THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Private Trainers – Bet The House On ‘Em?

Posted in Uncategorized by snarkk on July 5, 2012

Yesterday’s MadBum game sucked.  Royal.  So, I’m not rehashing that HOT mess.  Instead, my topic is:  What’s the role of a private trainer in MLB?  This piqued my interest when Pablo came off surgery rehab directly from 6 weeks under the Giants’ nose — he looked like the Michelin Man wearing a custard-colored Gi with a Black Belt in midnight snacking.  Domo arigato, Panda.

First, a definition.  A “private trainer” is a third party (not a team trainer or employee) hired by an athlete OR his team to work with the athlete to improve his physical conditioning and/or specific sport’s skills or techniques.  You can define it your way, that’s mine.  No, Panda’s Mom does not qualify as HIS private trainer.  Chef, maybe.

You know these examples, maybe you’ve got more:

1.  Prospective NFL draftees engage specialized trainers, now a cottage industry, to get them in shape to ace the Combine tests.    2.  Panda worked the 2010 off-season in Phoenix at his own expense to get back in shape with former Bonds trainer Greg Oliver and former decathlete Dan O’Brien.  Plus, Panda supposedly hired his own healthy-eats cook — a 1 star “Michelin” chef?  3.  In the Clemens trial the Rocket’s private trainer McNamee testified he shot up Clemens and weirdly, also Rocket’s wife (which she admitted).   4.  Bonds had Greg Anderson, his connection, and Harvey Shields, his rub down guy, cuckolding Stan Conte to the “hear no evil” Sabes.  5.  In Zito’s first Giants’ ST, he showed up with a new motion from Planet Zitoid.  That freaked Rags, who put a quick stop to it.  This past off-season, both Zito and Alex Smith went to LA for advice from Tom House, the career Pen journeyman who is now somehow a throwing motion expert on things he didn’t master himself.  Zito “cratered” early this ST, and jettisoned the House Crouch.  But, maybe some of that House voodoo diddoo what it was supposed toodoo given Zito’s subsequent improvement this season.   6.  Timmeh shed 20+ pounds last off-season and swamalot, a new thing for him.  Did anybody tell him to do that?  His Pops?  The mirror?  Did the Giants approve or supervise that “plan”?  There’s a stationary lap pool in Timmeh’s Seattle luxe condo building — so, now the scope of the off-season conditioning program of your Ace, uh former Ace, depends on what’s in his condo building’s training room?

My 10-minute “exhaustive” Internet search didn’t turn up much gossip on this topic.  Leading me to believe few care, or at least aren’t talking.  Momentarily nonplussed, I trudged ahead anyway and looked at the new MLB Basic Agreement, which is just a few Bezukhovs shorter than War and Peace.  I found nothing in the MLBBA about teams controlling private trainers in non-injury situations.  Same with the MLB Uniform Player Contract (MLBUPC link below).  In general, players must follow the team medicos’ advice and be in condition to play, but players have the right to get second opinions on injuries from their own docs.  The club must pre-authorize procedures by non-team quacks and others where there is a player “disability” due to work-related injury.  But, where there is a non-work related disability, injury or “condition” (altogether a Non-Work-Related-Injury) no advance notice to the Club or consent by the Club is required for treatment of the player by a non-Club provider unless the NWRI “may affect the player’s ability to provide services” to the Club under the MLBUPC.  The Club will not pay for treatment of these NWRI’s by outside parties.  That leads me to believe that since Panda reportedly paid for his outside rotundity rehab, his girth is considered a NWRI condition over which the Giants do not have official contractual control – though Panda has no limitation on voluntarily coordinating his outside training (treatment) with the Club.

So far, my conclusion is that the Clubs handle this private trainer activity on a case by case basis, because where no injury is involved, the MLBBA and MLBUPC are non-specific in this area, maybe purposefully.  I would argue a team should have greater official control than just “keep us posted” over how the player trains and maintains/improves his skills and techniques with private trainers the player hires, especially during the off season.  If Tom House tells Zito in December that he’s got to lower his arm angle and crouch like Carlos Castaneda, then what if that contradicts Rags’ advice?  Rags gets paid a lot to tutor the pitchers and build their confidence; he’s got a pretty damn good track record doing that, and he was a lefty.  In the tort world, I’d call that interference with contract.  To me, the vague to non-existent official Club oversight of private trainers risks injury and anything from slight to major interference in managing the performance of highly-paid players.

