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

7 Comments

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.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

Dylan Buell/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

Kent Horner/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.