The main point of BSOHL articles is to poke a bit of fun at the recurrence of a cliche that, until around last year anyway, most people didn’t realize was a cliche. The secondary though related point was to observe that, as far as cliches go, it’s a kind of empty one inasmuch as the relationship between guys proclaiming their enhanced conditioning and enhanced performance is pretty darn weak. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t, but usually a BSOHL declaration is an exercise in public relations.
Jhonny Peralta may be a different case, however. I’ve paid less attention since he’s been in Detroit, but when he was in Cleveland his weight fluctuated pretty significantly from season to season as did his performance. He was slender in 2005, porked up a bit the next year, got slim again before 2008 and his game more or less followed suit.
So, while most of these BSHOL/weight loss declarations don’t carry too much, um, weight, they probably are a bit more significant in the case of Jhonny Peralta. With that, I give you Tom Gage’s latest in the Detroit News:
… last week while manager Jim Leyland and general manager Dave Dombrowski were making a lot of positive comments about the 2013 Tigers, there was no indication they are anything less than content with Peralta as the incumbent.Fewer pounds would be preferable, they told him, as he headed home for the winter. He got the message and lost 18.
“It’s good,” Peralta said. “I’ve never been at this weight since I’ve been with Detroit. I finished last season at 236. I’m at 218 now.”
That bodes well.
In some other parts of his game, however, he’s less eager to talk. Gage, while noting that Peralta is sure-handed, comments about his range, which is near the worst among everyday shortstops. Here’s Peralta:
“I don’t like it when people talk about my range,” he said. “I know it’s important, and I know I can be better, but I think I’ve done a really good job at shortstop.”
I don’t like it when people talk about my grammar or when I make bad arguments, but those are key parts of my job and when I suck at those things I can’t really complain if people criticize. Same with a shortstop’s range, right? So, sorry Jhonny.