If you guys have some inside dope on this, let’s hear it.  Tempest in a teapot?  Eh, probably.  Unless your team has a Frequently Fat Panda and a Failing Freak…


1.  MLB Basic Agreement.  See Art. XIII E. and G.   MLB Uniform Players Contract starts on page 277, see its Regulation 2 on medical care.   2.  Stan Conte and predicting injury:  (ironic tidbit at the end about Kemp and his great non-injury history).  3.  Now, kids get private trainers to improve scholarship chances.


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  1. blade3colorado said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    By the by, kat was suggesting right handed hitters we could use and I was thinking about Shane Victorino, who is a switch hitter. I think the discussion is valid. Obviously it is quite difficult to provide details on who might be traded on our side. Nevertheless, I know kat was hurt by the criticism he received. In short, I didn’t feel that way. Anything about baseball and especially, Giants baseball, is fair game for discussion in my opinion. However, I digress . . .

    Victorino and the Phillies are not close to an agreement on a contract extension, the team’s official site reports.
    Victorino wants five years, but the Phillies are unlikely to go that long. As the Phillies continue to slip in the standings, the possibility of Victorino being traded increases. No, I have no idea what the Giants would provide as a trade chip, e.g., prospects, someone on our roster, etc.

    • Del Mar Dennis said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm

      I believe I saw Henry or Baggs bring up Victorino’s name as well. Not the worst idea I’ve heard in awhile. I think we’re pretty set at the C position with Buster and Hector. WTF can a Tommy Joseph get us in return? Last time I checked you can only start one guy behind the dish at a time.

      And we need to do something about upgrading our bench. It’s a goddamn punchline.

      • blade3colorado said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

        Yeah, the part about who we would give up – is the question (and I have no idea . . . Tommy Joseph sounds valid, especially in lieu of us having Buster and Hector – as you pointed out).

  2. PawlieKokonuts said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    The Nats (and then the Pirates) are not the teams of previous years, tho’ I recall we even had trouble with them then. So losing to the Nats is not by itself an embarrassment. Join the crowd. (I can see myself already preparing for the worst of the wurst in the Steel City Without Visible Steel Mills.) I agree with the Stay Calm Cadre. Tough losses, missed opportunities, but we ain’t the Phillies. And believe me, they ARE panicked. Sigh.

    • ewisco said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      i so much prefer the “sigh” at the end of a statement to the now ubiquitous lol’s etc. it’s the same point but uses an actual word. i shall avoid attaching a smiley face.

    • blade3colorado said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      Good point about the Phillies . . . They totally blew that game this evening against the Mets. That was a microcosm of their season. Pawlie, I am envious of you being able to attend a game at PNC. From numerous sources, that stadium is rated the best in baseball . . . Yes, many people feel that it is better than the Phone Park (which I find hard to believe). The pictures I have seen of the skyline and river there, looks magnificent. I wish i was there with you . . . It is on my bucket list.

  3. ewisco said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    it’s not the bench that’s weak, it’s the entire lineup right now. look at the balls hit yesterday to right center. theirs went out, ours did not. pretty simple. why ours did not go out is open to interpretation. but that’s really the bottom line right now is there a bat out there that can cure all 8 of ours? doubtful.

    • snarkk said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      Ewisco, agreed we have little pop with our regulars, but we can’t replace them all. The Giants are regularly in close games, so the lack of any pop on the bench is really telling late in games when Bochy has to make moves and use PHs, etc. Arias, Burriss, Christian, Sholz — man, that is a weakling group when it comes to extra base hits and HR potential. Two of them at least need to be replaced by people that can swing a bigger stick, IMO…

  4. snarkk said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I’ve mentioned it before, but the Giants pitchers really are not good fielding their position. Affeldt had a tough chance in the 8th and muffed it, that one’s excusable I suppose. Casilla proved again that he must consider fielding to be an optional part of the pitching position. When a ball is hit or bunted near him, he just needs to get out of the way…

  5. twinfan1 said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    I don’t recall giving Kat a hard time about Victorino but I don’t see him as enough of an upgrade considering what it would cost- and that would certainly include Brown- and I bring Brown up before I’d trade him. As I’ve said before, it’s probably a Wigginton type they’d pick up. But nothing is desperate, breathe deeply, have another cocktail, If either Zits or Tim finishes strongly they can win the division with just internal moves. IMO.

