Open Thread: Alfonso Soriano


(AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

I think it’s fair to say that Jesus Montero will be the Yankees’ most anticipated rookie in quite some time next year, probably since Alfonso Soriano in 2001. Soriano, who thrice ranked as one of the 40 best prospects in the game by Baseball America (peaked at #16 in 2000), took over at second base that year once Chuck Knoblauch’s throwing problems relegated him to left field. He finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting (behind Ichiro and CC Sabathia) with a .268/.304/.432 batting line (18 homers and 43 steals), then he went on to hit .295/.335/.536 with 77 homers and 76 steals from 2002-2003 before being traded for Alex Rodriguez.

It’s kinda hard to believe, but Soriano turned 36 years old yesterday. He was never exactly an OBP threat, but from 2002-2006 he was the best power-speed player in the game. Only four players hit 100 homers with 100 steals during that time, and Soriano is the easy leader with 187 homers (37 more than Carlos Beltran) and 165 steals (11 more than Bobby Abreu). If it wasn’t for Mariano Rivera‘s blown save, Soriano’s go-ahead eighth inning homer off Curt Schilling in Game Seven of the 2001 World Series would have cemented his place in Yankees lore forever.

* * *

Like yesterday, I’m posting a little earlier than usual because of the NFL playoff action. The Giants and Falcons kick off at 1pm ET (on FOX), then the Steelers and Broncos play at 4:30pm ET (on CBS). None of the hockey and basketball locals are playing, however. Talk about whatever you like here, go nuts.

Categories : Open Thread


  1. Steve S. says:

    Over at TYA, I was kicking around the idea of bringing in JD Drew to platoon with Jones in RF if we traded Swisher as part of a package for Garza. The Cubs need a RF, the R/L splits work for both players, neither of whom is an everyday player anymore.


    But then I looked at Drew’s injury page on BP. Woah, that is truly a sign to behold. Half of them don’t even sound all that serious, more like he’s just a drama queen. Multiple DL stints for contusions and instances of vertigo, for example.

    • Steve S. says:

