7/25 Soriano says goodbye

The deal between the Cubs and Yankees has not been finalized, but Alfonso Soriano took a red eye flight from Phoenix to New York after Thursday’s game so he would be there in case it was done. The Yankees are home Friday against the Rays.

“I’m happy, and I think they’re happy, too,” Soriano said of the Cubs. “I’m happy to go back to New York where I started my career. I think both sides are happy.”

Is he glad the rumors are over?

“Thank God, it happened, so now I have to just concentrate and finish strong, and try to help my new team now to win,” he said. “That’s what I like to do, and everybody knows I like to play this game and I love it.”

Soriano talked to his agent a few hours before the Cubs’ game against the Diamondbacks ended. He then addressed his teammates to say goodbye.

“I just talked to my family and they said they support me and they’re happy I’m back where I started my career,” Soriano said. “I’m happy to go back to New York. … It’s a little uncomfortable, but this is baseball. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for the team, best for me and best for the other organization, too. I’ve been traded before. Now I have to keep moving and do my job in New York.”

What will he remember most about being a Cub?

“The fans,” he said. “They always want to win, they love to win. More important, being with the Cubs, they appreciate when the team wins and the team plays good.”

The fans could be harsh when Soriano made a bad play in the field.

“I respect the fans, I always play hard for the fans,” he said. “They love the team and they like to see the team do well. I always tried to do the best when I play for the Cubs and tried to be a champion here. It didn’t happen, so I hope it happens in the future. Now, I have to think about my new team.”

— Carrie Muskat


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