Humble Beginnings

The Weigh In

I told you in my last post that I’d check in with my weight and let you know the starting point.  Let’s just say maybe I need to make this a 40 pound goal.  After playing a rousing game of Guess Josh’s Weight in Austin with the rest of my sales team, it would appear I may have been a little vain in my own estimate.  I told my team that I was 255.  Most of them had trouble believing that I weighed so much.  Perhaps they were being nice.  Of course, we get on each other pretty much about pretty much everything, so I doubt that was the case.

There was good news and bad news in this, right?  The good news is that I apparently don’t appear to weight that much, but previously outlined, I don’t care so much about the weight as I do feeling/looking well and ultimately, being in good health for those I care about.  The bad news?  I was optimistic.  261.4 is where I’m checking in originally.  I’m still going to hold to the 30 lbs, but I will adjust downward, and only downward, if 30 lbs comes easy (though I’m not inclined to believe it will).

This bit of reality is truly deflating because it was just August or September when I was under 250; 247 to be exact.  The wife and I went to Jamaica for our anniversary and BOOM; inflation sets in.  Not only do I eat incredibly well (and in massive quantities) but any momentum that I had gained in the previous several months in gym was lost.  I’ve gone semi regularly over the last couple months but nothing very intense and I really cut out much of the cardio I was doing.  I somehow convinced myself that shooting a basketball for 20 minutes was good enough.

So here we are at the humble beginning.  I found out so much yesterday.  I lifted weights and then hit the treadmill.  I did a paltry .7 miles in 9:15 before I gave it up.  This isn’t terribly uncommon for days in which I lift weights, but was a humbling realization when, back in July, I was able to go 4 miles at a time.  Today I did only work on the treadmill and shuffled out 2 miles in 20 minutes.  It’s a pretty far cry from taking on a marathon (no plans) but Ryan Nichols I’m not.  This was confidence building for me, and I intend to build on it.

I will be keeping track of my diet and exercise in an Excel file that I will make available to anyone who wants to see it.  I haven’t gotten it built yet, but when I do it will be stored publicly on Google Docs.

I’d like to give a special thanks to Brad Francis of Hood Ornaments and baseline fade away jump shot fame for offering his assistance with my goals.  He’s offered me advice based on what worked for him as well as a few websites, which you’ll see below.  No sense in keeping this stuff to myself.

A Few Notes on the Reds

I’d like to make some brief mention about the Reds and what’s happened since the Mat Latos acquisition, if I may.  And I may.

First, the Sean Marshall/Travis Wood trade.  I really don’t like it.  Everyone and everything I read about Sean Marshall show a ton of great things.  I’m sure he’s going to be a tremendous asset, but I didn’t really care for the trade, even when I assumed that Marshall would be closing.  Now that the Reds believe he will be setting up, I REALLY don’t like the trade

Because here’s the thing.  Wood was a starter, he is younger, he’s cheaper, and he’s a lefty like Marshall.  I know the Reds need bullpen help, but they are trading Wood and others for one year of a guy who will only pitch around 70-80 innings.  I just have trouble seeing how 80 innings of middle relief are equal in value to 150-200 innings for the next four years.  They aren’t, especially when you have to pay about the same for the one year as you would the other 4 collectively.  I’m further astounded because Travis Wood, a lefty like Marshall, could just BE that set up guy.  He isn’t as established as Marshall, but for God’s sake, isn’t there some value in having a guy on the squad, a left no less, who could step into the rotation if someone goes down?  I don’t like it.  And in case you were wondering, I don’t care a rip about Dave Sappelt.  Extra guy, never a star…never even a good regular as far as I’m concerned.

Now, onto the actual closer’s role.  First, it should not be Chapman.  Get that out of your head.  He’s too good and too valuable to waste preserving leads.  He needs to be a starter, but you know, he probably shouldn’t pitch more than about 130 innings, which is another reason why hanging onto Wood would have been a fair idea.

I hear today that the Reds are in “heated” discussions with Ryan Madson, the Phillies closer from last year.  He’s great, right?  He’s great.  But the thing is, the Reds spent a crap load on a closer last time and it wasn’t worth it.  Too much money for too small of a budget.  If they want to sign Joey Votto long term without blowing up the current budget, they can’t afford to spend on a closer.  Furthermore, he’s a Scott Boras client.  If you don’t know who he is, he’s the agent that pretty much dominates baseball.  He changed it with his negotiating, money grubbing ways.  Given that Boras is the agent for this cat, I can’t see it being cheap or for less than about 4 years.  I may give a post later on about the uselessness of the closer role (apologize to Mo Rivera and Tom Franco) but for now, the Reds just need to spend in a better way.

Last, congratulations to #11, Barry Larkin, on his induction to the hall of fame.  I don’t have any great personal Larkin stories, but growing up everyone always wanted to be number 11 and I very happy to see him enshrined.  He’s always seemed to be the great guy and as a player he was always on his game.  Good for him.  I only hope he elects to wear a Reds cap on his plaque in Cooperstown.

Reds Update

About 10 minutes after I posted this and called it a night, rumors were abounding that the Reds and Madson had, in fact, cut a deal.  I still believe what I said above, but am shocked to learn that it’s supposedly only a 1 year deal for only 8.5 million.  If so, this is a great win for the Reds.  In an offseason that saw Jonathan Papelbon, an inferior closer, get 4 years/50 million, this is a tremendous signing for the Reds and Walt Jocketty.  I’ll post more in depth thoughts on the signing later, but for now, the Reds may have the best bullpen in baseball and as Dave Cameron of FanGraphs has said: The Reds are a left fielder away from being really good.

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