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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sun-Times: Wittenmyer: If Cubs were decent, Alfonso Soriano would likely be an MVP candidate

You don’t often see an organization try to boost their player’s trade value in September. Plus:

Soriano, though, plays without regrets, not even for turning down the Giants deal.

Reminded that might have put him into position to challenge for the MVP, he stuck by his rationale in July and August.

‘‘Maybe,’’ he said. ‘‘I might feel comfortable with the team if I go, but I want to feel comfortable with the city. I don’t care about the [challenges of] the ballpark. It’s more the city. I don’t like the city of San Francisco. So thank God we only go one time a year.’’’

 

I Fought Vance Law and Vance Law Won Posted: September 11, 2012 at 06:53 AM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

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   1. Cooper Nielson Posted: September 11, 2012 at 07:22 AM (#4232303)
If Alfonso Soriano were more of an MVP candidate, the Cubs would likely be decenter.
   2. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 11, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4232307)
Stupid Cubs, quit holding Soriano back!
   3. just plain joe Posted: September 11, 2012 at 08:24 AM (#4232321)
I thought that all visiting players liked San Francisco, shows what I know.
   4. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 11, 2012 at 08:31 AM (#4232327)
I thought that all visiting players liked San Francisco, shows what I know.

In a previous article Soriano talks about not liking the weather because it's bad for his knees. Ironically, this time of year the weather in SF gets more and more pleasant going into October, though I guess October baseball doesn't matter much to Soriano.
   5. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: September 11, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4232339)
I guess October baseball doesn't matter much to Soriano


It's just an abstraction to him, a kind of unfounded rumor.
   6. zonk Posted: September 11, 2012 at 08:51 AM (#4232341)
This was a fine dead cat bounce by Soriano, but come on -- he's 7th in HRs, 4th in RBI, and tied for 10th in XBH, but those are his only appearances on the leaderboards. He's 30th in OPS+, 80th in oWAR.

All he's really done is make the idea of someone legitimately looking to acquire him sound non-ludicrous.

Two more years... two more years...
   7. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 11, 2012 at 08:53 AM (#4232342)
It's just an abstraction to him, a kind of unfounded rumor.

And he used to be a True Yankee! Or was he a fake Yankee. BaseballRef needs to keep track of that for us.
   8. Brian C Posted: September 11, 2012 at 09:13 AM (#4232355)
This was a fine dead cat bounce by Soriano, but come on -- he's 7th in HRs, 4th in RBI, and tied for 10th in XBH, but those are his only appearances on the leaderboards. He's 30th in OPS+, 80th in oWAR.

Plus, he's fourth in bWAR on his own crappy team.
   9. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 11, 2012 at 09:31 AM (#4232376)
Thanks, Sun Times. I needed a laugh this morning.
   10. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 11, 2012 at 09:36 AM (#4232384)
I'm tempted to read the comments to this article, if there are any. Ah hell, let's see...

edit: No comments. Probably for the best.
   11. AROM Posted: September 11, 2012 at 09:43 AM (#4232392)
I checked the numbers to see if Soriano was having a better season than I thought he was. And he is - 28 homers and 94 RBI are nice numbers. But he's a left fielder with a .314 OBP with 17 GIDP. He's probably not even in the top 50. I guess this writer was on a deadline and couldn't come up with anything real to write about?
   12. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: September 11, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4232393)
I checked the numbers to see if Soriano was having a better season than I thought he was. And he is - 28 homers and 94 RBI are nice numbers. But he's a left fielder with a .314 OBP with 17 GIDP. He's probably not even in the top 50. I guess this writer was on a deadline and couldn't come up with anything real to write about?

