Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins recently made an appearance at a luncheon for the Gary Southshore RailCats, a Northern League club. Guess what he talked about? That's right: He said baseball players today were in much better shape than when he played, that the advanced use of scouting, videotape and steroids made the players thousands of times more talented and that he might not make it in the big leagues today.
Just kidding! He said today's players were a bunch of wimps: "In my era, we knocked people on their butt. We enjoyed the game, we played hard, we played fair. Now it's hard to pitch inside." Yeah! How dare today's players not throw 90-mile per hour fastballs right at players' bodies.
Actually, for an ex-player Jenkins isn't really all that over-the-top; I'm not really criticizing him or anything. And what he said about Carlos Zambrano was much funnier!
"The guy I thought was going to be a winner was Carlos Zambrano," Jenkins said. "But he just can't get it together." The reason, Jenkins speculated, was Zambrano's offseason weight loss.
"Zambrano was always a guy who was pretty big. (Now) his fastball is like my changeup. He doesn't have the same movement. I think he took away a big part of his ability by (dropping 30 pounds)."
You hear that, Zambrano! Get out of the weight room and hit that buffet!
It's a little-known fact that if John Kruk were skinny, he never would even have made the big leagues.