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Great Markakis article by Brit


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I am dubious that super specialized and supervised off season conditioning translates into better baseball performance...or even fresher legs come September. I suspect that as long as you stay in general shape (i.e. not turn into me!) during the offseason then you are good. There is a long list of successful fatty pitchers that seem to support that view. I half heatedly tried to find studies on this topic, but didn't come up with much. Does anyone know of any?

I bet all of those "fatty" pitchers have legs like tree stumps right?

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I bet all of those "fatty" pitchers have legs like tree stumps right?

I remember seeing Sammy Stewart (not fat) close up and thinking his thighs looked huge. Probably safe to say all pro pitchers have well-developed legs.

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The piece mentioned that he'd resumed "normal offseason workouts,"

The emphasis was on adding strength and speed, with Olympic lifts and a lot of the same programming Markakis -- like many other Orioles -- adopted under vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson's fitness overhaul. Athletic trainers Joe Hogarty and Ryan Crotin would come for the workout sessions at Markakis' Monkton, Md., home, with the group switching to Camden Yards later in the winter as more of the players started to filter in.

Britt.

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The emphasis was on adding strength and speed, with Olympic lifts and a lot of the same programming Markakis -- like many other Orioles -- adopted under vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson's fitness overhaul. Athletic trainers Joe Hogarty and Ryan Crotin would come for the workout sessions at Markakis' Monkton, Md., home, with the group switching to Camden Yards later in the winter as more of the players started to filter in.

Britt.

Apologies, weams, but many of your posts have been...losing me, lately. I read that section just like everyone else. What are you saying it means?

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Apologies, weams, but many of your posts have been...losing me, lately. I read that section just like everyone else. What are you saying it means?

I was expressing that those were NOT his normal off-season workouts as had been in the part of your post that I quoted.

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I was expressing that those were NOT his normal off-season workouts as had been in the part of your post that I quoted.

I think (I think?) you were looking at the wrong piece. When I was talking about "normal offseason workouts," I was referring to the 2012 Baltimore Sun article that said "Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis resumed normal offseason workouts a few weeks ago after recovering from surgery to repair a broken left thumb." Not Britt's article.

It looks to me like there are significant differences between how Markakis has prepared himself for this season vs. how he's prepared in past offseasons.

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I bet all of those "fatty" pitchers have legs like tree stumps right?

david-wells.jpg

Relative to gut girth, Wells' legs seem under-developed in this picture :P

But I agree, those stocky pitchers all have well developed legs. Plus pitchers are probably an odd, athletically very specialized case. Position players are probably more like other athletes. Still, I wonder if extreme dedicated training that might improve your 100 m dash time by a few hundredths of a second also translates into higher OPS?

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Still reaching. He's obviously on a different workout regimen. Working out differently does not equate to working out harder.

I'm just not sure what your point is- that he should have worked out every single day of every off-season his entire career?

No, but he should have worked out MORE than he has. You could tell Nick (like Manny) had the frame to put on 10-20 pounds of muscle when he came up, but that hasn't happened until now. In fact, ever since he signed the big contract, I've noticed Nick get progressively leaner and his shoulders get progressively smaller and more sloped as he entered what should be an athlete's physical prime.

It's circumstantial evidence, but it was obvious to me at least (with a masters in nutrition to back me up) that Nick was not putting the work in, in either his diet or his lifting.

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The argument is that he could have done more...because he said he's done more this winter.

And, IMO, yours is a pretty lazy rejoinder.

An athlete can always do more. But what's reasonable to expect? I've almost never heard of an athlete starting offseason workouts two weeks after his season ended. So, just because he is working out harder than ever before doesn't mean his previous workouts were below what one expects of a highly paid athlete.

There's just nowhere to go with this argument, since none of us knows what kind if workouts Nick did, and for how long, either before or after his extension, or how any of that related to his performance. One thing we know for sure is that Nick basically didn't work out at all during the 2011-12 offseason due to his abdominal injury and eventual surgery, and yet he had the second best OPS+ of his career following that offseason. Go figure.

