    A guy who retires with a career OPS+ of 128 and 35.7 WAR has little to apologize for. (FanGraphs WAR = 41.9)

  4. #4
    As far as Delmon is concerned, maybe the Phillies should tie the bonus to a weight-to-batting-average ratio (or OPS or whatever measure you want to use). Say, after the All Star break, so his BA shouldn't be fluctuating dramatically day-to-day anymore assuming he plays regularly, his weight-to-BA ratio must never be higher than .8. The better he plays, the more he's allowed weigh.

    *Before anyone takes me too seriously here, this is about 98% sarcastic...

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    Senior Member Triple-A
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    Great read!

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    This was just flat out entertaining. Thanks Parker.

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    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    As a life-long "fat boy" who has finally gotten his act together, I both identify with Hrbek and am saddened and disappointed by the way his career faded and then ended. He was a fine ballplayer, but he could have been more. Delmon has cost himself a lot of money with his expanded waistline. While I don't think he'll ever be the player many projected him to be, he has shown flashes, but no consistent play to justify his lofty draft status and the impressive haul the Rays got for the Twins to acquire his services. I fully expect that at some point this season, people will be saying he was one of the great signing, but I doubt he will sustain.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer Joe A. Preusser's Avatar
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    Fantastic article. I've been a "fat-boy" for over a decade now, and my new daughter recently inspired me to try to leave the club forever. Let me just say it is a fair bit more difficult shedding 13 years of unhealthy habits than I had anticipated, but I'll get there. Hrbek was always my favorite player growing up, so much so that I even patterned my batting stance after him. I never really remember him being fat until like 93-94. As long as he has no regrets with how his life went, then I won't be the one to criticize him or ask what might have been. We all make and live with our own choices.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer jimbo92107's Avatar
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    The saddest part is that being fat is not natural at all. It's a product of a culture whose food has been perverted by industries pushing artificial, addictive crap stuffed with preservatives, antibiotics and weird growth hormones.

    Result: America is large, fat, slow and unhealthy. And we can't stop eating the crap that is killing us. It ain't just great baseball careers that are being snuffed, it's all of our lives.

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    Senior Member Triple-A h2oface's Avatar
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    I guess pitchers are excluded from the statement.......
    "Today, almost all players on the field seemingly have bodies like P90X background actors."

  11. #11
    Someone once asked Andy MacPhail about Hrbek's weight and generally unhealthy habits, and he said some thing to the effect of, "If he'd have been the type of player to religiously work out and take care of himself, he'd have been the type of player to leave."

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
    I guess pitchers are excluded from the statement.......
    "Today, almost all players on the field seemingly have bodies like P90X background actors."

    EXACTLY what I was thinking.

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    During Hrbek's career, there were 2 things that got in the way of a remarkable career. Parker described the one. The other was, Hrbek came to the majors with a beautiful naural swing. He could hit for average and was strong and big enough to hit home runs as well. Partly, I think, to satisfy the public, Hrbek changed his swing to be more of a pull hitter. He was trying, I suppose, to be more of a Killebrew type hitter.

    I don't know if that was the best career move for him. I think he would of been able to hit enough home runs to satisfy most fans and keep his average much higher by using the whole field. Still, he certainly had a fine career, and I think enjoyed playing in his home state and being the home town hero.

  14. #14
    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    The other was, Hrbek came to the majors with a beautiful naural swing. He could hit for average and was strong and big enough to hit home runs as well. Partly, I think, to satisfy the public, Hrbek changed his swing to be more of a pull hitter. He was trying, I suppose, to be more of a Killebrew type hitter.
    Hrbek changed his swing A LOT. Few online videos exist to analyze this properly but there are plenty of quotes throughout the years from coaches and front office members speaking to this. There are some photos that show a radically different batting stance throughout his career as well.

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    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Not a Hrbek fan. He may have been liked by his teammates, but he was the AJ Pierzynski of his time around MLB. Lots of cheap crap on the field and comments that were just out of line as well. Nevermind my own personal issues with the 1991 series and pulling a guy off the base and then faking an HBP. Then I had the dishonor of meeting him in person, and he was all the a-hole I'd ever heard. Every time I see his outdoor show on, I watch for just a second to see if he'll fall in the water. Yeah, I like him that much.
    Staff Writer for Tomahawktake.com, come check it out!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    Hrbek changed his swing A LOT. Few online videos exist to analyze this properly but there are plenty of quotes throughout the years from coaches and front office members speaking to this. There are some photos that show a radically different batting stance throughout his career as well.
    Yet a guy like Ripken did this constantly and maintained excellent numbers throughout his career.
    Staff Writer for Tomahawktake.com, come check it out!

  17. #17
    "By spring camp of 1986, it would be near 250 and be the focal point of the media as the team reported to Orlando. The quarter-ton drew plenty of attention but then-manager Ray Miller did not seem the least bit concerned."

    Two hundred fifty pounds is not a quarter-ton. A ton is 2,000 pounds. A quarter-ton would be 500 pounds – a lot for any pro baseball player.

    Otherwise, this was a good read.

  18. #18
    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Two hundred fifty pounds is not a quarter-ton. A ton is 2,000 pounds. A quarter-ton would be 500 pounds – a lot for any pro baseball player.
    Lee, it was meant to be tongue-in-cheek not an actual weight measurement. I sometimes try to say funny things. Saying "quarter-ton" sounds funny to me.

  19. #19
    Owner All-Star Parker Hageman's Avatar
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    Nevermind my own personal issues with the 1991 series and pulling a guy off the base
    Not trying to be a homer here but admittedly biased (I'm sure if roles were reserved, I'd be in your shoes. Like the push-off Vikings-Cowboys hail mary). Got to watch that play a few more times. Gant's momentum is what caused him to go off the base. Hrbek may have clung on to him but there's nothing illegal about that. Watching the replay, you do not see any lifting or pulling. Had Gant slid like he should have, all of that would have been avoided.

    gantcheats - YouTube

    In terms of his personality, yeah, no idea what it is like outside of the field of play. He could be the biggest bastard in the world. Although for Halloween, he hands out king-sized candy bars and autographed cards to neighborhood kids.

    Yet a guy like Ripken did this constantly and maintained excellent numbers throughout his career.
    Never said it was a good/bad thing. Just that Hrbek constantly tinkered.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Big-Leaguer biggentleben's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parker Hageman View Post
    Not trying to be a homer here but admittedly biased (I'm sure if roles were reserved, I'd be in your shoes. Like the push-off Vikings-Cowboys hail mary). Got to watch that play a few more times. Gant's momentum is what caused him to go off the base. Hrbek may have clung on to him but there's nothing illegal about that. Watching the replay, you do not see any lifting or pulling. Had Gant slid like he should have, all of that would have been avoided.

    gantcheats - YouTube
    Yeah, I've heard that argument. Yes, he should have slid, but I seriously do not see Gant at fault in that play, no matter how many times I watch it. I see Hrbek pulling Gant just after he had stopped on first safely, largely because he was losing his balance, probably due to the weight issues mentioned in your article. That said, the series went seven, and his faux HBP in game 7 was much more a douche move any day. When you're in a pitching duel like that and every play counts, earn your way to first base. They did a replay of game 7 with Glavine and Kevin Tapani on Fox Sports South a few years back and Tap basically said the entire Twins dugout knew he didn't get hit. MLB Network had Morris and Smoltz on for a replay of the game, and Morris wouldn't comment on it while Smoltz was more than willing to state his belief that Hrbek faked his way to first.
    Staff Writer for Tomahawktake.com, come check it out!

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