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And now something non-snarky about player weight

Feb 25, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

BSHOL 2

We laugh at the Best Shape of His Life reports and we shake our heads in confusion at how someone like Jesus Montero can’t seem to take care of himself. But despite its status as an amusing spring training evergreen, player weight it a big deal to them and their teams.

Adam Kilgore wrote a story about it over the weekend. About how the balance is so critical for some players. A pound or two in either direction and they either aren’t at their optimum shape or else they at least don’t feel as though they are. In a world where men believe their performance is impacted by how long their socks are, it’s not at all surprising that so many of them would obsess on whether they weigh 197 or 198.

So yes, while it is fun to mock the notion of player weight being some rock solid predictor of a bounceback season, the subject itself is no laughing matter for most of these guys.

Interesting stuff.

  1. eshine76 - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Jesus Montero just passed out copies of this article to the coaching staff and front office

  2. doctorofsmuganomics - Feb 25, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    “We laugh at the Best Shape of His Life reports”

    We do?

  3. paperlions - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Love the casual mention of “Last year, after Adam LaRoche’s attention deficit disorder medication suppressed his appetite, he dropped 10 pounds off his target weight and lost bat speed and power at the plate.”

    Yeah, about that. Why was this not a problem for LaRoche the year before? Could it be because he just started taking medicine for a recent “diagnosis” of ADHD at age 32?

    I mean, who knew that speed was an appetite suppressant? Oh, right, everyone.

    It is a tough argument to make that LaRoche’s performance declined because of his weight. Last year he was much closer to his career averages than in 2012, when he had a career year. He can gain all the weight he wants and he is still highly unlikely to repeat his 2012 performance.

    • jss1330 - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      LaRoche has been taking ADHD medication for years. He was switched from Adderall to Ritalin which caused his weight problems.

  4. js20011041 - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:09 PM

    This strikes me as being another “closer mentality” type of argument. I highly doubt that any small fluctuation in weight causes a change in performance. Thirty or forty pounds? Maybe. But when Scott Hairston obsesses over being 197 pounds, I wonder why he hasn’t tried to find a weight that lets him hit right handed pitching.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 25, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      He has found a weight that lets him hit left-handed pitching. That is more than most of us can achieve. While a particular weight might not be the difference between Hairston and Miguel Cabrera, it could be the difference between Hairston and some guy in AAA.

  5. historiophiliac - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    I blame it on bloating too.

  6. chaseutley - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    With all of the new metrics and such in baseball today, I wonder if they’ll ever start listing more sophisticated fitness measurements than height, weight, age, raw speed etc. I’d be really interested to see if body composition, agility, flexibility, endurance, etc. could be better used within the sport as a predictor of player success.

    • gloccamorra - Feb 25, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      First they have to get the height and weight accurately, not take what the player says. Steve Garvey was actually 5’8″ but insisted on being listed at 5’10”. Tony Gwynn went ten years listed at 199 lbs. When questioned by writers, he admitted to 220, but writers guessed his real weight was closer to 240. Now Baseball Reference lists his rookie weight of 185! If there’s a way to game any other measurement, the players will find it.

  7. Innocent Bystander - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Damn…I forgot to put on my Phiten necklace before I read this.

  8. chacochicken - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    It isn’t biological weight that matters. Spiritual weight is what is really important. I can sell you a crystal power infuser that allows one to channel their spiritual force and reduce platoon splits, up line drive %, and increase power to all fields. It starts with a thorough examination of a player’s signature and having said player sign approximately 99 (occult significance) pieces of sports memorabilia (bats, photos, balls etc.). My system takes no intensive training, comes with a powerful quartz crystal tuned to your specific spiritual energies, and guarantees a placebo effect-like benefit.

    • kevinbnyc - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      Mr. Bosch trying a new get-rich scheme??

      • chacochicken - Feb 25, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        I am willing to sell all my sales history and client information while also testifying against anyone for a single large tax-exempt payment and some private security…to keep the crystals safe.

  9. stlouis1baseball - Feb 25, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    Good article C.C. Weight (and it’s slight flucuations) is the only reason I am not playing 2nd base for the Cardinals right now. With my OCD…everything has to end in a 5. There is a huge difference between 195 and 200.

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 25, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Raw weight does not matter as much as where the weight is coming from? Does grit weigh more than muscle?

  11. amlumber - Feb 25, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Did anyone else misread the ‘In a world where men believe their performance is impacted by how long their socks are’ line?

    • chadjones27 - Feb 25, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      No

  12. itsmekirill - Feb 25, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    I liked the analogy between playing baseball and the Bataan Death March.

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