6/16 Cubs defend Soriano

You may not have liked what Alfonso Soriano did in the sixth inning Saturday night but his teammates and manager understood. The Cubs trailed 3-0 with two outs in the sixth and had runners at first and second. Soriano lined the ball sharply to third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who bobbled it but recovered in time to throw him out easily. That’s because Soriano didn’t run it out, thinking Middlebrooks had caught the ball.

“That’s one of those things where 100 percent of every player in the history of baseball would do the same thing,” Dale Sveum said. “I know I did it a lot a lot of times in my career. You hit a ball that hard and hit it right at somebody and you think it’s in the glove and you put your head down and unfortunately, it gets away from him.”

Need proof? Do a YouTube search for Sean Casey bloopers. He lined the ball to left once, thought the third baseman got it, and it actually went into left field. Casey was thrown out at first by the left fielder.

At Wrigley, the fans booed as the inning ended, and resumed when Soriano took his place in left field.

“It’s unfair because it’s a hard line drive into the third baseman’s glove,” Soriano said. “I’m happy my teammates and my manager and the coaches support me. They know I’m working hard to be a better player and be a better teammate.”

Why don’t the fans know that?

“I don’t think they understand the game,” Soriano said. “It’s a line drive, nothing you can do about it. If it’s a ground ball, they can do whatever they want. I don’t know what [the fans] want.”

Ryan Dempster’s locker is next to Soriano’s and he heard the conversation.

“I would’ve run the same way, Sori,” Dempster said.

Ever since Soriano joined the Cubs, signing an eight-year, $136 million contract in November 2006, he’s had to deal with incredibly high expectations.

“That contract comes into play sometimes with that kind of reaction,” Sveum said. “The fact of the matter is everybody in this clubhouse knows how hard Sori works and how hard he’s played this year, and the balls he’s run out and the work he puts in to be a better outfielder. No matter what those legs feel like every day, he’s gone out there every day if it’s optional hitting. There’s not a guy in that clubhouse who wouldn’t give the shirt off their back for him.”

– Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

It is a shame the way that the fans booed Soriano tonight. The guy has done nothing, but put in the most hard work since he has been here to become a better player. Any player would have done the same thing.

Soriano sucks. Has for years. Doesnt run out ground balls watches balls he thinks are homers become singles. The worst contract in the history of baseball. Cant wait till hes off the team

The guy has carried our team since May 15 and, even through all the criticism, is a class act. He can’t run like he used to because of injuries, but has still went out and improved his D and lightened his bat to help the team. I felt awful when the fans booed him since everyone in the stands thought Middlebrooks fielded it cleanly. We always find Soriano’s flaws and don’t give him the props he deserves. He’s a hard worker and deserves better fans than this. As a Cubs fan, I wish him nothing but the best on this team, or the next one. He’s a huge asset to any team he goes to.

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Soriano is the 4th highest paid outfielder in all of baseball in 2012. To me that means that he should be top 5 amongst outfielders in ALL the categories; offence AND defence… and not only have a good run from May 15, 2012 till June 15, 2012, but from the day he signed his contract till the day he clears his locker (I hope very soon).
And for Sveum’s comment that every player who ever played the game would have done the same as Soriano… Just 1 name: Byrd. He’ll be offended by that remark. That guy even RAN the bases on a walk or on HR and not JOG

What the fans want: EVERY time a ball is hit you put down your head and RUN as fast as you can. For the $ you are receiving there is NO excuse not to. If you can’t run…you shouldn’t be in the lineup. Hopefully the new Cub way will be what the fans expect.

Well, well, well…evidently I am not alone regarding Soriano’s futility. He’s got to go, regardless of his work ethics and attidude and the coddling has to stop. We fans are not THAT naive. Sure, we are naive enough to believe that a new GM and President will turn around 103 years of no World Series…..but please, give us some credit for understanding what we have in Soriano, an aging, below average fielder with no outfield instincts, bad knee(s), bad plate discipline, a good arm, the ability to hit a homerun, AND EVIDENTLY THE ABILITY TO CONVINCE SOME PEOPLE HIS DEFENSE IS GOOD AS OPPOSED TO JUST BETTER THAN HIS TYPICAL HORRENDOUS DEFENSE.

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