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THE REALISTIC GIANTS FAN: Does the Panda Have Disciplinary Problems?


So the rumor has it that the Panda has a put a few pounds on. I am of the mind that the media usually blows things out of proportion, but this is one story they've been sticking to that I agree with them on. Weight should never be an athletic issue. With the amount of hard work it takes for someone to make it to the Major Leagues they are usually in shape when they arrive, and stay that way throughout their careers, maybe balooning a bit at the end. Pitchers have had a long tradition of weight gain over time, but let's face it, their position doesn't demand the same from them, as say third base would. Panda's defenders point to his batting average and quick feet as his defense, but I guarantee both attributes will lessen as the weight increases. This is beyond a man being able to play while big, this is a disciplinary issue.

It is obvious to anyone who watches him that the Panda enjoys playing the game. I also enjoy playing the game, but my love of food and beer, combined with my lack of talent, outweighed any chance I had at making the majors. Pablo, though, has the talent, which should be enough to drive him to discipline. My day job is playing poker, and in that area of discipline-my area-I don't drink, I get a good nights sleep, and I don't eat anything greasy. These simple measures allow my mind to be clear, they keep me at my best, and help me stay alert and awake. I also had to study lots of boring math, and work really hard to get to a point where a profit is turned most of the time. That being said, what it leads to in my off time, the ability to have no boss overbearing me, spending lots of time with my daughter, writing Giants blogs, etc... outweighs the lack of "fun" I have on days I play. The Panda needs to see the money and glory that will come with dietary discipline. He has a daughter himself, and while he will almost indefinitely set himself for life monetarily within the next few years, he could make enough to set his children, and his children's children, for life. Panda could be a superstar, but superstars in this game just plain don't weigh 350 lbs. Before you point to Prince Fielder, look his father Cecil up, and then we'll re-discuss it in five years when that large mammal is out of the game. Perhaps I'm over-reacting, as Fielder may take the Frank Thomas route and DH, (btw, Frank was just a tremendously large individual with much muscle mass who should have played Linebacker, so he doesn't really count as fat.) but if the Panda eats himself into DH duty, what good will that do us over here in the NL West?

I am indeed overweight myself, so I don't want to spend too much time on this subject, but I guess I am pleading with my new favorite player to eat better, for the good of the team. I do know though, having eaten many delicious salads and varities of sushi in my lifetime, that there is a lot of healthy food out there that also tastes quite delicious. The problem for most of us in the common world, however, is that these entrees are often quite expensive. I realize that Pablo is young and hasn't hit his BIG payday yet, but he should be within the realm of being able to pay for healthier foods. Hell there are even places that pre prep the food for you. They put it in containers and all you have to do is heat the damn thing up. One of these companies, called "Dream Dinners" is even relatively cheap when compared to what he probably spends going out all the time. Keeping in shape should not be too hard for him, especially as the season gets going. The Giants will probably really monitor his eating habits. Not only that, but he will also be getting daily workouts, obviously. That being said, it is the offseason that worries me. He played winter ball, and still gained weight. In future offseasons he will be completely on his own, and probably will not play in the Venezuelan League. In fact, don't let me overblow it. He only played in one or two games this winter.

I actually suspect his weight gain in his return home was goaded by his mother, and his grandmothers if they are still around. I am half Latino myself, on my mother's side, and I am aware of how elder Latinas will stop just short of shoving incredibly fattening food down your throat (and then be the first to tell you you're getting pudgy, but that's another article for Psychology Today I'm writing later). It's probably hard for him to go home. My suggestion on that front is don't go home next year. Pay for them to visit you, and then control the eating. Maybe even eat separately from them, although, again drawing on my latino background, that may be impossible, as sharing a meal is HUGE in Latin culture. Even so, the Panda needs to see that this is his life, his career, and his well being. No one suffers or benefits from his decisions at this current time, but himself. Our biggest hope? He's 23, lots of time to rein it in.

Don't be the next Kevin Mitchell.

P.S. My man Damon Bruce moves to KNBR 1050 on Monday, and I'm going with him! For those of you who listen to Sportsphone regularly I call in as "Pocket Aces", and will make sure to call him on Monday. His show will now run from noon-4. KNBR can be found at 1050 on your Northern California AM dial, if you are somewhere else simply go to KNBR.COM and click on the "1050 listen now" Icon. The Parent station, KNBR 680, is the Giants radio flagship. D-Bruce is the best. He is the original inspiration for me to be so damn realistic!

(The Realistic Giants fan appears every Monday and Friday. Feel free to contact me at realisticgiantsfan@yahoo.com)


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