    • blade3colorado said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      Actually, I don’t recall you specifically giving him a hard time . . . However, my main point is that any suggestion is just that. In fact, after reading your idea about Wigginton, that is more likely than Victorino. More important, Wigginton plays every infield position and correct me if I am wrong, I think he also plays the outfield too (probably not CF though). The point being is that he is truly a utility player that could be inserted into any number of positions, thus more valuable to the Giants.

      • twinfan1 said, on July 5, 2012 at 8:56 pm

        I’ve always shot down ridiculous trade proposals and many of them are. A basic understanding how trades work is helpful. Victorino isn’t a terrible idea but he’s just not what he once was. Not worth a blue chip prospect for sure. He might not be good enough to start here. The Kat proposal that I considered ridiculous was Allen Craig. There is no way that St. Louis would consider trading him. Zero. Nada. None. Ok, I take that back- Belt and MadBum might get it done.

      • blade3colorado said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

        St Louis needs pitching, more specifically, relief pitching. However, we aren’t going to trade Madbum, much less any of our pitchers for Craig or anyone else on the Cards. Besides, most teams that are hurting for pitching, especially relief pitching, attempt to resolve that issue in-house before trades are even considered and even then, they don’t do them. Prospects on the other hand, are currency for all teams. Unfortunately for the Giants, are cupboards are just about empty.

        My point regarding Flappers who bring up trades, is that they are essentially thinking out loud and I don’t think they even think that the trade has much chance of occurring. Call it wishful thinking . . . Besides, whom amongst us thought that the Giants would trade Cepeda for Ray Sadecki? I sure didn’t. So yeah, Craig coming here doesn’t have much chance of happening, but who really knows? Stranger things have happened. Ask Orlando or Ray.

      • twinfan1 said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

        I guess I needed the sarcasm icon- of course we won’t trade MadBum and St. Louis won’t trade Craig. I know what your point was-but just as Kat has every right to propose it, those who shot it down have that right. As I said, some knowledge of how trades work would be helpful. Could it ever happen? Sure. 10,000 to 1 sounds about right. If St.Louis is doing anything at the break they’ll be doing the same thing we would be doing- buying, not selling. Plus Craig is under their control until 2017.

  6. snarkk said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    Belt clearly can’t be castigated for that last play. It wasn’t really a short hop pick up. The throw hit the dirt about 1 1/2 to 2 feet from the stretched out glove. In between hop. Definitely do-able, but not something you can guarantee. Crawford received a great throw from Theriot, and the runner was not even on him. That’s all on Crawford…

    • blade3colorado said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      That’s the bad part about watching the game on the pc, I apparently missed that play because I was on another tab and missed that play.

      • snarkk said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm

        You can dial it up on the video and watch it over and over — it doesn’t get any better, tho… 🙂

      • blade3colorado said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:22 pm

        Actually, I have a better idea . . . Sleep. Good night Flappers 🙂

    • twinfan1 said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      I wouldn’t castigate either one- but it was definitely way more on Crawford- for the reasons you stated. I wouldn’t say ALL, though. It’s not important, however, unless it triggers another bad stretch defensively for Crawford.

  7. DJLoo said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Most forgotten worst trade in SF Giant history:

    December 2, 1965: Bill Hands and Randy Hundley to the Chicago Cubs for Don Landrum and Lindy McDaniel.

    I’ve always believed it might’ve cost us a pennant or three…

    • snarkk said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      Why remind us?…

      • DJLoo said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:36 pm

        “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

      • zumiee said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm

        As one of my history professors once said: “Those who know that quote are destined to repeat it.”

      • twinfan1 said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:46 pm

        Well, I’m sure not doing that again.

