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Baseball: Alfonso Soriano refuses to play.

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posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 04:18 PM
I just caught a little of this fiasco on the radio today and was stunned, apparently Soriano was told that his new position on the Nationals will be left field, he didn't like it so he refused to take the field. I have mixed emotions on this, on his behalf the Nats should have told him when he signed that they wanted him to play left field. In the Nats defense, he's a terrible 2nd baseman, since 2001 he has 107 or so errors at 2nd, the next highest is 59. What ever happened to players that did it for the team two examples in recent history would be Chipper Jones and John Smoltz. When the Braves wanted to put Smoltz in as a closer he didn't want to do it, but he did and was very succesfull, then when they wanted to bring him back as a starter he didn't want to switch again because of the success he'd been having as a reliever. When Chipper was moved to the outfield he hated it, and wasn't all that great but he did it because his manager asked. Other notable players that moved postions to help the team, Pete Rose, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, and i believe Mickey Mantle, oh did i mention Babe Ruth who was arguably one of the better pitchers of his day? I say come on Sorriano get to the outfield and catch some fly balls, you still get to bat, which is just about all that you can do anyway.

posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 05:57 PM
Babe Ruth was not "arguably one of the better pitchers of his day." In his four years as a starter, Ruth won more games--and had a lower E.R.A.--than every other starter in the A.L. except Walter Johnson. And whereas Johnson pitched in titanic Griffith Stadium, a pitcher's dream park, Ruth pitched in Fenway... not exactly a lefty's ideal park. Oh, yeah, and Ruth routinely beat Johnson when they faced each other.

With all due respect to the not-yet-corrupted Eddie Cicotte, Babe Ruth was the best lefty in the A.L. by the end of that four-year run. His record-setting run of consecutive shutout innings in World Series play (set in 1916 and 1918), a record which stood for nearly half a century, was no fluke.


posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 06:13 PM
And another thing:

What the hell were they thinking of, signing Soriano in the first place? He's a HORRIBLE player. For his career, not just at 2B, but at all positions he's ever played, he has committed over 50% more errors than the average player at those positions. Over 50%!!! That's abominable.

And as a hitter? He has 157 walks and 676 strikeouts, which is just pathetic, one of the worst ratios I've seen. As a result, he has a .320 ON-BASE average, which, well, stinks. I know he hits 1 HR every 20 at bats, but no way is that feature worth putting up with the rest.

His best use, if you could spare the spot of the bench, is as a pinch runner. He has an outstanding career stolen base percentage of 79%, and last year he had a terrific 30 steals to 2 caught stealings.

But really: Is 1 HR every 20 AB's, and a great steals ratio on the rare occasions he singles, worth putting up with a guy who swings at everything, strikes out a ton, and is one of the worst fielders in the history of baseball? And now, on top of everything else, we learn this atrocious fielder thinks he should dictate where he plays!!!

Yo, Alfonso! You should be glad they're paying you one red cent, given your refusal to: (1) learn to swing only at strikes; and (2) learn to field like something more than a bad Little Leaguer.

When this guy was with the Yankees, and hit a good number of HR's, he somehow became a star. He stunk then, he stinks now and he always will, until he corrects the two above-noted problems, or at least corrects the first one and gets put at DH.


posted on Mar, 21 2006 @ 06:23 PM
I didn't know Ruth was that good, but now i do. I agree with you about Sorriano's swinging at anything. In baseball this day and age the homerun sells tickets so i see why a team would want him, but i couldn't justify paying a guy who can't field a grounder to second, to hit a homerun every twenty at bats.

Hey Washington, i'll play left field for 1/4 of what you're paying him, i can comit an error or two every game and not get on base.

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 12:06 PM
They ought to boot him off the team and sue him for every dime he's been paid. Ok, not realistic. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't like to see it happen.

Who are these guys? And what kind of a gutless knucklehead would allow them to even think they can get away with it?

