Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Last Time

Time for some good, Soriano hate. As long as I'm getting ripped for it, I might as well earn it.

Alfonso Soriano may have been hitting of late, but he's still an infuriating player to have to watch. Yesterday, Alfonso thought he hit another homer. As has been his style, he stood there to watch the ball and pose. A few days ago against the Brewers, he was nearly thrown out at second after jogging while watching a ball bounce off the wall.

Yesterday, this same idiocy led to him only getting a single on a similar play. Now, Soriano is embarrassed by this display. He tells us that he'll hustle from now on:

Alfonso Soriano said Wednesday was the last time you'll see him not hustle out of the batter's box. However, it may not be the last time he has a pitch thrown at him.

In the eighth inning of the first game of the Cubs' day-night doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves, Soriano led off with a single to left. He watched it, obviously thinking the ball was going over the wall. It didn't.

Soriano ended up with a long single. Cubs manager Lou Piniella was not pleased.

"I talked to Alfonso about it, and I told him that he's one of our leaders here and there's no need for that, and he agrees and says it won't happen again, it's over," Piniella said after the Cubs' 10-2 win over the Braves.

Soriano appeared embarrassed by the incident.

"I apologized to [Piniella], and I apologized to my teammates," Soriano said. "I said to him that's not going to happen again. I apologized to him."

Now, what the Braves did later was to try to plunk Soriano in the head for showing them up.

First, the Braves are stupid. If you want to hurt Soriano, don't aim for his head.

But, more importantly, just how perfect would it have been had Soriano actually gotten hit with a purpose pitch and been injured again? His showboating could have cost the team his valuable presence!

Soriano is actually kind of lucky that he's playing for Lou Piniella and not Bobby Cox. Cox would have removed Soriano from the Brewers game just like he did to Andruw Jones all those years ago. Lou let Soriano get away with it for a while.

Players who showboat are disgusting. True, they're aided and abetted by ESPN's fawning over athletes who draw attention to themselves. But their "me" attitude has the potential to hurt a team. And smart fans have only an interest in winning. I guess for every Walter Payton and Barry Sanders who acted with class in every aspect of their game, there are 10 Barry Bonds and Terrell Owens who gotta have the spotlight.

Alfonso Soriano is in that category.

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