Sometimes you encounter something so shocking that no amount of linguistic acrobatics can do it proper justice outside of simply saying WOAH HOLY SHIT LOOK AT THAT.
So without further ado, I present to you WHOA HOLY SHIT LOOK AT THAT:
A couple pics of Jesus Montero. pic.twitter.com/04jcdNMyBx— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) February 19, 2015
These are photos of Jesus Montero, taken on Ryan Divish's cell phone at the Seattle Mariners' Peoria, Arizona spring training complex. The first thing you may notice is that the groundskeepers have done great work preparing the fields for tomorrow's influx of pitchers and catchers reporting to the first day of activities for the 2015 season. But if you look a little closer, you will see an incredibly healthy and fit Jesus Montero, sans about thirty pounds of excess weight. Maybe more. I don't know.
I almost didn't believe it when I first saw it. Exactly one year ago, the same reporter took a photo of the same player on the same field, and it was so widely circulated that all I had to do was type "Jesus Montero" into Google image search to find it.
There have been rumblings that Montero arrived in Arizona in shape, but without visual proof it remained nothing but a lofty abstraction--far from the perfect metaphor of Montero's playing career that Divish's earlier photo emblematized. But now we have it.
Montero still has a long way to go to prove that he is ready to be an everyday Major League baseball player, but gone is the literal baggage of the ice cream sandwich, of the work ethic rumors, the PED suspension and the disappointment felt by the organization. He looks like a changed man, and from the sounds of it, is finally starting to turn his career around in the hopes he can fulfill the promise that scouts once saw in a 16 year old kid from Venezuela.
Will he hit his way onto the Mariners 25 man roster sometime this season? I have no idea. But what I do know is this: Jesus Montero has just become the first professional athlete in the history of American sports to actually report to his preseason training camp in the "Best Shape of His Life," and for that alone, he should feel accomplished. Now if he could just have a conversation with Brad Miller's hair, we could really be on top of things.