Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jay Mariotti Talks About Alfonso Soriano, Can't Research Anything, Etc.

By popular demand, I'm not linking Mariotti anymore to keep his numbers down.

Consider it another example of a nervous front office pampering a one-dimensional, $136 million china doll

For those of you who are new to baseball, Alfonso Soriano is one-dimensional. He is a straight line with no width or depth. This makes him look very funny when he tries to swing 3-dimensional baseball bats and catch 3-dimensional baseballs with 3-dimensional baseball gloves.

In 150 ABs.....

11 HR
9 2B
.273 Avg
3 SB, 0 CS, has only grounded into 1 DP.
Selfish Asshole Index: 64 (on a scale of 1-33)
Only Real Deficiency: Walks

I'm not sure where people get off saying Soriano's only good at one thing. He's clearly decent, if unspectacular at several things.

who sometimes plays defense like an underage reveler stumbling down Division Street -- but does do a cute, little bunny hop while trying.

Defensive stats are pretty sketchy, yes, but metrics don't seem to think Soriano is dismal out there in left. BP has him at +5 FRAA. The Hardball Times has him 8th out of 11 eligible left fielders in Zone Rating. I'm not trying to say that he's good, but abuse like this is unjustified.

Wait....unjustified abuse from Jay? Nah....

As I wrote 10 days ago when Cubdom was gushing over him, Soriano will lead you to the highest highs and then, inevitably, raise your blood pressure and break your heart.

There is little to no proof that a consistent player is more valuable than an inconsistent player that finishes with the same rate and counting stats at the end of the season.

Just because he hit seven home runs in a week didn't mean he wouldn't follow up by, oh, losing a ball in the sun and blowing a game in Pittsburgh.

It sounds like Jay Mariotti would trade having a guy hit 7 HR in a week for not dropping ONE POP FLY.

Which came not long after he botched two fly balls in St. Louis and other flubs. No one doubts that his offensive skills, when he's healthy, remain unique in the sport's history.

Yeah. I can't think of any players in baseball history who have a similar offensive skillset to Alfonso Soriano.

Soriano isn't Ichiro or anything, Jay. He's hardly a revolutionary hitter. You think he's the first low-OBP slugger in history with good speed?

I wonder if general manager Jim Hendry, in his zeal to outbid teams for Soriano, did enough research. Was Hendry so wowed by his 2006 season of 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases that he ignored the weird mojo that always has accompanied Soriano?

Things that Hendry ignored when he signed Soriano:

1) $136 million dollars is superstar money.
2) Alfonso Soriano is not a superstar.
3) Alfonso Soriano cannot draw walks.
4) Alfonso Soriano's 31-year-old-ness.
5) Alfonso Soriano's 38-year-old-ness in the last year of the contract.

Things that are not relevant, and should never be talked about, lest one sound like he comes from the species sporticus ignoramus.

1) Weird mojo that always has accompanied Soriano.

He always has been a man without a real position, which qualifies him as an ideal designated hitter.

Soriano is a passable corner outfielder, and could certainly play first base if he had to. A player with a .319 OBP is not an ideal designated hitter. Why not just fucking hire this guy to designated hit instead? He's cheaper.

But the National League, last I looked, has no DH,

Bad news, Jay. The NL rules have changed since you last looked. There are now 3 DHs in the lineup, as well as a designated fielder (abbreviated "RO" in the lineup, for "Rey Ordonez").

It isn't that simple, not when Cubdom has experienced well-chronicled demons through the years and can spot another potential saboteur when it sees one. Soriano was a prime goat last October in the Arizona sweep, and if the Cubs fall short for the 100th straight season, he probably will be faulted again.

Alfonso Soriano, September 2007: .320/.354/.754

Good luck retroactively making the playoffs without that, Chicago Cubs.


Bengoodfella said...

God, Mariotti is a fucking idiot. I wish Soriano's weird mojo played for my favorite baseball team. How the hell does Soriano get railed by Mariotti but he has no problem with Ryan Theroit being in the everyday lineup? If you had not already done so, I would start a blog requesting he gets fired.

I don't like him or his writing and he should be shot ASAP.

Anonymous said...

What's Soriano's batting average since July of '06?

Jeff said...

Wow, just wow.

"Just because he hit seven home runs in a week didn't mean he wouldn't follow up by, oh, losing a ball in the sun and blowing a game in Pittsburgh."

I'll nominate that for Reader Participation Friday right now.

"Just because Top Salesperson Brian came in at 500% of quota last quarter it didn't mean he wouldn't follow up by, oh, being 10minutes late for a staff meeting."

See, 7 homeruns is a lot in one week.

Bengoodfella said...

My only question is this: What if Soriano got traded to the White Sox and played for Ozzie Guillen? What would Mariotti's reaction at that point be I wonder. We would probably be treated to two columns a day at that point.

"Just because Josh Hamilton leads the American League in all three major hitting categories does not mean he won't follow it up by bringing a blow up doll to the club house. That hurt team morale worse than any homerun has hurt an opposing team." That is a hypothetical sentence I can see Mariotti writing.

pnoles said...

Larry, the people have spoken.....this would make for a good reader extra participation Friday.

Anonymous said...

After reading his attacks on Soriano, here's a section of a column from June 4th. Following a quote from Soriano, Moronotti said

"That's some rally cry for a guy who has been booed by the fans and ripped here. Remember his class the next time you want to taunt him in left field."