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Alfonso Soriano booed heavily in The Friendly Confines

Jun 17, 2012, 9:04 AM EST

soriano getty Getty Images

Here’s something a little uncommon for Wrigley Field. Or anywhere, really. Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com’s CubsTalk describes the scene:

There were two runners on and two outs in the sixth inning when [Alfonso] Soriano hit a rocket line drive at Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who appeared to have secured it in his glove. Soriano stood at home plate with the bat in his hands before Middlebrooks dropped the ball and threw to first.

That set off a very loud chorus of boos from the 40,766 fans inside Wrigley Field – and an equally strong and opposite reaction from those inside the clubhouse.

“They don’t understand the game,” Soriano told reporters Saturday after the 4-3 loss to Boston. “It’s a line drive. There’s nothing you can do about it. If it’s groundball and I don’t run, they can do whatever they want. But a hard line drive, right off the glove? I don’t know what they want.”

Soriano signed an eight-year, $136 million deal with Chicago in 2006. He has a weak 110+ OPS ever since.

“Obviously, that contract comes into play sometimes with that kind of reaction,” contended first-year Cubs manager Dale Sveum. “But the fact of the matter is everybody in this clubhouse knows how hard Sori works and how hard he’s played this year. … That’s one of those things where 100 percent of every player in the history of baseball would do the same thing. You’re mad because you just crushed the ball and the guy should have caught (it) and you take your eye off it.” Sveum’s Northsiders are 22-43 this season.

  1. 78mu - Jun 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Soriano just proved the old adage wrong.

    When he assumes something, only he is made to look like an #ss.

    • ezthinking - Jun 17, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      If you’re going to make a comment at least look at the video. http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22344511&query=%26game_pk%3D318700 Usaine Bolt could not have beat the throw to first.

      Also Ortiz must have thought it was caught because he didn’t even get to the bag before the throw got there.

      • Glenn - Jun 17, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        The same Ortiz who jogged around the bases in the first inning on Salty’s double and then got thrown out at the plate? I’m a Sox fan, but his lack of hustle is appalling and he is rarely criticized for it.

      • ezthinking - Jun 17, 2012 at 12:06 PM

        I’d agree with you on Ortiz for sure. The point is, ‘hustle’ had nothing to do Soriano’s play.

      • djpostl - Jun 17, 2012 at 4:39 PM

        It’s irrelevant if he could have beat it out. What happens if the throw gets away from 1B but because he sat his ass there at home they are still able to record the out?

        Or, how about a little freakin effort since your ass hasn’t produced at a high enough clip to warrant that contract?

  2. metalhead65 - Jun 17, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    they are 22-43 this year yet fox thinks everyone wants to see them on TV every Sat. night or at least here in the midwest as that is the game that is always shown no matter what game is advertised as the game of the week. thought I might catch a break since my Reds were playing the mets and the networks think everybody wants to see a ny. team but once again the idiot in charge decided Indiana viewers must watch the worst team in baseball instead. just because they show it does not mean I must watch it and trust me I do not.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 18, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      I hear you Metalhead. Now you know how I feel when they black out the Cardinals on FSMW and “try” to force me to watch the Redlegs on the Indiana affiliation. Nothing as infuriating as watching the full 30 minutes of Cardinals pre-game on FSMW and then you get blacked out at the start of the game.

  3. mqcarpenter - Jun 17, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    What a clueless idiot. If you can’t get the job done then at least put the effort in. For that money and a team that is struggling mightily it is all that more important to everyone that you RUN. Act like you care.

    • djpostl - Jun 17, 2012 at 4:40 PM

      Not as clueless as the 22 morons who gave your comment a thumbs down.

    • thesixersbench - Jun 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Says the pot to the kettle.

  4. xpensivewinos - Jun 17, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Soriano’s reaction to the play was not laziness, it was frustration. That was an absolute missile right at Middlebrooks that he should have had with no problem and there’s no way Soriano was going to beat it out.

