I’m going to file this under a misspeak, rather than a slip of the tongue. Yeah. I’m sure this was just a memory issue.
But, it would be a big deal if it wasn’t a mere bit of mis-remembering, so it’s worth pointing out.
When asked about his advice for Starlin Castro, who is on the verge of inking a big-time, $60 million extension, Alfonso Soriano had a number of great things to say – remember to save some money, stay hungry and passionate about baseball, take care of your family, don’t forget that the tax man takes half, etc.
He also said something that immediately struck me as troublesome.
“When I signed my contract, I was 32,” Soriano said, according to Carrie Muskat. “I knew what I wanted. Before, during my years of arbitration, I had a lot of ‘friends,’ but my agent and my financial guy were always on top of me. They said, ‘You got the money, more people will come. Don’t be afraid to say no. You didn’t have that friend before – why is the friend now coming?’”
The troublesome part, of course, is that, based on his reported birthdate (January 7, 1976), Soriano wasn’t 32 when he signed with the Cubs in November 2006, he was 30. Having already had his age corrected once while in the big leagues, you can understand why the age thing is probably always going to be an issue with Soriano. If he was actually 32 when he signed with the Cubs, rather than 30, his rapid decline would be even easier to understand (and the next two years even more daunting).
Do I actually think Soriano is two years older than he says he is, and his web of lies just came crumbling down because of one slip of the tongue? Nah.
It’s far more likely that he simply misspoke, or mis-remembered. Perhaps he was talking about his age as of the first season of his big contract, when he would have been 31. So he was off by a year. I forget how old I was when stuff happened all the time.
Maybe the explanation is even more mundane – maybe Carrie misheard what Soriano said. Or maybe, for some reason, he wasn’t saying “32,” he was saying “30, too” (Castro will be 30 when this extension ends, depending on the option year).
In other words, I’m not saying this is a ground-breaking thing, and this is probably the last you’ll hear of it. But, man, I’d be lying if I said it didn’t knock me for a loop when I saw that quote.