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 07:10 PM
Well, YeahRight, I think the last question is a bit unfair. They appear to have set him straight pretty quickly. We're not privy to what was said, but he dropped his demand quickly, so my guess is the team's words to him were powerful and pretty unequivocal. Perhaps something about being fined $50,000 per day for as long as he persisted with his delusion of being an infielder, and the fine's rising to $150,000 per day come the start of the season.

I'm not a Braves fan--and until they fire Don Sutton, that's an understatement--but I do think the team came down hard on Soriano on this one, or it would have gone on much longer and there'd have been a lot more whining. Don't you think?

Now, as for your remarks about Soriano, I agree with their visceral spirit 100%. As I've repeatedly stated, I'm a criminal lawyer and not a contract lawyer, but I doubt they could void the contract over this. It would sure be great if they could, however. It would be letting Turner off the hook pretty lightly for his own monumental stupidity in getting this guy, but so what? The owners aren't always the bad guys, and this $&#@'s temerity in objecting to being removed from the infield--in the face of overwhelming statistical justification--is just ridiculous.

Now, for those of you old enough to remember Lonnie Smith, who, like Soriano, had plenty of foot speed: Will Soriano be as bad in LF as Smith was? Will he prove to be someone who cannot play ANY position acceptably, and whose 1 HR per 20 AB's, and great SB %, can only be had by an A.L. team willing to make a whining prima donna their D.H.? (And y'all can make up your own minds what "D.H." stands for.... :tum: )

posted on Mar, 22 2006 @ 07:14 PM
HEY!!!! Look at that!!! I'm now a "senior member!!!!"

And how appropriate. Come tomorrow, I will be 53, and that is not just another year older. It was the last birthday in the life of the man who was inarguably the greatest hero of American popular culture in the first half of the last century: BABE RUTH.

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 07:59 AM
Yeah, it probably was unfair. Stuff like that just reallyREALLY steams me.
And in a disproportionate way, since I really dont give a flying flop about the Braves, anyway. Toss some of these prima donnas out in the Real World and let 'em have a little taste of life. THEN see how bad playing outfield in MLB is.

Of course, we could apply this concept to ourselves. Every time I have the urge to choke the stuffing out of a business contact, I think, "Well, I could be in Darfur. Or Rwanda. Or any number of third-world hellholes. Or homeless. Or terminally ill. Lalala it's a beautiful day."

On another note, Happy Birthday:party-smiley-018:

posted on Mar, 23 2006 @ 02:31 PM
Thanks, Dude.

posted on Mar, 24 2006 @ 05:03 AM
Well, after 4 a.m., and ANOTHER bout of insomnia. But I just realized it was not Atlanta which was dumb enough to get Soriano. It was Washington, which tells you THIS much for SURE:

The decision was made by someone at the top of the team, NOT by Manager Frank Robinson.

I remember Frank Robinson as a player, and he can only be called GREAT. I've heard people mention him in the same breath with McCovey, and that's like the same idiots who mention Bonds in the same breath with McGwire. Frank Robinson, in his prime, would have been the best player in the N.L. at most points in NL history. OK, he had to compete with Mays and Aaron, and OK, he loses the comparison--at least, to Mays. It is NOT clear to me that through 1966, Aaron was the better player, though from that point on, it is.

But Robinson was a tremendous player. He took walks. He won a Triple Crown, and he didn't do it with the b.s. numbers Yaz did, in 1968. He was--and perhaps still is (I don't know)--the only player ever to win an MVP in both leagues. He retired with a staggering 586 HR's, and NONE was tainted by steroids or HGH.

rAnd here are the big things:

Frank Robinson was NOT blessed with anywhere near the natural talent of Mays, Mantle or Aaron. I mean, don't get me wrong: Robinson was a fine athlete, and the other three--well, at least Mays and Aaron--worked their @sses off to take advantages of their godgiven talents. But Robinson was relentless and was like Oscar Charleston, Tris Speaker and a couple other of the very few superior players in baseball history: He accomplished all of his staggering feats on about 30% talent and 70% attitude, hustle and relentless, burning intensity.

Anyone who saw him can tell you this is true. And anyone who wasn't around then, and who now opines that Clemente was the #2 RF in the NL, belongs in a lunatic bin.

