Matt Garza Has Alfonso Soriano’s Back and Other Bullets

I know I talk about wanting the Cubs to have more night games, but I’ll confess: multiple night games in a row, combined with early-morning daughter duties, makes for a mighty tired Brett. Maybe night games are to me as day games are to the Cubs. It has a cumulative effect…

  • Matt Garza is the latest Cub to vigorously defend Alfonso Soriano. “I get pissed off when the fans treat him the way they do,” Garza said, according to the Tribune. “That’s ridiculous. The guy is doing everything he can. He’s hit 20 home runs every season …. He deserves a lot more respect from the fans than what he’s getting …. When you give somebody the money they give him, fans expect him to be 28 forever. I’m sorry, but time catches up, and for this guy to still be doing what he does, it’s amazing. Not a lot of guys his age can keep doing what he does, and the very few that do it, they’re well-respected, and this guy catches grief.” Do you really think Garza would be saying these things so aggressively – and in criticism of the very fans for whom he plays – if it wasn’t true?
  • Theo Epstein also defended Soriano, and talked about how hard he’s been working this year (though, what would you expect Epstein to say?). I’m quite ready to put Soriano-Didn’t-Run-Gate to bed.
  • Geovany Soto feels like he was ready to return to the bigs yesterday, after a long stretch on the DL following minor knee surgery. He didn’t hit particularly well during his rehab stint (3 for 16), but he was able to go the distance in games, and that’s all the Cubs were looking for. As long as he starts hitting now, we can all be happy.
  • A nice writeup on Javier Baez’s progress and promotion schedule, featuring thoughts on timing from Farm Director Oneri Fleita.
  • Jim Callis believes that, if Jorge Soler had been in the 2012 Draft, the Cubs would have taken him over Albert Almora. I think if you asked a few other pundits, you might get a mix of answers. The two are that close in terms of raw talent, and overall value. Soler’s ceiling is probably a bit higher, but Almora is probably a bit more likely to become a successful Major Leaguer. Both are obviously a long way off, and the Cubs haven’t even yet signed Almora (but they will).
  • I wrote yesterday about Arizona State’s President calling the Cubs “not people of their word,” and generally grousing to Mesa Mayor Scott Smith about the Cubs being unfair in their negotiations with ASU about the school’s use of the Cubs’ new Spring Training facility (in emails that somehow found their way into the press). I was suspicious about the motives for the article, and now I’m even more suspicious: suddenly, another article comes out, noting that ASU could turn to soon-to-be-vacated Municipal Stadium (which the Oakland A’s will be leaving in favor of Hohokam Stadium when the Cubs leave it) if their negotiations with the Cubs continue to go South. How good for ASU that they suddenly have leverage, and the Arizona media is making sure to report that fact. Talk about your good timing and good luck, eh?

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

144 responses to “Matt Garza Has Alfonso Soriano’s Back and Other Bullets”

  1. berselius

    Just as long as Matt Garza doesn’t have Soriano’s knees, I’m okay.

    1. louis

      He has bee’s knees and cat’s pajamas

  2. hansman1982

    Soriano-Didn’t-Run-Gate is officially dead when Brenly defends the action…

    1. Carew

      Really Brenly defended it? Right on!

  3. BD

    Last night Starlin hit a liner right at Beckham, and he took a step and then hesitated, thinking it would be caught. It got through, and Castro was on his way- but nobody has even mentioned that he stopped!

    EVERY player does that when they see their liner going straight at an infielder- I know I’ve done it several times.

    As much as I want to see Soriano in a different uniform, I respect the man and his effort. Everyone who doesn’t, or wants to keep booing, might as well move their fandom to the South Side or St. Louis.

    1. ThereWillBeCubs

      Take public opinion with a grain of salt

    2. Patrick W.

      Len and Bob both mentioned it and played a slow motion replay of it as a defense of Soriano. There is nothing to not like about Soriano as a straight up dude.

    3. Dave

      Wether you agree with it or not if fans want to boo they can boo.
      Who are you to say who should or shouldn’t be a Cub fan. We all handle our fandom in a different way and just because you don’t agree does not make you any better or deserving of being a Cub fan.

      1. Cooper R

        Completely disagree. Looking back, I’m sure all those fans are somewhat ashamed of booing Bartman and essentially ruining his life. I have always thought it is ridiculous to boo your own team.

  4. Oswego chris

    Simply put, the contract is not his fault…he has flaws aplenty…but he is what he is, and it is not his fault that Hendry or McDonough or whoever made this horrific signing…

    Boo them…booing players is stupid…

    1. King Jeff

      Unless it’s AJ Pierzynski or MIlton Bradley, right? Then we can boo all we want regardless of circumstance, right?

      1. Bails17

        I hate AJ Pierzynski…only player to ever hit 2 HRs off me in one game. True story.

        1. MrRobbins

          That’s what you get for not putting a fast ball in his ear hole after the first one!

