At this year’s FanFest, we got to spend a few moments with Baltimore relief pitcher Jason Berken.
My recorder died, so I am going to a paraphrase what he said with some quotes; however, we talked about his season in 2011, his preparation for Spring Training in Sarasota in a few weeks and his weight loss.
Berken said that his weight loss – close to 30 pounds – last season did indeed improve his pitching. He said it did not affect his mechanics at all, and that his problems last season were on him, but wants to come ready for the 2012 campaign.
“It was my fault; there’s no one to blame but myself.”
He added, “I learned from my experiences at Norfolk (the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate) and know I am going into camp with no guarantees of anything. I’m going to do my best and see what happens.”
Our conversation with Berken ended about the changes to his body.
Personally, I can speak from experience, as I have spent the last year trying to work off weight – close to 60 pounds – in trying to be a healthier individual and just hoping to extend my lifespan.
However, for Berken – as a professional athlete – additional weight on his frame could be potentially detrimental. Much like thousands of Americans out there, he decided to change his lifestyle and spoke of the benefits.
He quipped, “I really do feel better and yes, I feel more attractive.”
However, Berken knew that the change would be beneficial for his career.
“I love to eat; however, I knew it was time for a change. It’s been a big lifestyle change. I can’t exactly go through the drive-through anymore, so I focus on better eating choices – fish, vegetables, and staying away from the junk. I know I have to stay focused on my career.”