You'll remember that Bryant McKinnie was kept off the field in Mankato last summer by the Vikings and then released because of concerns about his weight and conditioning.
Soon after, he was picked up by the Baltimore Ravens and, by all accounts, had a fine season.
This week, though, history did a rerun. McKinnie was at Baltimore's practice facility this week, but didn't practice "for conditioning purposes,” coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun.
More Harbaugh: “We’re going to probably continue to do that [during the minicamp] and continue to try and get him in good shape. I think practice-wise, he’s just as well doing the conditioning part of it.”
John Eisenberg of CSNBaltimore.com wrote: "It’s really weird that the Ravens didn’t want McKinnie on the practice field in June. They didn’t comment further, but the only way to take it is they aren’t happy with his conditioning. Since they gave him a $500,000 roster bonus in March with the understanding that he would get himself in better shape, it could be they’re becoming disenchanted with him."
When Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com asked Harbaugh what McKinnie needs to do to get out of the gym and onto the field, the coach wouldn't bite: "That’s something that is an in-house type of thing right now."
But Harbaugh made it clear to reporters that he didn't like the attention that's being paid to Heavy B's weight, which is listed at 360 pounds on the Ravens web site: "It’s not as simple as some of you guys want to make it. It’s just a situation where we are going to do what is best for the team, what is best for Bryant. We want him here; there’s no reason he wouldn’t be here. He has worked hard, so you try to do what’s most beneficial for every guy in every situation, and it’s always individualized.”
You can read Hensley's full blog post here.
Hey, wasn't Detroit the team that was supposed to run away with the weak American League Central? You know, signing Prince Fielder to a fat contract that pays until decade's end. Justin Verlander, the best pitcher in the American League. Delmon Young, the slur-spewing outfield addition stolen from Minnesota.
It hasn't happened and there's some crankiness in Detroit.
As the Tigers blog Bless You Boys wrote following Thursday's 2-1 loss at Cleveland: "The Detroit Tigers dropped a 3 game series to the 1st place Cleveland Indians in embarrassing fashion, falling in the finale 2-1. With the sweep, the Tigers are mired in 3rd place, 6 games out of 1st, closer to the 4th place Royals than the top of the division Tribe. Not exactly what was envisioned before the season."
Or, in more terse terms: "It was damn near an epidemic of suck."
It was bad enough that the blog's player of the game poll went all North Korea and listed only one player -- Verlander, who was excellent in a complete-game loss, and for the second time this season will miss a chance to pitch against the Twins. He's 5-2 in 10 starts this season with a 2.15 ERA, a strikeout per inning and 61 baserunners allowed in 75 innings pitched.
In other words, he's the best.
Here's the full Bless You Boys post from Thursday.
Bloggers and their commenters are already having the Mauer/Pujols debate about Fielder's nine-year, $214 million deal, which runs through 2020, even though he's on about a 25-home run, 95 RBI pace.
Read it. It'll sound familiar.
And Delmon? He's back to being not very good -- on and off the field. Even the Cleveland Jewish News weighed in on him this week.
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