          1. Bails17

            Agreed

        2. Chaz Mulherin

          In the Orlando area?

      2. MichiganGoat

        Or anyone in a Cardinal uniform

      3. DocPeterWimsey

        Booing opposing players is a bit different, or it usually is.  Yankee players often comment about how all of the booing motivates them.

        Being booed by the home fans is a very different thing.  However, as AJ is a ChiSox, that’s not something about which he’ll ever have to worry unless he wears really powerful hearing aids….

  5. Edwin

    When Matt Garza starts breaking down WAR value of contracts and how the early years’ surplus is supposed to offset the back end of the deal, I’ll be super impressed.

  6. Jeremy

    I liked the Baez article. Interesting strategy to take with him. I liked what Baez had to say as well. The kid already sounds like a pro.

    1. Spriggs

      Yes, nice article on Baez. With Peoria off until Friday, I really needed a Baez fix to tide me over too.

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      Well, he is getting paid, you know….

  7. hansman1982

    “You’re talking about a young man from the state of Florida. It’s real cold in Peoria.”

    Goes to show you there is more to advancing prospects than stats.

  8. Mike

    “Do you really think Garza would be saying these things so aggressively – and in criticism of the very fans for whom he plays – if it wasn’t true?”

    Sure he would. Because he’s his teammate. Teammates have defended each other from criticism, legitimate or not, since basically the inception of team sports.

    And FWIW, I thought the criticism of Soriano for not running out the liner was completely overblown and unwarranted.

  9. Ted

    Of course the contracts not Soriano’s fault, but still if he hadn’t posted that 0 WAR ca. 2009 I’d be a lot happier with him.

    1. Jack Weiland

      This seems weird to me. Every time a guy has a down year do you just forget the good he’s done? How about 2007 when he posted a fantastic 7 WAR and was worth way more than he was getting paid?

      Or even this year, with people dumping all over him for the past couple of seasons, he’s on pace to put up a very respectable 3-4 WAR. I don’t get it. The guy is a good player, very much in the decline phase, that the Cubs signed to a monster deal when they had a window to win in the middle of the 2000s. It didn’t work out, and now the club is suffering for it, but he’s not to blame for that.

      1. Drew7

        Yeah…that seems pretty weak to me. The guy was worth way more than he was paid the 2 years before that, and the guy probably should have been shut down well before August that year, but pushed until he couldnt go anymore. It amazes me how much crap a guy, on the downside of his career, can be on pace for (as Jack notes) a 3-4 WAR season and posting a 117 OPS+ (best since ’08), and still get treated like a dog.

        1. Jack Weiland

          I’ve always found Cubs’ fans anger over the Soriano deal a bit strange, and I’ve always been fine with it. Even now. Obviously right now his contract isn’t helping them win games (and on the contrary, is hurting their ability to do so) but you can’t look at it in a vacuum. When they signed him they had a window to compete, to try to win the World Series. So they signed a then-elite player to a monster deal which made two things obvious:

          1 – The Cubs were going to be a better team in the short run, and had improved their chance at winning a WS. And …
          2- They were going to get hammered on the back end of the deal.

          That’s the price of acquiring big time talent in free agency. You take the bad with the good. In this case the good didn’t pan out as everyone had hoped, so all we can focus on and remember seems to be the bad.

          And the bad really is not THAT bad. 3-4 WAR this season would be really solid. He’s had two very bad seasons as a Cub, and two good seasons, and one great season. He’s on pace for another good season. He is also, by all accounts, playing with considerable pain in his knees. So he doesn’t run out a play and all of the above gets tossed aside? Insane.

          1. Brent

            “So they signed a then-elite player to a monster deal which made two things obvious: 1 – The Cubs were going to be a better team in the short run, and had improved their chance at winning a WS.”

            Ok, let’s check Soriano’s post-season stats with the Cubs.
            2007: 2 for 14, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K; Cubs = 0 wins
            2008: 1 for 14, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K; Cubs = 0 wins

            Regardless of what he did in the regular season that year and helping the Cubs get to the playoffs, he definitely did not improve their chances at winning a WS with those awful 6 postseason games.

            And as far as Soriano loafing out of the box, had HE NOT DONE THIS BEFORE and promised “it will never happen again”, I’m sure we’d all have a little more sympathy. See: http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=280813215

            I apologize for going “all caps” there.

            1. Jack Weiland

              #1 – 14 at bats is a terribly small sample size to judge a player. The Cubs bats all shat the bed in both of those series. So be it. Luck wasn’t on our side.

              #2 – In general I think “loafing out of the box” is really overrated and nitpicky. I don’t really care if they do it, or have done it in the past. You can find instances of nearly every Major League player ever where they didn’t bolt right out of the box.