      2011-09-17 2011-09-17 On-Alr 0 0 - Neck Soreness - - -
      2011-08-29 2011-08-29 On-Alr 0 0 Right Fingers Fracture with loose sliver middle finger - -
      2011-07-20 2011-09-25 60-DL 67 62 Left Shoulder Impingement - - -
      2011-06-27 2011-06-30 DTD 3 2 Left Eye Contusion from batting practice - —-
      2011-05-25 2011-05-29 DTD 4 3 Right Thigh Strain Hamstring - —-
      2011-05-04 2011-05-05 DTD 1 1 General Medical Vertigo —- - —-
      2011-03-23 2011-03-25 Camp 2 0 General Medical Illness —- - —-
      2011-03-04 2011-03-07 Camp 3 0 General Medical Respiratory Flu - —-
      2011-02-06 2011-02-06 Off 0 0 Left Thigh Strain Lingering proximal hamstring tendinosis in off-season – Sought out PRP - —-
      2010-09-13 2010-09-18 DTD 5 4 Right Ankle Sprain — - —-
      2010-07-27 2010-07-30 DTD 3 2 Thigh Strain Hamstring - —-
      2010-06-30 2010-07-02 DTD 2 1 Neck Stiffness — - —-
      2010-06-19 2010-06-24 DTD 5 4 Left Thigh Strain Hamstring - —-
      2010-05-26 2010-05-27 DTD 1 1 General Medical Illness — - —-
      2010-05-23 2010-05-23 DTD 0 0 Hip Soreness Hip Flexor - —-
      2010-05-18 2010-05-18 DTD 0 0 Right Thigh Tightness Hamstring - —-
      2010-05-10 2010-05-11 DTD 1 1 General Medical Vertigo — - Yes
      2010-04-26 2010-04-26 DTD 0 0 General Medical Vertigo — - —-
      2010-04-11 2010-04-11 DTD 0 0 Neck Soreness — - —-
      2009-11-19 2009-11-19 Off 0 0 Left Shoulder Surgery Bone Spur in AC Joint 2009-11-19 —-
      2009-09-30 2009-10-04 DTD 4 4 Left Shoulder Soreness — - —-
      2009-08-15 2009-08-18 DTD 3 2 Left Groin Strain — - Yes
      2009-07-31 2009-08-01 DTD 1 1 Left Groin Strain — - —-
      2009-06-14 2009-06-16 DTD 2 1 Right Shoulder Soreness — - —-
      2009-06-06 2009-06-09 DTD 3 2 Left Shoulder Inflammation Rotator Cuff Tendinitis - —-
      2009-05-09 2009-05-10 DTD 1 1 Right Thigh Tightness Quad - —-
      2009-04-26 2009-04-27 DTD 1 1 Left Thigh Strain Quad - —-
      2009-03-20 2009-03-25 Camp 5 0 Right Hand Contusion — - —-
      2008-08-18 2008-09-08 15-DL 21 18 Low Back Cartilage Injury Herniated Disc - —-
      2008-07-09 2008-07-12 DTD 3 2 Low Back Spasms — - —-
      2008-05-29 2008-05-31 DTD 2 1 General Medical Illness Vertigo - —-
      2008-05-14 2008-05-17 DTD 3 1 Left Wrist Sprain — - —-
      2008-04-30 2008-05-03 DTD 3 3 Left Thigh Tightness Quad - —-
      2008-03-25 2008-04-02 Camp 8 3 Low Back Spasms — - —-
      2007-09-01 2007-09-02 DTD 1 1 Right Foot Contusion Foul Ball - —-
      2007-07-19 2007-07-20 DTD 1 1 Right Thigh Soreness Hamstring - Yes
      2007-07-14 2007-07-16 DTD 2 2 Right Thigh Tightness Hamstring - —-
      2007-06-21 2007-06-23 DTD 2 1 Right Thigh Tightness Quad - —-
      2007-06-02 2007-06-04 DTD 2 2 Thigh Soreness Hamstring - —-
      2007-05-16 2007-05-19 DTD 3 2 Low Back Contusion wall - —-
      2007-04-30 2007-05-01 DTD 1 0 General Medical Illness — - —-
      2006-07-21 2006-07-21 DTD 0 0 Right Knee Contusion Patella - —-
      2006-06-11 2006-06-13 DTD 2 1 Right Thigh Contusion Quad - —-
      2006-06-08 2006-06-09 DTD 1 0 Right Thigh Soreness Hamstring - —-
      2006-05-27 2006-05-29 DTD 2 2 Right Shoulder Soreness — - —-
      2005-09-20 2005-09-20 On-Alr 0 0 Right Shoulder Surgery — 2005-09-20 —-
      2005-07-04 2005-10-03 60-DL 91 81 Left Wrist Fracture Ulnar Styloid Process 2005-09-20 —-
      2005-06-22 2005-06-27 DTD 5 5 Left Knee Soreness — - —-
      2005-05-23 2005-05-24 DTD 1 0 Right Wrist Soreness — - —-
      2005-05-08 2005-05-10 DTD 2 2 General Medical Illness Stomach - —-
      2004-09-19 2004-09-21 DTD 2 1 General Medical Illness — - —-
      2004-08-24 2004-08-25 DTD 1 1 Head Laceration hit head on dugout roof - —-
      2004-08-15 2004-08-16 DTD 1 1 Right Thigh Soreness — - —-
      2004-08-08 2004-08-08 DTD 0 0 Right Elbow Contusion HBP - —-
      2004-08-02 2004-08-03 DTD 1 0 Right Wrist Soreness — - —-
      2004-05-03 2004-05-07 DTD 4 3 Neck Stiffness — - —-
      2004-04-13 2004-04-20 DTD 7 5 Left Thigh Strain Hamstring - —-
      2003-08-09 2003-09-01 15-DL 23 21 Right Trunk Strain Oblique - —-
      2003-07-06 2003-07-08 DTD 2 2 Right Knee Soreness — - —-
      2003-06-27 2003-06-27 DTD 0 0 Left Ankle Soreness — - —-
      2003-06-25 2003-06-25 DTD 0 0 Thigh Soreness Quad - —-
      2003-06-04 2003-06-06 DTD 2 2 Ankle Sprain — - —-
      2003-05-14 2003-05-16 DTD 2 2 Low Back Spasms — - —-
      2003-03-30 2003-04-20 15-DL 21 16 Right Knee Recovery from Surgery Patellar Tendon Debridement 2002-10-17 —-
      2002-10-17 2002-10-17 Off 0 0 Right Knee Surgery Patellar Tendon Debridement 2002-10-17 —-
      2002-06-28 2002-07-13 15-DL 15 11 Right Knee Inflammation — - —-
      2001-06-18 2001-07-31 15-DL 43 35 Right Hand Fracture 5th Metacarpal

      • Steve S. says:

        I count 19 illnesses in the past two years.

      • Bo Knows says:

        He sounds like a hypochondriac, but in his defense vertigo is no joke, my father had it once he ended up missing almost 3 months of work and even when he came back it took another year before he was symptom free.

        • gageagainstthemachine says:

          vertigo is the worst illness I have ever experienced that is clearly not something life threatening like cancer…I wish vertigo upon no one. It really stinks.

          • radnom says:

            How does one ‘get’ vertigo? AFAIK its not something contagious that you can catch, so does that mean anyone is potentially at risk?