All I know is Soriano saved Brian Sabean from himself on this one. Whew! San Francisco has never been more happy to be cold and foggy.
   13. BDC Posted: September 11, 2012 at 09:53 AM (#4232407)
a left fielder with a .314 OBP with 17 GIDP

Yes, you really don't have to go far into esoteric statistics to exclude Soriano from the MVP race. He is batting .258 in a .254 league and has 58 Runs Scored. His power makes him useful enough, but there's a whole bunch of teams for whom he wouldn't have been an upgrade in LF this year. (I'm always glad when my team is one of them: I wouldn't trade David Murphy's season for Alfonso Soriano's.)
   14. TomH Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:41 AM (#4232481)
"he might have been in the National League MVP conversation if the Cubs had played even as well this year as, say, the Pittsburgh Pirates, or maybe if he’d accepted that trade to the San Francisco Giants."
--
the article has a point here. Not syaing Soriano is anywhere near the best player in the league, but the narrative if he had gone early or mid-season to SF ..... can anyone say "Shannon Stewart"???
   15. McCoy Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4232502)
I'm not sure how a typical Alfonso Soriano season can be classified as a dead cat bounce.

   16. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4232598)
I'm not sure how a typical Alfonso Soriano season can be classified as a dead cat bounce.


He's matching 2010 eerily well:

2010 -- 258/322/496
2012 -- 258/314/496
   17. Bob Tufts Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:05 PM (#4232611)
And the people that have the final NL MVP conversation are folks like the one that wrote this article. To choose Soriano/MVP as a topic, we must be approaching the end of the internet.

And as a cat owner (pardon me - animal companions), I object to the use of the "dead cat bounce" phrase.
   18. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: September 11, 2012 at 12:36 PM (#4232658)
Is the Soriano contract really holding the Cubs back at this point? They're a rich team. He can't really be preventing them from doing anything they really want to do. Is it just that the aesthetics of having Soriano on the team are so bad?
   19. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 11, 2012 at 01:07 PM (#4232712)
Soriano's 2012 season is sort of a poor man's version of Andre Dawson's 1987 MVP year.
   20. stanmvp48 Posted: September 11, 2012 at 01:15 PM (#4232723)
About to say the same thing, 19. Dawson scored 41 runs if I remember correctly other than homers. AS has 30 in the 504 plate appearances that he didn't homer. S----y hitters behind him, to be sure, but mainly a lousy OBA.
   21. McCoy Posted: September 11, 2012 at 01:35 PM (#4232750)
Welington Castillo is having a nice year and it is good to see the Cubs getting decent catchers for awhile now.
   22. I Fought Vance Law and Vance Law Won Posted: September 11, 2012 at 01:43 PM (#4232759)
I can see him legitmately worrying about weather and what it would do to his knees if he played half his games there, I guess, but if that's it, the "thank God we only go one time a year" seems strange.
   23. zenbitz Posted: September 11, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4232771)
Sadly, Soriano is a lock to outperform the Giants' current LF situation. I mean, ignoring contract issues.
   24. jingoist Posted: September 11, 2012 at 02:04 PM (#4232784)
I would usually chalk this article up to the old chesnut; "it must be a slow day in the news departemnt".
But no; the teachers strike is raging in ChiTown!
Must be that the sportswriter are enthused after the cubbies sweep of the Pirates and are looking for rays of sunlight in an otherwise cloudy forecast.
Soriano will not make the top 10 or even top 15 names come MVP voting time unless the Cubs, with him leading the way, sweep their remaining 20+ games.
   25. Steve Treder Posted: September 11, 2012 at 02:10 PM (#4232792)
Sadly, Soriano is a lock to outperform the Giants' current LF situation. I mean, ignoring contract issues.

Word.

   26. Dag Nabbit: secretary of the World Banana Forum Posted: September 11, 2012 at 02:12 PM (#4232797)
I would usually chalk this article up to the old chesnut; "it must be a slow day in the news departemnt".
But no; the teachers strike is raging in ChiTown!


That really isn't a topic for the sportswriters, though.
   27. zonk Posted: September 11, 2012 at 02:13 PM (#4232800)
Is the Soriano contract really holding the Cubs back at this point? They're a rich team. He can't really be preventing them from doing anything they really want to do. Is it just that the aesthetics of having Soriano on the team are so bad?