Well, Robinson didn't change when he quit. He was explosive as the manager of the Indians in the mid-to-late 70's, and I can tell you from seeing him with the Giants in the early 80's, he was no less maniacal then. Like most phenomenal players (in most team sports) who become coaches, he perhaps expected more than some players could give, but then, he had surely produced more than he legitimately had to give.

And in 1982, he took a team full of nobodies, plus a RF named Jack Clark--who had a lot in common with Soriano--even more abominable fielding, as bad a RF as I've ever seen, and worse at 1B when the Cards got him, costing them the 1985 W.S., along with Denkinger's call. But Clark was a much better hitter than Soriano, AND he took balls.

Anyway, Robinson was relentless with those guys, and I was at "The Stick" one day when #5 starter, Jim Barr, was on the mound. Robinson came out to remove him real early--say, Inning #4 or #5. Barr was P.O.'ed and turned his back on Robinson to walk for the dugout, flipping the ball over his shoulder to Robinson, as he did so.

Big mistake. Robinson went nuts. He grabbed Barr HARD, spun him around and pulled him up to Robinson's face. And he then stood there for about 4 minutes, giving Barr the most obvious and public @ss-chewing I've seen in my nearly half-century as a baseball nut. Barr was about 30 and a pitcher; Robinson was about 46; Barr stood and took it, and that was a damn wise choice.

SOOOO, to get to my now-obvious point:

If what we've heard so far about Soriano is any kind of harbinger--and how could it be anything else--he is going to suffer about like Owens will in Dallas if he doesn't do a MAJOR reformation in his first year for Parcells. And for most of you, who aren't old enough to remember Robinson (who got arrested early in his career for carrying a concealed firearm, and got in a few dozen on-field fights, losing maybe one or two), I'd probably rather go one-on-one with Parcells than with the man with 586 the clean way.

Stay tuned. It could get VERY interesting on that team. Not least of all when Soriano starts swinging at one pitch after another which is 22 inches off the plate.

Frank Robinson, among many other stats, had:

(1) Almost 1,200 extra base hits, #8 all time;

(2) 1829 runs scored and 1812 runs batted in, both Top 20;

(3) #11 all-time in total bases;

(4) #4 all-time in HR's not tainted by HGH or steroids;

(5) Enough walks to give him a better lifetime on-base average than either Mays or Aaron, .389;

(6) At least 20 HR's in every one of his first 16 years except for 1968, the worst hitters' year perhaps ever, and certainly since well back into the Dead Ball Era. If Yaz had not had a great day on the final day of the year, the A.L. would have had no .300 hitter. Gibson had a 1.12 ERA; Drysdale--a hugely overrated pitcher who belongs in the Hall only slightly more than me--broke Walter Johnson's consecutive scoreless innings streak. THAT was what it took to take Frank out of his 16-year streak of 20 to 49 HRs every year;

(7) Robinson, playing as an EXACT contemporary of the defensively brilliant rightfielders Aaron, Clemente and Kaline, STILL had a fielding percentage which was 27.9% better than the average outfielder of that time. And he was about 4% ahead of all OF's, which includes CF's and LF's, on range. THIS from a guy who was 6'1" and 195;

(8) As part of his team-player, do-whatever-it-takes-to-win approach, Robinson is the #7 player all-time in being hit by pitches;


(9) He ranks #15 all-time in this state-of-the-art stat, Runs Created, despite the fact the A.L. was almost totally segregated until the early 60's and Robinson had to compete with FAR more naturally talented players: Mays, Campanella and Aaron, e.g.

This is a guy who had one of the all-time great baseball careers, and who had it by working his @ss off at all times. From what we know of Soriano's pitiful career stats, and his opening show conduct, and taking me at my word on what I just told y'all about Robinson's fire-and-brimstone personality.... How long do you think it will take for him to erupt all over Soriano, whether it's for repeatedly swinging at garbage, or for not hustling and at least TRYING his best in the field, or for his prima donna mouth and disruptive antics?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.



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