Chicago Cubs broadcaster and generally beloved figure Bob Brenly has become increasingly outspoken about the team he covers in the last year or so. Previously critical of Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, Brenly really let it fly yesterday when discussing Soriano’s at-bat on Monday, wherein he stared down a ball instead of hustling out of the box.
Asked if he would’ve pulled Soriano if he were the Cubs’ manager, Brenly said: “I wouldn’t hesitate to do something like that. I think it sets a bad precedent to the team… and a bad message to the younger players.”
As for Soriano’s comment that the “important thing was I made a very good swing at the ball,” Brenly said: “That’s all true, but that’s a very selfish attitude to take. This is about winning ballgames. It’s not about how I can pile up my numbers or how cool I look when I hit a ball hard.”
Brenly added that “for some reason, (Soriano) doesn’t totally grasp that theory.”
Soriano said Tuesday he heard about the comments from Brenly, but shrugged them off.
“I don’t listen to the radio, I don’t read the papers, so whatever they say, it means nothing to me,” he said. “Maybe to some other guys it means something, but it doesn’t mean anything to me.”
Asked about the criticism that he was being “selfish,” Soriano said he didn’t care.
“You know what? I don’t pay attention because I know that’s not me,” he said. “If he says something that I know would bother me, I would talk to him. But I know that’s not me, so that means nothing to me. I’m not selfish. I’m working hard. I try to win. So if he says something different that (bothers me) than I can talk to him. But in my heart, to me, and to every one of these guys, if you ask that question, they’ll say I’m totally different than what he says. So that means nothing to me.” Chicago Breaking Sports.
It sounds like this will not become a Steve Stone-like distraction for the Cubs, so that’s good. For his part, Soriano didn’t do much to help his cause with this ridiculous assessment of his hustle:
Soriano was summoned into Piniella’s office for a pre-game meeting.
“He called me because some media asked the question, ‘Why didn’t I run?’” Soriano said. “But I explained to him why. I could’ve made third, but I don’t want to make the second out at third either.”
(1) Blaming the media – bad idea. We’ve danced that dance before.
(2) Traditionally, risking the second out – as opposed to the first or third out – at third base is considered a good risk, so that explanation makes no sense.
(3) The issue was never that Soriano slowed up so he wouldn’t make an out. The issue was that Soriano didn’t start out of the box. Once again, the explanation is ridiculous.