I just want Nick to have a great year in 2014.

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I think (I think?) you were looking at the wrong piece. When I was talking about "normal offseason workouts," I was referring to the 2012 Baltimore Sun article that said "Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis resumed normal offseason workouts a few weeks ago after recovering from surgery to repair a broken left thumb." Not Britt's article.

It looks to me like there are significant differences between how Markakis has prepared himself for this season vs. how he's prepared in past offseasons.

Well heck then. Carry on.

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No, but he should have worked out MORE than he has. You could tell Nick (like Manny) had the frame to put on 10-20 pounds of muscle when he came up, but that hasn't happened until now. In fact, ever since he signed the big contract, I've noticed Nick get progressively leaner and his shoulders get progressively smaller and more sloped as he entered what should be an athlete's physical prime.

It's circumstantial evidence, but it was obvious to me at least (with a masters in nutrition to back me up) that Nick was not putting the work in, in either his diet or his lifting.

You've concluded all of this from watching television?

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An athlete can always do more. But what's reasonable to expect? I've almost never heard of an athlete starting offseason workouts two weeks after his season ended. So, just because he is working out harder than ever before doesn't mean his previous workouts were below what one expects of a highly paid athlete.

There's just nowhere to go with this argument, since none of us knows what kind if workouts Nick did, and for how long, either before or after his extension, or how any of that related to his performance. One thing we know for sure is that Nick basically didn't work out at all during the 2011-12 offseason due to his abdominal injury and eventual surgery, and yet he had the second best OPS+ of his career following that offseason. Go figure.

I just want Nick to have a great year in 2014.

That's a loaded question, IMO. And IMO...for $66 million...a lot.

How many major leaguers play winter ball? How many prospects go to the AFL? I think there's a spectrum when it comes to when and how people train, and it's just as it's difficult to say whether Nick, specifically, did enough in the past, it's equally difficult to substantiate the idea underlying an assertion like "I've almost never heard of an athlete starting offseason workouts two weeks after his season ended."

In 2012, Markakis had three great months (May - .846, July - .940, and August - .855). That's not out of line with what he's done previously. In 2009, it was April/March, July, and August. In 2010, it was March/April, May, and Sept./Oct. In 2011, it was June and Sept./Oct. In 2013...well, he was just consistently bad.

Maybe the month off in June 2012 left Nick refreshed for the stretch run. Maybe he just caught lightning in a bottle. Who knows? But stringing together some good months during Nick's post-2008 seasons isn't unusual. And it doesn't undermine the idea that his conditioning might have been substandard before this winter.

I think this argument will be decided this year. We know with some certainty that Nick's worked out hard this offseason. We know that his routine this offseason has differed materially from those in years past. If Nick rips the cover off the ball, then I think it'll be fair to surmise that he didn't prepare well enough in prior years. If he struggles again, then maybe his winter programs just...never mattered that much. Either way, we'll have something more substantial to examine when the 2014 season is over and done with.

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I think this argument will be decided this year. We know with some certainty that Nick's worked out hard this offseason. We know that his routine this offseason has differed materially from those in years past. If Nick rips the cover off the ball, then I think it'll be fair to surmise that he didn't prepare well enough in prior years. If he struggles again, then maybe his winter programs just...never mattered that much. Either way, we'll have something more substantial to examine when the 2014 season is over and done with.

I don't think it will settle anything, because performance and training don't always correlate. Aside from that, there are two issues here: (1) did he spend enough time an effort working out in the past, and (2) did he have good advice about what kind of workouts to do? Brady has a different program than Nick was using before. If his workouts turn out to be better for what a baseball player needs than what Nick was doing previously (using a different trainer), is that on Nick?

I want to make it clear: I'm not defending Nick, nor am I saying you are necessarily wrong in your conclusions. I just think there is way too much we don't know to really get anywhere with analyzing the past. So I'm just focused on how Nick does in 2014, and if he does well, I don't need to analyze why.

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