You can argue the best season ever put up by a Bison was Dave Clark's .340 campaign in the 1987 War Memorial Stadium swan song (.340-30-80-.621 slugging). Or maybe Al Martin's 1992 season (.305, 16 doubles, 15 triples, 20 homers, 20 steals). I'll take Jhonny Peralta's 2004 campaign over both of them.
Peralta was the International MVP six years ago for the champion Bisons, batting .326 with modern-era records of 181 hits and 44 doubles. He also had 15 homers, 86 RBIs and played decent shortstop. He was Buffalo's first MVP since 1961 and graduated to Cleveland, where he's been a starter at short and third for five straight seasons.
That run ended Wednesday night, when Peralta was traded to the Detroit Tigers. Peralta has three 20-homer seasons and three seasons of at least 78 RBIs in Cleveland but never really endeared himself to Tribe fans. The soft-spoken Dominican was average defensively at best and was a lightning rod for criticism because of some lax play at the field and at that plate, where he's having his worst year (.246-7-43). Still, he was 7 for 15 in the 2007 division series against the Yankees and homered twice against the Red Sox in the ALCS.
He's owed a $7.25 million option after this year so he's clearly a rental for the injury-riddled and reeling Tigers, who need infield help. Peralta, who is making $4.6 million, will have to pick things up the next two months if he wants to keep earning real money next year.
(Photo: Associated Press)
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