              I stand by my statement that he’s had two very bad seasons as a Cub, two good ones, and one great one. He’s working on a third good one as we speak. That’s how I choose to view his time in Chicago, not by overblown sentiments that some fans love to bloviate about because it provides a convenient narrative for what they want to believe.

            2. hansman1982

              I bet you could find two seasons of 14 consecutive post-season at-bats where even Albert Pujols stunk up the joint.

              Post-season clutchitudiness is just as much about randomness as it is talent. Soriano was a major factor in the 2007 and 2008 teams making the playoffs, therefore, he was a major player in getting to the World Series.

              1. DocPeterWimsey

                Indeed, Yankee fans still remember Sori as the guy who’s homer off of Schilling should have won the ’01 WS for them….

              2. Brent

                1) That’s two straight years of crummy ABs, not just 1.

                2) Yes, Pujols did have one bad post-season. When he was a rookie. He wasn’t great in 2009, either, but still got on base 6 times in 3 games. That’s more than I can say for Soriano. Also, Pujols was excellent in his other postseason year. But what the two of you are saying as that every time the Cubs get to the postseason, if our players struggle, you simply shrug your shoulders and say, “Them’s the breaks.” Really? You’re okay with regular season success but you don’t give a rat’s behind about postseason success? I bet Dan Marino wishes America was filled with people like you. Me, personally, I want to see the Cubs win a World Series before I die, so, yes, I hold our “talent” to a high standard when it comes to post-season play.

                3) While I fully agree, Jack, with your statement that Soriano had two very bad seasons as a Cub, two good ones, and one great one (Although I will qualify that you can talk regular season only, and I’ll hold judgment until after the season to grade this year’s), when you get paid as much as Soriano does, I don’t think it’s okay to say he had “two very bad seasons” in the first 5 years of an 8 year contract. There were no MVP caliber seasons by Soriano, and only one All-star worthy season. One AS-worthy season in 5? Not good enough when you made it every season the previous 5 years before coming to the Cubs. And if you think Soriano’s performance under his contract is good enough, please do not become our GM ever.

                1. Jack Weiland

                  Hell no I don’t shrug. But winning in the postseason is largely a function of luck. If the Cubs poop themselves as they did in those two seasons it SUCKS. Completely. But I have a hard/impossible time throwing out the entire body of someone’s work in favor of a 7 game sample of that work. To do so is irrational.

                  Not that being a fan isn’t inherently irrational …

                  1. Brent

                    My point, though, is that the goal is not to make the post-season; it’s to win the WS. And your original post which was that signing Soriano was designed to help the Cubs win the WS was flawed, because signing Soriano only helped them make the post-season. Soriano may have helped them make the playoffs, but he did nothing to help them get to the WS once they got to the post-season. In that regard, he completely failed (albeit with a number of other players on that team).

                    1. DocPeterWimsey

                      That is a platitude, not a goal.  A GM can try to put together a team that will make post-season.  That is all he can do: as the Yankees have shown, it simply is not possible to “build for October.”  If you put together a playoff caliber team, then it has a good shot of making post-season.  If that team is still playing well at the end of the year, then you have a good shot at making the LCS.  At that point, flip a coin: there simply is nothing that predicts who will win the LCS.

                    2. Jack Weiland

                      Surely you can see the craziness of “He only helped them make the playoffs so he didn’t help them win the World Series because they didn’t win the World Series” right?

                      Right? I mean …

                2. Jack Weiland

                  And, yeah, I don’t think the reason the Dolphins never won the Super Bowl is because of the best player on their time … I think that line of thinking is insane.

                  1. Brent

                    Sorry, I couldn’t hit reply to your above comment, Jack, but my point is that he didn’t do anything in the post-season, which means he didn’t help them advance in the postseason. And, yes, fairly or not, players are judged by their post-season performances exclusively just like they are judged by their regular season performances. As I mentioned earlier with Dan Marino, there are plenty of other examples of players whose post-season failures override their regular season success (Peyton Manning, LaDanian Tomlinson, LeBron James, A-Rod before he finally won one, I could keep going but you get my point). It makes no difference who it is, post-season play is different than regular season play. To me, helping a team get to the post-season means squat if you do nothing when you get there. And if you follow up 2008 with whatever you call Soriano’s 2009 season, you’re bound to lose fans (because you suck!). Claiming hot-streaks in the post-season determine a winner or there is some sort of luck involved is, I think, flawed logic. If streaks mattered significantly, the Rockies should’ve won the WS in 2007, not gotten swept (or lost in 5, whatever it was, I’m too tired to look now). Anyway, I’m bored with this conversation. Good talk everyone.

                    1. DocPeterWimsey

                      “players are judged by their post-season performances exclusively just like they are judged by their regular season performances.”

                      Um, that is logically impossible…..

                      And, yes, the opening round of post-season is won (75% of the time) by the team that was “hotter” in September.  It’s a coin-flip after that.

