• Sabathia: What Happens When Pleasingly Plump Becomes Fat Bastard?

    Posted by on July 7th, 2010 · Comments (8)

    So, I’m watching a bit of the Yankees game last night, and, man, was CC Sabathia looking fatter than ever. Maybe it was just the road uniform and the Oakland camera angle – because CC has never been “slim”? Or, maybe he has put on some more weight recently? Looking at him, I would estimate that he’s at least 90 pounds overweight – maybe more?

    Now, you can’t argue with his results, can you? Since 2007, Sabathia has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball – if not the best starter.

    Yes, there’s Tim Lincecum, Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright, Jon Lester, Johan Santana, Felix Hernandez, Dan Haren, Ubaldo Jimenez, Matt Cain and Cliff Lee who are out there – and have been successful as well over the last four years or so. But, I’m not sure if I would trade Sabathia for any of them, one up, today…because CC is that much of an “ace.”

    But, CC is just 29-years old now – what’s going to happen when he’s on the other side of thirty and nearly 100 pounds overweight? Will his back and knees have an issue having to support all that fat? And, what if he develops diabetes being so fat? That usually comes with the territory of being that overweight.

    And, what if Sabathia gains even more weight? It’s possible – because, clearly, he’s not watching his food intake now. The whole thing is scary stuff if you ask me.

    Comments on Sabathia: What Happens When Pleasingly Plump Becomes Fat Bastard?

    1. Evan3457
      July 7th, 2010 | 11:14 am

      Rick Reuschel, Mickey Lolich, David Wells, etc., etc., etc.

      The fat starting pitcher is unique in sports. It’s possible to have a long career as a fat starter.

      You’re right to be concerned. I’m concerned about the way CC lands on the front leg; it’s slightly bent, but it holds the same relative position, and so he falls to the side to stop, instead of the landing leg as a shock absorber. So I’m worried about his knees and hips. If any part of his legs give way to injury, the arm is next to go.

      However, the general rule of thumb is: when a pitcher has established over multiple years that his arm can stand the strain of his pitching motion, he’s less likely to get hurt than a pitcher who hasn’t been hurt in a year or two, or one who has had an arm injury before.

      Still, I wish he’d take off 50 pounds or so. Heck, I wish I’d take off 50 pounds or so.

    2. MJ Recanati
      July 7th, 2010 | 11:31 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Rick Reuschel, Mickey Lolich, David Wells, etc., etc., etc.

      When I was a kid (maybe 10 years old or so), there was a commercial with Terry Forster at a dinner table with about 20 plates of food in front of him — fried chicken, burgers, fries, pizza, wings, etc. — and the commercial took a few shots at his weight. I can’t remember what the commercial was for (I want to say Miller Lite) but, yeah, just add him to the list of fat pitchers in baseball history.

      There was no real point to my comment other than, I guess, to ask in a roundabout sort of way if anyone remembers that Terry Forster commercial.

    3. July 7th, 2010 | 11:33 am

      I remember David Letterman calling Terry Forster a “fat tub of goo” and that getting a lot of play…maybe that led to the commerical? (Never saw the commerical – or, don’t remember it.)

    4. Scout
      July 7th, 2010 | 11:58 am

      As far as concerns about C.C.’s durability are concerned, I say we cross that bridge when we get to it. Unless, of course, it collapses under his weight.

    5. Raf
      July 7th, 2010 | 1:13 pm

      Unless it shows up in his numbers, be it in effectiveness or durability, I wouldn’t sweat it. Some people are built like an adonis, others are built like Adrian Adonis.

    6. BOHAN
      July 7th, 2010 | 1:44 pm

      Evan3457 wrote:

      You’re right to be concerned. I’m concerned about the way CC lands on the front leg; it’s slightly bent, but it holds the same relative position, and so he falls to the side to stop, instead of the landing leg as a shock absorber. So I’m worried about his knees and hips. If any part of his legs give way to injury, the arm is next to go.

      youre supposed to land with a bent front leg. landing with a straight front leg is what causes injuries. its stops your body from getting a momentum behind the pitch and youre using only your arm to throw the ball. and locking out your leg leads to knee injuries himstring pulls as well as arm injuries.

    7. July 7th, 2010 | 1:56 pm

      BOHAN wrote:

      youre supposed to land with a bent front leg. landing with a straight front leg is what causes injuries. its stops your body from getting a momentum behind the pitch and youre using only your arm to throw the ball. and locking out your leg leads to knee injuries himstring pulls as well as arm injuries.

      Funny, now that you said that, I recall Jim Kaat talking about that when Sterling Hitchcock and Andy Pettitte were very young – him saying that he liked Pettitte better because Hitchcock landed on a stiff leg.

    8. Evan3457
      July 7th, 2010 | 7:59 pm

      BOHAN wrote:
      youre supposed to land with a bent front leg. landing with a straight front leg is what causes injuries. its stops your body from getting a momentum behind the pitch and youre using only your arm to throw the ball. and locking out your leg leads to knee injuries hamstring pulls as well as arm injuries.

      I agree that you’re not supposed to land on a stiff front leg, and that it’s supposed to bent when you land. But the best pitching motions absorb some of the momentum of the pitching effort by letting bending further, and using the hip and knee of the landing leg work as a shock absorber, in effect. (See the motions of Tom Seaver and Roger Clemens as examples.)

      CC doesn’t do this, as far as I can tell. He holds the same relative position of knee and hip and pivots around the landing leg, falling off to the 3rd base side. I’m no expert on pitching motions, but that has to put some torsional strain on that landing leg knee, even though it isn’t completely straight. This is what worries me.

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