      • snarkk said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm

        I’m trying to forget the bullshit bottom of the 9th tonite, and you’re reminding me of fucking Lindy McDaniel? Actually, I think he wasn’t that bad as a Giant, which was a fairly short stint. One reference says the Yanks eventually traded him for Lou Piniella, and then the Yanks went on to their championship stretch in the mid-late ’70s. So, the Giants indirectly are responsible for the Yanks winning championships in the ’70s. Had nada to do with Reggie. Didn’t Lindy wear glasses, or am I thinking of somebody else? Whatever. The only thing that fixes the memory of tonight is some highland scotch, and I’m heading for that tumbler now…

      • DJLoo said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:57 pm

        Lindy McDaniel did not wear glasses. Perhaps you’re thinking of Frank Linzy. Or if it’s a Yankee from those days maybe Pete Mikkelsen…

      • snarkk said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:10 pm

        That’s it Loo. Frank Linzy wore glasses, same general time frame as Lindy. Lindy, Linzy, what the hell? I’m going to tipple some glasses, now. Gnight…

    • zumiee said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm

      Willie Mays agrees with you. That trade is bemoaned in the recent Willie Mays biography.

      • DJLoo said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:53 pm

        It’s also bemoaned in the Don Landrum biography…

  8. zumiee said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    The Dodgers just dispatched the D-Backs in clinical fashion, as if the D-Backs had shown up for a flu shot or something.

  9. zumiee said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Watching this Comcast special on Will Clark….Gary Park gets some points for saying one of the coolest things ever. Clark is going crazy in the locker room after making the playoffs in ’87, and Park tells Will: “You’re over-modulating.”

    • tedspe said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:53 pm

      Gary (I’m not tan. I douse myself in pumpkin paint) Park?
      Good times. G’nite, zumiee

  10. tedspe said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Hadda be away a while so to summarize:
    eddacker, thanks for the compliment
    Dennis, excellent Johnny Dangerously shout out
    Giants, WHO DO I HAVE TO FUCK TO GET A WIN!!!!!!(to which the Flappers would reply: Ted. The real question is….who would fuck you? Ass)
    And on that note (which is a sour c flat), Goodnight, gentlemen (?)

  11. zumiee said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Just for the record- yes, the sweet retro unis today were in recognition of the ’24 World Series, in which the Washington Senators defeated the Giants; but it should be noted that the Giants defeated the Senators in the ’33 World Series. Also, the ’24 World Series was the Giants 4th World Series appearance in a row. Wins in ’21 and ’22 over the Yankees, and a loss to the Yankees in ’23.

    • DJLoo said, on July 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm

      Must’ve brought back great memories for the countless 97 year-olds tuning in…

  12. willieD said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Is that Hundley related to the kid on the Pads? He died after a very brief career with Cubs too, didn’t he? Good player…am I mixing him up with Ken Hubbs? damn…I hate when I have to look shit up.
    The other day I was trying to think of more good fielding 1b without a lot of pop, and was reminded of Donn Clendennon, Pirates and Mets. But I couldn’t really remember how many HRs he had/avg. cool player, tho. I just think this is the type of guy Belt will be–NOT someone who blasts HRs like Adam Dunn, but a better hitter that will take a walk and field his position well. Hits LHP too, so forget about platoons.

    • zumiee said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      A James Loney-type, with hopefully a little more pop. Loney is a solid ballplayer.

    • DJLoo said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Clendenon could hit. Ask the Orioles.
      Some people have distorted history and seem to think McCovey was a good fielder. He wasn’t.

      • zumiee said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        One of the great fielding firstbasemen of all time was Steve Garvey, but he was terrible throwing the ball. He saved a lot of bad throws from Russell and Cey.

      • willieD said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm

        yeah. randy was father of Todd, who C for the Mets. Don’t know why I confused him with Hubbs, who died in plane crash after 63 season. Clendenon was big for mets after they picked up from pit, I do remember that. Wille Mac was a better 1b than LF…Poor Giants with him and Cepeda and only one 1b bag.
        Of course they also had alvin dark as a mgr…..the guy who ragged on blacks and latins as ball players and in the clubhouse, and of course had 4 of them that wound up in the HOF.

  13. DJLoo said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Wes Parker was the best fielding 1B of the ’60’s. Pepitone was also excellent despite the botched pickoff play in the ’63 WS…

    • willieD said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      parker of the dodgers was first guy I remember as that type of player, tho I think belt will have more pop. Just trying to find historical context to justify that belt can be productive and help a team win without being Big Papi..

  14. DJLoo said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    And they’re both gone…

    • willieD said, on July 6, 2012 at 6:34 am

      that was a really neat card, great pic of them both.

  15. tedspe said, on July 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm

  16. ewisco said, on July 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    good night lads.

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