                    2. Drew7

                      “If streaks mattered significantly, the Rockies should’ve won the WS in 2007, not gotten swept (or lost in 5, whatever it was, I’m too tired to look now).”

                      -Awesome, another person attempting to disprove what statistics say by pointing out an outlier.

                    3. DocPeterWimsey

                      Yes, it is remarkable how many people think that a 1 in 10 event somehow falsifies a 90% hypothesis…..

            3. Jack Weiland

              And, I mean, excuse me but … Soriano has had 7,169 plate appearances as a Major League player. We have two instances of him egregiously “loafing out of the box” … which gives him a ULOOTB (Unloafing Out of the Box) percentage of ….

              (drumroll)

              99.972102106290975031385130422653%

              Puh-lease.

            4. DocPeterWimsey

              Jack W is correct: Sori was far from the only reason that the ’07 and ’08 Cubs failed to win in post-season.  The ’07 team was faced with an equally good team that got a couple of great starts.  The ’08 team had been terrible for a month before post-season, which almost always spells first-round elimination.  (The ’08 Brewers and ’08 ChiSox did the same thing, if you recall.)

              Sori was critical to getting to post-season in ’07, however.  Step #1 is getting to post-season: being one of the 7 teams that loses in post-season does not erase the fact that those teams got closer than 22 other teams.

            5. Drew7

              While you’re at it, why dont you post the rest of the team’s postseason stats…those arent very rosy either. picking out 28 postseason AB’s doesnt prove anything.

              Give me 25 guys that *loaf out of the box* but produce like Soriano has, and you can have all the Tony Campana’s and Joe Mather’s you want.

              It doesnt matter if it was intentional loafing or not, this *hustle* and *playing the game the right way* garbage doesn’t win ball games, production does.

              1. GoldFinch

                Ask yourself this question: Why hasn’t Pujols, Fielder, Henry Aaron, Billy Williams, Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson( I can go on and on but I’ll stop there) or any truly Great player ever been tagged with the “loafer” title and Soriano has? It’s not some kind of “conspiracy” against Soriano!

                1. Leroy K.

                  If I seem to remember right, Pujols has been tagged with it a couple times, but he’s the only one on your list that I can think of.

                  1. GoldFinch

                    I never heard that about Pujols. Wow. I thought he was beloved in St. Louis.(interesting)

                2. hansman1982

                  Production on each and every count.

                  1. GoldFinch

                    That’s right. Production when it counts! This is why I believe Aramis Ramirez is no longer a Cub. This is why I believe Derrek Lee is no longer a Cub. This is why Soriano should not be a Cub. No production when it counts!

                    1. DocPeterWimsey

                      Well, you know that is wrong for ARam.  Theo & Jed are much too stats savvy to put anything into “when it counts” numbers.  (ARam’s were quite good, by the way….)

                    2. Kyle

                      The 2003 stretch run and playoffs called. They’d like you to watch them, and then adjust your opinion of Ramirez’s ability to “hit when it counts” accordingly.

                3. DocPeterWimsey

                  Ah, you don’t remember your history.  Hank Aaron was criticized quite a bit for being a slacker and indifferent because of the way he carried himself on the field.  Oddly, that increased once the team moved to Atlanta and he got outspoken about Civil Rights issues…..

                  The other big difference is that fans back then did not watch every game and there was no Internet for them to post their rants.  Sports Talk Radio did not exist.  Asking why we did not see the things we see today is like asking why you don’t see fish in a desert: there simply was no environment for these view to be expressed.

                  1. GoldFinch

                    Yes a lot of players get criticized for loafing, but Soriano seems to have the title “loafer extrarodinaire.” That is something he earned over years, not just a couple plays!

                    With that, I am done discussing his latest “lapse” in how to play the game of baseball.

                  2. Kyle

                    Ted Williams was as great as they get, and as criticized as it gets.

                    1. DocPeterWimsey

                      True, but did a player ever go so far out of his way to incite acrimony with the local media as Teddy Baseball did?

                4. Frank

                  I may be wrong, but I don’t think Soriano was tagged as a loafer until he got the big contract and came here.

                  1. GoldFinch

                    Soriano was tagged a loafer going back to at least 2001 with the Yankees, I believe.

    2. Jack Weiland

      And, I mean, 2009 was three years ago. Are you really still bitter about it? Granted last year was no picnic, but you’re the one who said your problem was 2009 … very odd.

      1. Ted

        Haha not bitter at all. Just that he’s not gonna earn his salary in wins over the term, thanks in large part to abysmal performance for two years towards the beginning (ie the point at which he’s supposed to give more wins than he’s paid for). Certainly not his fault we signed a past-his-prime player to that salary — and I’m not crying that any of our billionaire owners are paying a hard working and seemingly nice international ballplayer what is to them chump change — but I’m certainly not going to stan for him at every turn because he once over-performed.

