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Only if you believe B-Ref on his D.
I find that at moments like this our thinking members tend to put down the snark and the ridiculous high standards and they like to appreciate players for what they were. Soriano was one of the best 1,000 baseball players of all time, or something like that, and more than that: he had an unusual, high-profile career and he had unusual skills. He was a very good player and he's worth remembering.
He's going to be a Giant, isn't he?
It's like hating a player for being slow or having a bad arm.
Sabes might have some flaws, but so far picking up Alfonso Soriano isn't one of them.
Sorry, but I'll be just like every other fan I know who has his likes and dislikes that aren't solely based on a player's "objective" metrics. Sometimes these likes and dislikes are "objectively rational" (Ray's pet meme) and sometimes they aren't.
16 seasons, 27.1 WAR is almost the definition of mediocrity, at least for a player at Soriano's pay scale. Not to mention a postseason OPS of .562 with 53 K's in 174 postseason AB's. I'm sorry, but as a Yankee fan my lasting memory of him is that 2003 World Series, with those 89 strikeouts and 767 runners left on base.
In case you haven't figured it out by now, Walt, my reaction to Soriano is primarily visceral
Given that Cub fans have been loving mediocrity for the past 70 years, any love they might have for Soriano hardly surprises me, though the .343 and .143 postseason OPS numbers** that he put up as a Cuddly Cubbie surprises me even less. He was a Chevy ballplayer with a BMW contract.
This is a fanboy analysis of the player.
To which in Soriano's case I cheerfully plead guilty. What of it? That's part of why we all love the game.
For a thinking man's site, it seems strange to me that so many people here seem to discount those two basic points, and start gushing about decontextualized counting stats as if that were the whole story.
As a second baseman, he was a good hitter but a defensive liability. As a left fielder, his offense was nothing to write home about. For a thinking man's site, it seems strange to me that so many people here seem to discount those two basic points, and start gushing about decontextualized counting stats as if that were the whole story.
Sorry, but I'll be just like every other fan I know who has his likes and dislikes that aren't solely based on a player's "objective" metrics. Sometimes these likes and dislikes are "objectively rational" (Ray's pet meme) and sometimes they aren't. BFD.
Christ, IIRC it wasn't that long ago that you (snapper) and more than a few others around here were dumping on the most productive second baseman in Yankee history because you didn't like the way he ran out routine ground balls, so it's not as if you don't have any irrational tendencies yourself.
You don't like the way Robinson Cano doesn't run out routine grounders. I hated the way Soriano could never resist a sucker slider way off the plate. I loved Paulie's outbursts and Cano's knowing smirk, and never thought much of Ted Williams' indifference to anything but hitting. If you don't have similar "irrational" feelings like this about particular players, you're not a baseball fan, you're little more than a spreadsheet-studying robot.
Before 1999: "Shortstop who apparently plays defense like Ozzie Smith's big brother. As with any well-publicized foreign free agent, don't believe the hype. These guys have been a lot more Glenn Williams than Orlando Hernandez. He wasn't overmatched in the AFL; even if he's good, he's in the wrong organization."
Before 2000: "Soriano primed a hype machine that had already been set in motion by his two-homer performance in the Futures Game. While he’s a good athlete with power and speed, he’s not nearly the prospect Jimenez is. Soriano has some plate discipline issues, was a disaster at Triple-A and may end up somewhere other than shortstop, so you could say I’m not terribly excited about him."
Before 2001: "Alfonso Soriano has excellent power for a middle infielder and good physical skills. The erosion in his walk rate and strikeout-to-walk ratio is a concern, but there are some extenuating circumstances. Soriano has been jerked around by the Yankees, splitting time between shortstop and second base at Columbus, then moving to the majors for two weeks and doing on-the-job training at third base. It's not surprising that his offense regressed under those conditions... [Among Soriano, Jimenez, and Sojo] Soriano has the biggest gap between actual and perceived value, so trading him to help clear up the logjam is the best option."
Before 2002: Well, he's exciting to watch, has some amazing physical gifts, and his walk rate is improving. Soriano is overrated by most baseball fans and underrated by most statheads. He's learning to play second base as he goes, and some plate discipline did peek through a couple of times during the season. There's no reason a healthy Soriano can't be the best second baseman in the league. There's also no reason he can't be Carlos Baerga..."
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