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How these Cincinnati Reds got in The Best Shape of Their Lives [TM]

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A Friday List

Wild Card Round - Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves - Game Two Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Spring Training is upon us, with pitchers and catchers having officially reported to Goodyear as the first iteration of the 2021 Cincinnati Reds. Birds there are chirping, the sound of baseballs being cracked by bats echoes through the Arizona canyons, bloggers are repeatedly pondering whether to capitalize Spring Training or simply refer to it as spring training, and lean, mean, baseball machines are sveltely fitting into their uniforms better than they ever have before.

It’s an annual tradition, the latter. After the grind of a baseball season, it’s typical to see players spend a few weeks huddled over buckets of chicken wings, shampooing with sweet & sour sauce in bathtubs of butter as the first glimpse of relaxation in months allows them to finally let their bodies rest and heal. Immediately afterwards, though, the back of their baseball cards begin to haunt them, and for the two months leading up to the dawn of a new season, players do almost everything they can to get into The Best Shape of Their Life prior to embarking on yet another 7-8 month baseball season.

It’s a pretty good bet that’s the the right way to maximize one’s chances of being successful, really. Being proto-strong should help one be healthier, throw harder, and sock dingers at the most prolific of rates, after all.

With that in mind, here’s an inside look at how some of the 2021 Reds managed to get in The Best Shape of Their Lives prior to heading west to Goodyear.

Joey Votto - cauliflower poutine

Tucker Barnhart - flipped tractor tires uphill to and from the gym (both ways)

Amir Garrett - strapped Tucker Barnhart into a pickup truck and flipped the pickup truck uphill to and from the gym (both ways)

Eugenio Suarez - 1,000 sit-ups daily, all while chewing an entire pack of Hubba Bubba so that he can, upon each exhale, work towards a new Guinness World Record bubble blown

Kyle Farmer - replaced the raspberries in his oatmeal with shredded galvanized nails in an attempt to help iron out the Reds glaring shortstop dilemma (sorry)

Tyler Mahle - two hours (daily) of physically trying to throw a football over them mountains

Michael Lorenzen - Zen Den workouts (seriously)

Mike Moustakas - jogged while carrying bricks through a Philly junkyard, ran past burning 55 gallon drums outside street markets, ran along the Schuykkill River under the Reading Railroad Bridge, 30 min daily punching the speed bag (15 left, 15 right), alternating one-hand pushups, getting punched in the gut by Mickey, punching the hell out of dry-aging beef in a meat locker, alternating one-hand pushups, sprinting through the shipyards on the bend of the Delaware, sprinting up the steps of the Philly Museum of Art

Tyler Stephenson - fulfilled his age-old promise to ride his bicycle to visit buddy Taylor Trammell each time one of them got traded

Nick Senzel - scaled back from pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, and pizza at suppertime to just pizza in the evening, since that’s entirely too much pizza (even for me)

Jesse Winker - memorized every single Inspectah Deck verse so as to maximize lung capacity and endurance

Sean Doolittle - flew to a small farm in the Tetons of Wyoming to mimic the brutal winter conditions often depicted in rural Siberia, bought a sweet shearling bomber jacket, got chased down a snowy road by some sketchy henchmen in Mercedes sedans, ran through the Snake River, dug a sleigh out of the snow for an otherwise stranded bystander, 30 min daily punching the speed bag (15 left, 15 right), hand-sawed pine logs, threw pine logs into wheelbarrows, dragged Mickey on a sled, made exaggerated grunting noises, pull-ups from the rafters over an open fire, hauled pine stumps while post-holing in knee-deep snow, made more exaggerated grunting noises, chopped down lodgepole pines, got chased down a snowy road by those Mercedes guys again, jumped rope, good lord this is a long montage Sean’s gonna be in amazing shape, hanging rafter sit-ups, split pine logs for more firewood, sparred with Duke, tricep extensions using a big wad of rope tied around some boulders, made more exaggerated grunting noises, lifted up Mickey and Duke and Adrian in a rickety old wagon, got chased by Mercedes guys for like the twentieth time but this time made them wreck into a snowbank, climbed up a snowy mountain featuring a few Class 2 moves, defeated Drago in a grueling 15 round bout, took significant steps towards global Nuclear peace

Lucas Sims - fishin’