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Beware the “Player X added Y pounds of muscle this offseason” stories

Feb 20, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT


I don’t post all of those BSOHL stories simply because I’m unaware of when a joke has been beaten to absolute death. I mean, I am unaware of that, but that’s not the only reason I post them.

I also post them because they are often evidence of a player who is trying to make up for something. A player who had a bad year or who is in decline, trying to signal to the public or to team management or whoever that things are different now and they’re trying to do better.  I think it’s interesting and, depending on how much baloney is involved in the proclamation, tells us something useful.

Often that something is negative, as Jim Margalus of Soutside Sox explains in this excellent post about White Sox players who have, in the past, declared that they have added “pounds of muscle” in the offseason:

I searched through 10 years’ worth of archives for the exact phrase “pounds of muscle,” and I found seven other references to White Sox who bulked up during the offseason. In every case, a worse year followed. In some cases, disaster ensued.

He has the examples. It’s scary stuff.

It’s not what the players say, people. It’s what they do that defines them.

  1. jimbo1949 - Feb 20, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Haven’t seen any BSOHL stories on Crawford this year. What about last year? Could this be a corrollary?

  2. mondogarage - Feb 20, 2012 at 3:33 PM

    Also, the “Player X added Y pounds of muscle this offseason” stories are much likelier to be followed by “Player X suspended for Z games for PED violations” stories, than in years past.

  3. straightcash844 - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    Is that really how you think bologna is spelled?

    • jimbo1949 - Feb 20, 2012 at 4:59 PM

      One is food, usually made from a cow. The other comes from a bull.

  4. plumdandy6677 - Feb 20, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    Per Tom Hardricourt in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

    “[Relief pitcher Zach] Braddock said he put on some weight by design over the winter and feels much stronger.”

    Uh oh. Braddock is young and showed potential with a good rookie season in 2010 (2.94 era in 46 games). But last year, he struggled (7.27 in just 25 games) and was eventually sent down to the minors due to a “sleeping disorder” and struggled with other personal problems like tardiness. He says he’s back and ready to go this year. it’s definately a big year for him as he has something to prove. Should I be worried?

  5. Utley's Hair - Feb 20, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    It is tough for Player X to make the BSOHL roster after putting away Y pounds of shellfish.

  6. - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    How many of these stories are player/agent initiated as opposed to beat reporter, pasty blogger, or team source initiated.

    If I’m a professional athlete I spend my off-season trying to get better regardless of the season I had.

    Anyway. Added pounds of muscle might be useful over at PFT. However, most baseball plays are over in less than 30s. If a player said “I worked on speed & agility over the off-season” then I would be impressed. Unfortunatly, if you’re already in good shape you aren’t going to get much faster or agile. Those things are just genetics.

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