I predicted that AS was going to be a disaster for the Cubs, but even I couldn’t have guessed how badly he would start out. He better do SOMETHING pretty soon, cause the papers, the fans, and the manager are starting to notice. Other players have stepped up, but unfortunately, this is not the guy who responds positively to pressure. And of course his fielding is more like tripping through the tulips. Why in the world the Cubs decided to bat him leadoff and play center? I can only assume that Douglas Feith was involved in those decisions.
On the other hand, the Brewers are sending out Capuano on the mound today against the Cubs, not exactly a Cy Young award nominee. AS can’t hit good pitchers, but this is the kind of guy AS feasts on. If he can tag one, it’ll buy him another week before the boobirds start in on him. If he screws the pooch today, the whispering campaign will begin in earnest.
UPDATE: AS went a double for 5, no walks, one run scored, from the leadoff slot. Still no RBIs. Cubs got smeared.
I know it’s an admission of their huge mistake, but the Cubs should get real; AS should be playing left field and batting 5th or 6th, where his big strikeout-to-walk ratio won’t hurt so much. That’s where he belongs. Give Pinella another week or ten days; he said something about “when Soriano gets going..” Hey, Lou, this is Alfonso; he has his swing, and it sucks.
It’s just not that hard to pitch to AS. In baseball parlance: its just “by the book.” That means up and in, then down and away. He can’t hit either location. His swing is exactly like A-Rod’s except that his hands are lower, he loops more and uppercuts more, and that is why his weaknesses are similar to A-Rod’s, but worse. In the American League, there just aren’t that many pitchers who will buzz inside. In the National League, that’s par for the course. If you want to see the opposite of AF’s swing, watch Michael Young, or Manny Ramirez: hands high, no loop, some uppercut at times but usually not.
Furthermore, AS is not coachable. The Rangers had a hitting instructor named Rudy Jaramillo, the best in the business. Couldn’t do a thing with AS.
I don’t mean to bag on AS; he is what he is, God bless him. My gripe is that the Cubs didn’t and still won’t recognize what he is. I mean, don’t they read the papers, didn’t they watch him play? That’s what management is paid to do. And crappy management is why the Cubs are what they are. No serious baseball person would build a team around Alfonso Soriano. Really. And whoever did it should get booted, cause the Cubs otherwise have a decent team. Think where they could be if they had used that money to get another free agent starter… I don’t know that they could beat the Mets but they could beat everybody else in the NL, conceivably.
UPDATE: USA Today on Monday points out that AS has no home runs or stolen bases, either.