        1. Jack Weiland

          Well, I don’t see it as “standing for him at every turn” … I see it as trying to judge his time as a Cub fairly. He’s had two very bad seasons, two good seasons, and one great one. Will he ultimately be worth the money he was paid? No. Does that mean signing him was the worst idea ever and omg he can’t even run out a line drive to the third baseman what a jerk? No, not at all.

          1. Ted

            I seem to have been pinned as some sort of straw man. My point: I would have been happy with him if he had been anything other than awful for two of the younger years of his deal. Had Soriano performed even just okay for those two seasons, over the full term hed be likely to give us 1 great season, 4 good ones, and 3 bad, instead of 1/2/5. The former, even if it didn’t earn his salary in WAR, would still have made him one of my favorite cubs. Instead you’ve really got to work to say he’s not been a disappointment.

            1. Jack Weiland

              He’s been a disappointment. The difference for me is in scale, I guess. I don’t think he’s been THE WORST CONTRACT OF ALL TIME as some (not you) have said. Overall, disappointment. But there was some significant good in there, and the thought process at the time of the signing was one I agreed with.

  10. Kyle

    There’s a few big hurdles between being a draft pick/IFA and being a major leaguer. Obviously, any step up in the minors is a chance to fail, but three of them always stand out to me as weeding out the most prospects: the promotion to the majors, the promotion to AA, and debuting as a pro. Baez has passed his first major test with a clear A+. He’s thriving on a league that is a bit too old for him, and showing that all the tools we drafted play well on a pro diamond.

    Super, super psyched about this kid, after being a bit skeptical of him in the last year.

  11. Curt

    screw asu do the cubs really need the rent from them, give them whatever offer the cubs deem satisfactory and tell asu take it or leave it.

    1. MichiganGoat

      It’s time for Public Enemy to revisit “By the time I get to Arizona” and FO a rewrite for the Cubs.

  12. illini

    If the interleague play will happen next year. That means about 25% to 30% of the Cubs games will require a DH. Wouldn’t it make since to keep Soranio if they can not get anything for him and use him a couple games a week in the outfield in 2013 and 2014. He appears to be ok as a DH.

  13. BD

    Did anybody else catch Dempster’s “bazinga” on Josh Beckett about golfing while injured?

    “Asked what kind of treatment he would receive on his tight right lat, Dempster had a quick answer. ‘Lots of golf, like Josh Beckett,” Dempster said, smiling his devilish smile. “As much golf as possible.’”

    1. Carew

      Awesome. Just pure awesome

  14. Carew

    Finally a player says something that us supporters have been saying. Soriano has been good for the cubs. Thank you Matt Garza.

  15. ottoCub

    I <3 Matt Garza.
    And Ryan Dempster too, after reading that quote about golf and Josh Beckett.

  16. DRock

    Ok, I get that Soriano is a hard worker and I can’t blame Garza or anyone else for trying to defend their teammate, but why can’t Soriano just apologize to the fans and say he should have ran out of the batter’s box when he saw the ball was dropped. That is the part I was pissed about. It wasn’t the initial not running when he thought the ball was caught, it was what happened next- the ball was dropped and still no effort to run to first. Totally unacceptable.

    1. Patrick W.

      Did you ONLY see the replay in slow motion? The time between the ball being in the glove and being in the air to first was less than 1 second, time enough for Soriano to take two steps towards first, which he did.

      1. DRock

        I was at the game and it did appear that he could have at least tried to run to first regardless if he thought Middlebrooks still had time to pick up the ball and throw him out. You run hard and maybe the guy rushes his throw and you reach via a throw in the dirt, etc. I did not see him take any steps out of the box.

    2. Kyle

      Soriano can apologize as soon as every single fan who has criticized him for doing something that every player would do apologizes.

      1. DocPeterWimsey

        Never mind every player: every fan would do the same and have done the same if only in pickup softball games.  People who claim otherwise are lying, plain and simple.

      2. DRock

        Obviously Sori wouldn’t apologize, but I would hope the next time a guy drops the ball, he will try to run instead of standing there. I have played a lot of baseball/softball and I can tell you if I hit a line drive and the dude drops it, I will start running hard to try to force the guy to make a bad throw. Just sayin’.

        BTW, Luke, I will not stop criticizing a player that makes millions if he doesn’t do the fundamentals.

    3. Cubs Dude

      Who cares about an apology. I could give a sh*t about an apology… I want that dude off the team. He’s going down soon, and will officially have 0 value in a trade.

      1. DRock

        Agreed. After that play, he has officially worn out his welcome with me and thousands who witnessed it on Sat.

    4. Drew7

      Maybe if this wasnt the 6th season in Chicago he’s taken a verbal beating for most of the year, he’d feel me inclined to do so. Frankly, I don’t blame him.

  17. Smacky

    I’m so tired of this Soriano thing. We get it, the team supports him. Was anyone really expecting someone to come out and say “He’s overpaid and he should really hustle more. If I got paid that, I would.” We get it… you’re deflecting away from your horrific season. Soriano gets this reaction because it’s happened throughout the entire time he’s been here. If Castro continues his path, the same will eventually happen to him.