    Soriano is an easy target because he hasn’t lived up to the contract or the fact that he seems to be aloof much of the time so people live for opportunities like this to rip the guy, but I think this is much ado about nothing. Right or wrong, Soriano has built a reputation over time where he’s not going to get the benefit of the doubt on plays like this and it will be blown completely out of proportion. If Pedroia had done this, every apologist on earth would be rushing to his defense.

    Soriano appears to be one of the few Cubs to be showing any heart at all this year and he’s playing every day on a bad stem and on an incredibly awful team. I think he gets a mulligan on this one.

    • jeffbbf - Jun 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      I agree. But Soriano has to understand that he’s not the only one frustrated. The fans are frustrated because he hasn’t justified the amount of money he demanded because of what he held he would do for the team. His contract has resulted in higher prices and little benefit for the fans. I don’t think the fans are frustrated with this team. They’re just not good. They are trying. They are hustling. They are just not good. They weren’t supposed to be good. However, the fans know that they are stuck with this guy until the contract is filled because nobody wants him. That’s frustrating. If he was putting up the numbers he claimed he would in contract negotiations, the Cubs wouldn’t have any problems finding a suitor. As it is, we have a slightly above average offensive player (probably average or worse for an outfielder) who can’t play defense and is sucking up a huge chunk of money. He’s going to be the lightning rod for the fans’ frustration. Run to 1st base. Run hard out of the box even if you think you’ve hit a homer. Nobody ever booed Pete Rose for not hustling. It’s easy.

    • thesixersbench - Jun 18, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Well said.

  5. mangothefruit - Jun 17, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    “He has a weak 110+ OPS ever since.”

    Soriano has always hit like that. He had a 114 OPS+ with the Yankees. His career OPS+ when he joined the Cubs was 115. They knew who they were getting, which makes that contract so terrible.

  6. hoopmatch - Jun 17, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    If Cubs fans want to boo someone about Soriano, they should go find Jim Hendry and boo him. Soriano himself has actually been a good, hard-working player, albeit not achieving spectacular results.

  7. sabatimus - Jun 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    I don’t care about the video of one play. What I care about is the HUGE salary for an average player at best. He is about 5 years removed from justifying that salary. Of course, it’s not his fault the Cubs paid him that ridiculous sum over that ridiculous period of time. But he is definitely an ABYSMAL outfielder; in the AL he’d be a DH only. His positioning, his reading of fly balls are both total crap.

  8. sabatimus - Jun 17, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    And by the way Alfonso, you say you don’t know what the fans want? They want you to RUN HARD TO FIRST ON EVERY PLAY. That’s basic Little League, for crying out loud.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 17, 2012 at 3:37 PM

      I never played LL, but in Jr. High they drilled into us: If you hit the ball, always run hard, as you never know what the fielders will do. Simple.

      • sabatimus - Jun 17, 2012 at 3:52 PM

        Exactly. The other day Bryce Harper hit a ball he thought was going into the stands, so he doodled his way down the first base line…only to discover the ball got caught, on a difficult play, by the left fielder (Daniel Nava, I think). That ball could easily have been dropped, and if it had been Harper could’ve been standing on 2nd base instead of looking like a moron at first. It didn’t wind up biting him in the butt this time around, but he better take note of what just happened.

  9. exibitsman - Jun 17, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    They need to trade him back to yankees asap.!!!!!!!!!

  10. dietch1 - Jun 17, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Alf has earned the reputation of loafing and not running out hits. He no longer gets the benefit of the doubt.

  11. jwbiii - Jun 17, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Pretty much the only time you don’t run hard to first is when you hit a bloop into a triangle and there’s a runner on first.

  12. dickclydesdale - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Fonz might be to comfortable because the Cubs manager dale swame is a laid back guy that projects negativly on the players to not try hard. If they had a real leader he would remind the players every single day to play hard.

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