Ridiculous Baseball Spring Training Storylines

Spring Training is here! Major League Baseball players are reporting to camp and getting ready for the upcoming baseball season.

Meanwhile, sports writers follow the players down South in order to provide news to baseball fans across the country that are hungry to read about baseball after a long winter.

Yet we are still over a month away from any meaningful games so there really isn’t a lot to talk about.  There’s not much going on at Spring Training other than light jogging, pitchers fielding practice and soft tossing.  However, beat writers have to write about something while they are down in Florida and Arizona, so they find ways to turn just about anything into a 1,500-word press release.

I’ve found a number of articles—mostly on MLB.com— where the reporters are desperately reaching for any kind of story. Here are five of the best releases I’ve seen thus far that can barely be called newsworthy.

1. Some Fat Yankee Pitchers Aren’t Quite as Fat; Others are as Fat as Ever

The BIG news around Yankee camp this spring has been about the weight of their pitchers.

Ace hurler C.C. Sabathia claims to have lost 25 pounds because he stopped eating Cap’n Crunch.

“I stopped eating Cap’n Crunch every day,” Sabathia told news reporters Monday morning. “I used to eat that stuff by the box.”

Meanwhile, pudgy relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain has dropped some of that baby fat and put on some muscle during the off-season.

“Obviously, I added muscle,” Chamberlain said. “That just comes from being a man, too. I’m 25 now, not 21.”

Yankee skipper Joe Girardi then really spiced up the Chamberlain story with this quote…

“I think his hairstyle being different is the one thing I noticed first.”

And finally, washed up pitcher Bartolo Colon has not lost any weight at all and is still a fat mess. He can’t keep up with the other fat pitchers when they do cardio, and so the Yankees have put him on an easier running program.

Bartolo Colon hopes that he can take a lesson from fellow overweight pitcher Kenny Powers and get his pitch back…

“Since 2002, I’ve been 250 and up and I’ve been pitching good. The problem is not the weight, it’s the arm.”

You may have been 250 pounds since 2002 but you certainly haven’t been “pitching good” since then.

2. Josh Hamilton Arrives at Camp

MLB.com posted this video as part of a press release, proclaiming that Rangers MVP Josh Hamilton arrived at camp.

THAT’S IT.

Nothing really interesting happened on his way to camp.  He just got there and went through his normal routine.  He got up, drove the car to the stadium, ate an egg and cheese sandwich and drank some coffee.  Then he pinched one out, put his pants on and headed out to the field to jog lightly on the warning track.   Somehow MLB.com managed to make a story out of that.

3. Ryan Rowland- Smith to Switch to Contact Lenses

Hold the presses.  This is front-page news!  A mediocre relief pitcher on a bad team has decided to switch from glasses to contacts.  According to the story, Rowland-Smith of the Houston Astros, has trained hard to prepare for the switch…

“As far as the glasses go, it’s just a distraction,” Rowland-Smith said. “They fog up. I just worked on it this offseason, and on Christmas Day, my sister — she wears contacts — she said, ‘Lets get it done.’ Every day, we worked on it, and I finally got it.”

IT’S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!  All that hard work is paying off.  Rowland-Smith can now stick his finger in his eye with confidence.  There’s been no word on what type of saline solution he will use yet but my sources tell me that he’s leaning towards Bausch & Lomb.

4. Pittsburgh Pirates’ Pitchers Hope to Overcome Suckiness by Working on “Slug” Bunting

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a horrendous baseball franchise.  Even their coach, Clint Hurdle admits this.  Hurdle is hoping they can use the element of surprise as a way to overcome the fact they have little baseball talent.  Executing a slug bunt is one of those methods.

A “slug bunt,” according to MLB.com, is a type of bunt that is executed by showing bunt, drawing the bat back and then trying to chop the ball hard at a defender who is expecting a normal slow-rolling bunt.

“We’re going to have to rely on the skill sets we have — speed, surprise, variety,” Hurdle said.

Notice how Hurdle did not include other key baseball skill sets such as hitting, pitching and fielding.

The Pirates are hopeful this play can add 30 wins to their record and help them become a .500 ball club

and now for my personal favorite story this Spring Training…

5. Kansas City Royals to Practice Despite Rain

It’s the first day of camp for the Royals…and can you believe it, it’s raining! OH NO! The poor baseball players might get wet! What will they do!

Here is what Dick Kaegel, writer for MLB.com, had to say about this potentially tragic story.

“Everyone has arrived in camp, and the Royals’ first full-squad workout is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. But there is rain in the Phoenix-area forecast.”

ALAS! What will the Royals do?

I imagine when Mr. Kaegel was a kid he dreamed of covering a major league baseball team.  Then MLB.com assigned him to cover the Royals.  Just when it couldn’t get worse for Kaegel, he’s told to write a story about the chance of rain on the first day of camp.

Royals manager Ned Yost is confident that his team can handle these trying times, however. He added…

“We have plenty of covered batting cages in which batters and pitchers can practice if the wet stuff comes.”

PHEW…What a relief! I thought some of these players were gonna get wet! Thank GOD they have indoor batting cages.

Spring Training is barely a week old and already theses storylines are out of control. I am counting the days until opening day when reporters can write about actual games.

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