Thursday, April 17, 2008

Back in the Saddle

Gee, you go out of town for a few days and Alfonso Soriano blows his leg doing his asinine hop? What are the odds...

The last three days were spent in Las Vegas supporting a client that was exhibiting at a trade show. As this trip was all work and had no distractions at all associated with it, only now does the time become available to comment on A Sor’s devolution into the next Chris Gedney.

Let's stipulate that A Sor’s hop didn’t cause his leg injury. Watching the replay, it's clear he didn’t miss-step or twist anything. If his leg was that fragile before the hop, it would have blown at some point very soon thereafter. Furthermore, if his legs are this balky now, the outlook for him over the next 6 years of his contract is not much better than that for the non-income verified mortgage market.

But let's take a look at the hop itself because it does expose something about A Sor, the player. And it exposes why he should be the least liked player on this team.

The hop is one of two things. It could be a showboat move designed to give him a signature akin to the Sammy Sosa hop or the Aramis Ramirez "stand and watch the homer" pose. I can’t stand any showboat move. A week ago, over at the Hire Jim Essian shout box, A Ram hit a dinger. I said, "Run Dummy!" Bad Kermit got angry at me for saying something negative about a player after he made a good play.

Screw that.

You hit the ball, you run, jog, whatever. But get going and don’t pose. Maybe I'm just turning into an old fart, but I miss Walter Payton and Barry Sanders and their "act like you’ve been there" attitudes. Did Sanders ever do anything after a touchdown other than flip the ball to the ref?

If the hop is showboating, then A Sor deserved to get hurt on that move. Maybe he can learn something from it, but that’s doubtful.

The reason it’s doubtful is the second possible reason for the hop. See, when Soriano started doing the hop in Washington last year, he said it was because he kept dropping fly balls. He decided to not wait for the ball to get to him but he would jump to go get it.

We knew he was impatient at the plate, but in the field, too? How stupid can a guy get? The same result applies. If this guy is so impatient and stupid that he refuses to let the game come to him, then why should any of the fans have the patience to put up with his slow start on the field?

Maybe. Just maybe, some of these events will cause Soriano to open his mind just a crack to let someone coach him. If he does, he might just become a reasonable facsimile of what Jim Hendry hoped to have when he signed him.

If not, it’s six more years of bad baseball we’re going to be stuck watching from Soriano. Bad, aging, declining baseball.

One supposes it could be less than 6. Jim Hendry’s eventual replacement could one day eat two thirds of the contract and dump Soriano to the AL and the DH position that his legs make him more and more suited for each day.

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