If it's not about baseball, it's probably not on Arroyo's agenda.
Although he has an exterior demeanor that seems laid-back, Arroyo has long been one of the Reds' hardest workers behind the scenes. He's a gym rat who works out and throws nearly year-round. Even when he traveled, he always brought two gloves along to play catch.But that is no longer enough. "There's a big difference between working out in the weight room and knowing you've got to meet some people for golf at 1 p.m., and you kind of half-way your lunch to get to the golf course," Arroyo said. "I'm going to push all of those things completely to the side and make sure about the amount of food I put in my body. "Everything that I do, I have to go above and beyond to try and counteract either age or whatever it is so I can come back and throw the ball a little bit harder. I really think if I can throw the ball 90-91 mph, I can have the same seasons I've always had. People can talk about control all they want. I'm a different type of pitcher than most guys. I pitch people a lot backwards. For me to keep them off my offspeed stuff, they have to respect my fastball. I don't feel like I've been able to do that, especially on the inner half to lefties this year." Some of Arroyo's lack of zip on his pitches could possibly be traced to a bout with mononucleosis that was diagnosed during Spring Training. "The mono might have affected the velocity early and strength," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "I don't think it affected the location though. Let's face it, there are good years and bad years. It's something that people don't understand anymore. Steve Carlton lost 20 games. He's in the Hall of Fame. He probably learned more from losing those 20 than he did winning 27." Arroyo is introducing some new layers to his offseason workout routine. The golf clubs are out and a bicycle is in. He plans to ride a bike for distance to get his legs bigger and stronger without harming his back, which also bothered him at times this season. Instead of doing cannonballs off of his boat, he will be swimming laps in a pool to make use of all his muscles. Some players try to clear baseball from their minds in the offseason. Not Arroyo, who has removed the 'off' from offseason. "I will be thinking about this game every day until we get back to Spring Training," he said. "That's just the way it is for me. If this stuff isn't right, then nothing else is any fun for me."