Not at this point -- with two years left after this one and no better options in LF anyway, he's not really a problem anymore. A couple months into next year and I think the Cubs can legitimately consider just cutting him loose and eating the rest of the deal if something better comes along... but there's really nothing better on the horizon. I think LaHair's last hit was in June and Dave Sappelt, last night notwithstanding, isn't an answer to a question anyone asked.

The Iowa OF beyond Brett Jackson is nothing but organizational fodder (Ty Wright/Jim Adducci). Szczur struggled mightily at Tennessee, so he's not a candidate for 2013. Michael Burgess and Jae Hoon Ha barely count as fringe interesting (I might be underselling Ha a bit), but neither are particularly pounding at the door anyway.

Someone has to play LF next year and Soriano is actually the most logical choice in the entire organization, even if he was only earning the MLB minimum.
   28. Walt Davis Posted: September 11, 2012 at 05:13 PM (#4233000)
It's about damn time somebody picked up my MVP chant!

In, uhhh, fairness to the idea, he has had a lot of big hits this year ... well, to the extent that a 55-86 team can have big hits. Obviously everybody's numbers look good in wins but 326/392/652 is a nice, fun line. He's on a horrible team that is last in the league in OBP (300 team OBP) and he's closing in on 100 RBI. He's got nearly 20% of the team's RBI. 285/351/584 with men on -- he's been a fun hitter this year.

Maybe some of you guys have forgotten what it's like to root for a shitty team -- and Shooty I know you haven't seen a 100-RBI season in about a decade -- but you take your fun where you can find it and Soriano has delivered a lot of fun for an average LF. And he's been especially fun given we all thought he was gonna be the most miserable part of this season.

   29. SouthSideRyan Posted: September 11, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4233048)
The fun part about Soriano's season is how awful he was before switching to a lighter bat in early May. Since then he has an OPS of 864. He didn't hit his first HR until May 15th!
   30. SteveM. Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4233229)
The Cubs have cut so much payroll for next season there would seem to be financial reason to trade Soriano. Now given that the Cubs would finish last except for the Astros doing their best reincarnation of the 1962 Mets, you could also argue the Cubs, destined for last since the Astros are moving to AL, might as well trade him.
   31. base ball chick Posted: September 11, 2012 at 10:51 PM (#4233271)
i don't get the cub fan obsession with getting rid of soriano - might could someone explain why? it's not like he's preventing them from winning.

sounds like the astros obsession with getting rid of carlos lee - it's not like they were gonna replace him with anyone who could hit as well and he had pretty much no trade value left. and there is no reason other than crane's greed for having a 25 million payroll
   32. zonk Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM (#4233283)
i don't get the cub fan obsession with getting rid of soriano - might could someone explain why? it's not like he's preventing them from winning.

sounds like the astros obsession with getting rid of carlos lee - it's not like they were gonna replace him with anyone who could hit as well and he had pretty much no trade value left. and there is no reason other than crane's greed for having a 25 million payrol


Well, I think a big part of it was emotional -- back before Zambrano began experimenting in self-immolation, Derek Lee got old, and Carlos Marmol began sucking -- Soriano was supposed to be the missing piece. And really, if Manny doesn't arrive in LA in 2008, they certainly had a good shot.

Now, he's just a relic of coming up short. Having him off the roster would just be a big part of moving on.

   33. Sleepy supports unauthorized rambling Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:04 PM (#4233285)
In, uhhh, fairness to the idea, he has had a lot of big hits this year ... well, to the extent that a 55-86 team can have big hits.


In terms of WPA, he's having his best season with the Cubs, and the third-best of his career. With a good shot of catching his 2002 season.
   34. McCoy Posted: September 11, 2012 at 11:12 PM (#4233293)
Everybody in Cubdom knew Soriano's contract was too long and would be an albatross around the Cubs' neck long before it was up. We just hoped the Cubs would do something before that happened. What we didn't think would happen is that Alfonso Soriano would turn into an old man almost the second after he signed the contract. He's never really lived up to the hype and though at this point his contract isn't an impediment it would have been if the Cubs didn't do a complete rebuild.

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