    You got booed for 10 seconds. I was at the game Sunday, nobody booed you. It’s okay. Let it go.

    1. DRock

      Agreed. Time to let this go. Everyone is trying to downplay this so it doesn’t hurt his trade value because I’m sure everyone wants him gone but doesn’t have the heart to say it.

      1. Jack Weiland

        I think they’re downplaying it because they genuinely like the guy as a teammate and friend. I don’t think Matt Garza gives a hoot about Soriano’s trade value (especially since Garza probably isn’t long for this city anyway). And anyway I don’t think any amount of commetns about this one particular play will have any effect whatsoever on his trade value. His trade value will be derived from how much cash the Cubs are willing to eat and how teams value the production they project to get out of him.

        This is one play in the course of human events. Even the worst MLB general managers aren’t so short sighted as to inflate the value of that one play against the mountains of evidence they have to determine his ability to help their teams win.

  18. Cubs Dude

    OK, it’s great that Soriano is known as Mother Teresa in the clubhouse and all.. But he needs to be traded for anything yesterday. It’s just a matter of time before his leg falls off. I know he basically has no trade value but a bag of balls is better than a buyout situation which the Cubs will be facing once he gets knee surgery or something. I read that the Cubs haven’t even talked to him about waving his NTC. If thats true, not cool..

  19. Curt

    the real problem ppl should have isn’t with soriano he’s doing the best he can and on a team where he could be a piece of a strong line-up and not the centerpiece he’d be a nice part if that line up the finger should be pointed at , not even Jim hendry it should be pointed at Sam Zell, who trying to make the selling if the team more attractive told hendry to buy what ever he wanted, get off sorianos back already, cubs fans act like he’s taking money out of their pockets.

    1. rcleven

      Zell wasn’t in the picture when Hendry signed Sorri to this contract. You got to pin this on the Trib. The Trib was one mismanaged business and had no business buying the Cubs from Wrigley Co. Zell only owned the Cubs 13 Mos. while the Trib went thru bankruptcy Zell to this day regrets getting involved in the purchase of Trib.

      1. Serious Cubs Fan

        Completely agree with you. The bad contracts prob would never happen

  20. Serious Cubs Fan

    I could give two tits of what Garza thinks of us fans. We have the right to boo and be displease if we want to be. We have all the right in the world. We pay his bills by showing up to the ball park and pay to watch the shitty baseball that is on that field day in and day out. Soriano doesn’t deserve to be booed for that play but he deserves to be booed for him not living up to that contract. NO ONE CAN CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. It has nothing to do with race or anything that people have been talking about in the comments. The reason I boo is because he doesn’t get the job done on the field for the amount he gets paid. You can call me ignorant but I really don’t care. In my eyes and everyone else’s eyes he’s not getting it done for what he’s getting paid. I could care less about that play. I give him a pass on that, but the boos are for all the expectations he never lived up to.

    1. hansman1982

      how about this, the next time you make (edit: what they believe to be) a mistake at work, lets round up 20,000 of your customers to mercilessly boo you.

      Or, how about at a meet-and-greet with your customers we get a few hundred of them to boo you when you are announced just because you aren’t as good as they think you should be.

      1. Serious Cubs Fan

        Here’s my giant bag of F@ck$. See how much I care. I feel so bad for him that he gets paid $18 million a year to put up slightly above average stats and play piss poor defense and have fans boo at you. I wouldn’t mind getting paid that much to deal with that. Don’t get me wrong its not his fault he got paid, but you can’t fault fans for being displease with someones production. I don’t want to get chippy but seriously you are going get on my back for voicing my displeasure for a guy who is under producing severely to what his contract expects of him? When he signed that contract he put a target on his back. That is the part of being a professional. I really don’t care about the intangibles that he brings of being a great teammate and hard worker, I can pay a guy 1/18th the cost for that.

        1. Stinky Pete

          I really don’t have the time or energy to be that angry anymore. Especially towards something as meaningless as baseball. But I am quite entertained by your seething. For a guy who doesn’t care, you sure write a lot.

          1. Serious Cubs Fan

            Agreed I do care about the team but its a lost cause. I dont know why I try to argue. Basically I am sorry to ruffle some peoples feathers. Its just I’m more or less ticked at Jim Hendry for giving the guy the contract. I shouldn’t be mad at Sori and I’m not bc he’s a solid player just he is worth a fraction of what he getting paid and nobody can dispute that.

            1. Stinky Pete

              17/18 is a fraction. j/k =-)

      2. rcleven

        Happens every day in business. Customer just do it with the with dollars spent with their vendors. Boos are dollars. If my vendor’s fail me I sure won’t buy from them again.
        Sorri or Garza are product sold. If the product sold, at a premium, no longer preforms and a better product sells at the same price or cheaper guess what product I will sell to my customers? A product that used to be the best but doesn’t perform should be either put on sale and cleared out or put up on a shelf. Since the product is no longer making me money I will boo it.

