Big League Stew - MLB

When it comes to baseball players and offseason weight loss, the top explanation usually sounds something like, "I replaced the beer and burgers in my diet with water, veggies and lean protein."

A popular alternative is "I really improved my core strength with the help of Taye, my new yoga instructor." 

Now, thanks to Heath Bell, shrinking players have an even more contemporary tactic to detail how they became svelte over the winter months.

According to the Padres reliever, he was able to lose 25 pounds, simply while using the Wii Fit with his children. Bell started the winter at a beefy 270 pounds, but reported to the Padres' Arizona camp at 245 and is among the favorites to take over Trevor Hoffman's old closer job.

All because he was initially discouraged by how pudgy his Mii avatar looked.   

From the Associated Press:

"It said I was obese," Bell said. "If you're obese, it makes (your character on screen) obese. I was disappointed that I was that big. I literally took the game to heart. I did the work, but I kind of credit the Wii Fit."

Bell isn't the only player with an offseason weight loss story to tell — Rays catcher Dioner Navarro says he dropped 15 pounds by cutting out soda — but his is definitely the most original and fun. Kudos to the hurler for not being one of the millions to have the game collecting dust while whipping out his Mario Kart wheel instead. 

And as long as he has an agent worth a darn (and can stay away from the In-N-Out down the street from Padres camp) he should have a Wii endorsement by week's end ... Right?

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Also on Big League Stew:

• Ten things each player should bring to spring training

A-Rod's arrival at Yankees' camp draws near

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