Much Ado About Stuffing

Image courtesy of Reuters Pictures

Sound the Best Shape of His Life claxon! We have a body image emergency at the Yankees Spring Training facility in Tampa Bay! It seems Michael Pineda, the young rotation centerpiece acquired this offseason, came into camp overweight and the normally calm and reserved Yankees media throng is FREAKING OUT!

You might think that ten extra pounds on a 280 pound man isn’t that big deal. That a husky fella is bound to fluctuate up and down from time to time. You’d be right, but you’d also be fired from your job as a Yankees writer. Them’s the breaks!

The New York Post powers the “Fat Pineda” train, running a worrisome story featuring the least flattering, most cherry-picked photo of all time. Note the alarmist tone:

The 23-year-old right-hander arrived last month and immediately admitted he was 10 pounds heavier than the 270 he carried at the end of last year with the Mariners.

That speaks to poor nutritional habits or a lack of exercise, each alarming for his age.

While the extra pounds are packed onto his 6-foot-7 frame, Pineda’s power arm lacked a much-needed third pitch. So he has tried to add a changeup to his mid-90s fastball and biting slider.

EVERYBODY BE COOL. Don’t worry, the Post used this not-at-all unfair photo, possibly photoshopped for maximum impact.

Clearly Michael Pineda isn’t about to win any Mr. Universe pagents but this photo makes it seem as though he has some serious breasts. Only one breast, really, but it is a serious chest beefer.

The New York Baseball Digest suggests this indicates a lack of maturity, noting his mentorship by Freddy Garcia could extend off the field, too.

Not if CC Sabathia gets to him first! Sabathia took steps to curb his ballooning weight problems this winter, hiring a personal chef and bringing his own lunch to the park on a daily basis. Marc Craig of the New Jersey Star Ledger thinks the younger man can learn from the older, far richer man in this case.

He also includes the bottom line on this entire, tiring exercise – a quote from the Yankees manager:

Girardi doesn’t seem too concerned about it. At Pineda’s size, 10 pounds is a relatively easy amount of weight to shed, especially at his age.

Said Girardi: “We’ll get him where he needs to be.”

Well. That’s that, then. Hope we can all unbunch our collective panties so we can laugh at the baloney suggestion that both Nova and Pineda are “fighting for rotation spots.”