    2. Jack Weiland

      You had me at two tits.

    3. Luke

      What would his production have to be for him to be worth his contract in your eyes?

      1. Serious Cubs Fan

        $18 million qualifies allstar numbers. I get that some guys don’t live up to there billing and it could be worse, we could have Zito lol.

        1. Luke

          So, to paraphrase, so long as Soriano puts up numbers comparable to All-Star outfielders in that year, he’s worth his contract?

          1. Brady

            I know you asked him and not me but I thought (when we were all talking during the offseason) that we did the math and it came out to about $5 mil : 1.0 WAR thus making 3.6 WAR what he should put up to earn his contract. That is what it would be for me, (what the sabermetrics say it should be if the rough rememberances of math are correct). I know you asked him and not me though.

          2. Serious Cubs Fan

            I’m just saying he’s not anything close to worth of what he’s getting paid. I don’t know why everybody is all up in arms about me saying that? You can’t dispute that. Its not his fault he got paid but it doesn’t mean I cant boo him for what I think is poor play in terms of what he makes. I totally agree that the booing for not running is ridiculous but I’m saying that the fans have the right to boo based on him not living up to expectations or at least my expectations. I’m not trying to pick a fight here or anything

            1. Jack Weiland

              I think we’re “up in arms” because it’s a lot closer than you think, and a lot closer than you give him credit for. And because everyone loves to forget 2007, the best season of his career, when he was EXCELLENT.

              Thus far he’s “earned” 73.8 million dollars as a Cub, and he’s been paid 102 (through the end of this season, and counting only production until today). So by the end of the season if he stays on his current pace, he’ll have earned about 83 of the 102 million they’ve paid him.

              He’s overpaid, no doubt, but he probably isn’t being overpaid as much as you want to believe.

              1. Jack Weiland

                (Full disclosure: I’m using his average annual salary for the above, not his actual salary thus far, since we’re trying to judge the investment as a whole.)

                1. Drew7

                  Doing that is actually hindering your argument too; if it were his actual salary thus far, the two numbers would be even closer.

                  1. Jack Weiland

                    Exactly. But that gets more into the expected return early in the deal vs. late in the deal that I don’t even want to touch yet.

              2. Brady

                Wow you posted this right as I was wanting to crunch these numbers for the whole team ha ha. I am at work so do you mind doing the rest? ;-P

                1. Jack Weiland

                  I’m at work too. Sorry work! hahah

                  1. Brady

                    Maybe I’ll work on it and post it to the message boards and let yall thrash my horrible math skills. (not to mention Im still pretty rough on the math behind sabermetrics)

                    1. Jack Weiland

                      Fangraphs will help.

                      http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=847&position=2B/OF

                      Check out 2007 on the “value” table. I think part of the problem here as well is fans are totally spoiled by the incredible value teams get out of very good players before they reach free agency. For instance, Carlos Zambrano DESTROYED his value vs. what he was paid as a Cub, but people only want to remember the part where he got paid a ton.

                    2. Brady

                      Agreed, I want to do the whole team and I highly suspect that we will come out way under what we are getting because of a few players but Castro and Lahair definately being among them. Those would be some massive contracts and could easily make up those players that are underperforming.

              3. Jack Weiland

                And furthmore, he’s overpaid mostly on the merits of two lost seasons. At his current production, which is reasonable looking at his entire career profile, he’s on pace to earn just about what his annual average salary is. I’ve thought for awhile that it’s kind of crazy all the talk is about the Cubs having to eat the entire rest of his contract to get anything back. He’s paid a ton, and right now just judging 2012 alone, he’s really REALLY close to earning it.

                I think a lot of the eating of cash is in regards to his injury risk, which is significant.

                But the point is: he had two real bad seasons, that made it basically impossible he would fulfill the value prescribed by his contract. But that doesn’t mean he was never good for the Cubs, and isn’t have a good season right now.

            2. Drew7

              “You can’t dispute that”

              - (in my best Lt. Aldo Raine voice) Now Serious, thats where you’re wrong, cause thats exactly what were gonna do.”
              -Sorry, I really like that movie

              But all jokes aside, you can dispute that, irrelevant as it may be.

              1. Cooper R

                Great movie

        2. Drew7

          The point of any contract similar to his is that, in all probability, production wont meet salary at the back end. You get a great ROI in the beginning, while pretty much knowing you will likely take a bath at the end.

          Go ahead and check out his production in ’07 and ’08 when he was making $10mil. Like I’ve said before, the guy’s knees basically fell off in ’09, and were still probably going to get 3-4 WAR from him this year; hardly production that warrants booing.

