April 16, 2008

Soriano Owes Apology to Cubs, Fans

The culprit limps off, with help. (AP Photo)

In yesterday's game with the Cubs, Alfonso Soriano suffered a lower leg injury while catching a fairly routine fly ball. Watching the replay shows that he was not contacted during the play nor did he dive or even need to extend himself. The cause of the injury was the landing from a small hop he performed while catching the ball, and the hop was unnecessary to reach the ball. Apparently, the hop is common for Soriano, but depending on the MRI results, he could be out a few weeks.

Why the hop? No other outfielder in MLB or college or HS catches the ball while jumping. Soriano was originally an infielder, but this is his third season in the outfield. The hop does not help him get to balls nor position himself for a subsequent throw. Is it flair made to make himself more noticeable? Can he not run without bouncing his head, so he has to jump to have a steady look at the ball? What was he doing the last two offseasons when he could have been unlearning this bad habit? One would have to think the Nats and Cubs coaches have offered to help him fix that.

The unfortunate result is that the leadoff hitter and one of the best players on a team that expects to compete for the NL title may go on the DL, for no good reason. Injuries happen to anyone and can happen at any time, no matter how careful you are (just ask Mike Hampton). However, an injury caused by bad technique, which isn't new or an accident, falls squarely on the player's shoulders. Any player making over $15 million per year for 8 years owes it to the team and its fans to do everything in his power to make sure he plays as many games as possible at the highest possible level.

Whatever the reason for it, and however much of a fluke it may have been, Soriano is injured and I think it's clearly his fault. He should apologize.

2 Responses:

J-Red said...

At least he didn't pull a Gramatica or a Frerotte.

KGoon1590 said...

Uh, really? I mean, it's just a little bad habit. Sure, he should go back and improve it, but I don't think it's totally irresponsible.

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