    4. Drew7

      Who has a discussion with fellow Cub fans on a Cubs site where people openly discuss and debate on issues daily, and includes, in CAPS, “you cannot convince me otherwise” followed up with “you can call me ignorant if you want”?

      He has produced in the past and is producing at high level now, so saying he isnt is kind of the definition of “ignorant”.

      1. Brady

        I second this statement. If you are going to be bitter, please do it elsewhere and do it towards the people who awarded him this contract (notice how those people don’t work here anymore?)

      2. Serious Cubs Fan

        He is putting up high quality numbers now but do you think in a month he will be putting up the same numbers? This is classic Soriano good stretch of game where he is on fire and then a month later he will go into a dead cold slump. History proves it. This more or less just frustration of what he hasn’t done for what he was expected to do. He is a decent player, I would to have Sori on our team for a fraction of the cost of what he’s getting paid. Great guy but no longer a great player, just a slightly above average power hitter now. I give all the credit to the guy for getting the contract but it’s just frustrating to see a guy getting paid $18 million who is putting up $5-$8 million numbers.

        1. Stinky Pete

          So why not just be happy he’s doing good now?

          1. Serious Cubs Fan

            Because I’m not going to lie. I’m a extremely frustrated fan. I know we all are, its just he is the symbol of all that went wrong in the jim hendry era. He is the poster child. Right or wrong he still will take blame because he is the guy who got paid and isn’t living up to production. If in 2007 or 2008 we made it to the world series or won it. I would have a complete different perspective right now.

            1. DocPeterWimsey

              You mean, 3 post-season appearances in 6 years after only 3 post-season appearances in only 55+ years?  Yeah, that stunk.  People write as if Hendry turned the Yankees into the Pirates.  Instead, he turned the Pirates into the Twins.  Sure, it would have been great to see the team go further: but winning divisions was great in and of itself.

              1. WGNstatic

                Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

                There are plenty of warts on the Jim Hendry era. I won’t defend him as a GM, but the 00′s decade was easily the best decade in Cubs history since the mid-60′s to mid 70′s and perhaps the best decade of Cub baseball since the 30′s.

                When I think about 03, I like to think about the double play against Pittsburgh and the Atlanta Series. When I think about 2007, I like to think about the Ramirez homer against Milwaukee, and 2008 was a 162 game magic carpet ride.

                If we can’t, as fans, enjoy the ride along the way (love the hell out of yesterday’s game in the midst of an historically bad season), then I am not sure what the point of committing our energies to the Cubs or any team really is.

        2. Drew7

          Why are you concerning yourself with how much he’s making? His contract is having no impact on Theo and Hoyer improving this team right now, so what’s it matter? But, if we want to talk value, his current production warrants more than $5-8mil.

          And Soriano is in a hot-streak, but its not about him maintaining his production from the last 2 weeks – his numbers for the entire year are really good.

          1. Brady

            I agree. I’d like to crunch the numbers to see (in a perfect world) how much we should be paying in payroll vs how much we actually are.

  21. Jzwizard

    Like many of you said, it could be way worse. Soriano has at least been productive during his six years as a Cub. When you look at the worst contracts in baseball, I truly don’t think Soriano really belongs in the top 3 or 5. Guys like Vernon Wells, Barry Zito, and John Lackey have had zero production for their teams while Soriano has hit at least 20 HR each season with us. Their is no question he is overpaid, but why is that his fault? You look at some contracts now like Jayson Werth. When that contract was signed I knew it was one of the worst in baseball. But when the Cubs signed Soriano I was the happiest kid in the world.

    1. Jack Weiland

      “I was the happiest kid in the world.”

      Same. There’s a TON of revisionist history on this, and it really bugs me.

      1. Jzwizard

        I don’t even think Soriano was Hendry’s worst contract. I would go with the Zambrano extension, or that whole Milton Bradley fiasco.

        1. Jack Weiland

          I would agree with you there.

        2. rcleven

          Marmol’s contract also comes to mind.

        3. ETS

          My vote is for Milton Bradley. Adam Dunn begged to come to chicago.

    2. ETS

      I don’t think Sori’s contact was that terrible. He was a huge part of the very successful 2007 and 2008 teams. If you have to overpay but can still get at least average production afterward to get that? Eh, there’s been much worst signings in the cubs org let alone baseball.

      1. Drew7

        Just look at the FA’s from 2006-2007:Since then, Soriano has more WAR than Zito, C. Lee, and Matthews Jr combined.

  22. blublyd

    For all you people bashing Soriano for his contract, here is a quote from Rashard Lewis of the Washington Wizards, who currently makes 23 million a year, despite averaging only about 10pts and 5 rebounds a games. He said, “don’t blame me, I didn’t offer myself the contract, I just excepted the offer.”

    Most you people who have never played baseball before would have taken the money, so don’t blame Sori for doing the same thing.

  23. Ogyu

    At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.
    —– Friedrich Nietzsche