            • Bo Knows says:

              yup anyone can get it, they aren’t really sure the causes behind it, but since royally f$%$ks up one’s orientation and balance its an inner ear condition.

              • Mister Delaware says:

                I have a bit of a history with ear (younger) and sinus (now) infections and I know vertigo can be an extreme result of an ear infection. Luckily its never gotten that far. Not sure about other causes.

                (Am I old because when I think vertigo I think Nick Esasky?)

    • Gonzo says:

      Not sure the Cubs would want Swisher, would they? If they trade Garza, they would be in full rebuild mode, right? Maybe a three team deal would work better.

      • Steve S. says:

        They need a RF for 2012. Their best prospect is an OF named Brett Jackson but he’s expected to start the year at AAA. Swish is a pretty good fit, but their first priority will be starting pitching.

        The premise was I was trying to fill their needs w/o giving up Banuelos. Now that they have Rizzo, I can’t sell them Montero as a 1B, and I’m not totally sure I’d want to give him up for Garza anyway. Garza has two years of team control, Theo and Jed will need two major pieces in return, so I was trying to do a Swisher-Betances++ deal.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          They don’t need a RF for 2012, they signed David DeJesus. And even if they did, why would they trade their top commodity for a package in which the best piece they get is a stopgap outfielder?

    • RetroRob says:

      The Cubs would have no interest in Swisher. He’s a one-year rental and they are now in rebuild.

      As for Drew, you already discovered his “problem(s).”

  2. Nick says:

    He used to be my favourite player, because I saw him playing for AA Norwich Navigators when I was a kid, and he used to give us autographed baseballs and talk to us.

  3. Craig Maduro says:

    I used to love Soriano, but I couldn’t be happier that the Yankees traded his ass. There wouldn’t be much that would frustrate me more than watching him consistently wave through sliders off of the plate.

  4. bonestock94 says:

    I was so devastated when they traded him. In hindsight I’ve obviously warmed to the idea.

  5. Holy Ghost says:

    One of my favorite Yankees. I was disappointed at first when he was traded but the Yankees obviously got a much better player in A-Rod. Plus, the opening he left at second base led to the opportunity for Cano to takeover at second…

  6. Steve H says:

    It’s hard to believe he’s 36 because when he was a Yankee we always thought he was two years younger than he actually was.

  7. Jose M. Vazquez.. says:

    While a Yankee Alfonso was a very good player who had surprising power for a thin guy. He was a wrist hitter as Aaron was and that’s where the power came from. His defense was always lacking but he more than made up for it with his offense.

  8. Steve S. says:

    Giant offense has been just putrid.

  9. still can’t believe the Cubbies gave him 8 years/$136M…what the hell were they thinking?!?

  10. Steve S. says:

    Come on, hold them to 3 here.

  11. Monteroisdinero says:

    So since this is an open thread and Montero was also mentioned, when does the Caracas to Miami flight carrying Jesus arrive for the ARod workouts?

  12. Kevin says:

    Such a shame…he was that close to being the World Series MVP.. but the $#@ Diamondbacks won in my still most painful memory as a Yankee fan.

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      Shouldn’t have played the infield in. Mo made a good pitch.

    • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

      I mentioned this in the Jorge thread. For me, 2001 is by faaaaaar the most painful end to a Yankees season in my lifetime. Way worse than any other WS loss, earlier playoff bounce, failure to make the playoffs outright, or anything else.

      I still can’t believe that karma alone didn’t deliver the WS to NY in 2001. Seriously.

      • Pat D says:

        My feelings exactly. 2001 was probably the worst year of my life for so many reasons.

        • RetroRob says:

          I mentioned to Red Sox acquaintances that the end of 2001 was far, far worse than 2004. They refuse to believe me, but I reminded them that as a Yankee fan we place far more value on winning the World Series than beating the Red Sox. Their obsession with the Yankees is 100-fold greater than Yankees fans interest in the Red Sox.

          • Ana says:

            Amen. That’s what I always say… I’m in central Mass. when I’m not at school, so I’m surrounded by Sox fans who always assume that 2004 was the worst thing to ever happen to the Yankees ever. I’m just like, “Nah, man, not even the worst thing to happen to the Yankees since the millenium. Get over yourselves.”

      • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

        ’95 and ’04 were far worse to me. ’01 was just annoying because it seemed like the Yanks only faced Unit and Schilling over and over and over.

        • I am not the droids you're looking for... says:

          Not inciting a riot (seriously) but wondering where you live or lived then?

          I get the 95 disappointment – seeing Mattingly out on such a personal high note but team let down was so bittersweet. But placing it, or 2004, over 2001. I don’t know. Maybe because I was so physically close to it all, and everything that came after. Tough to imagine a tougher loss in terms of my own experience of it.

  13. Steve S. says:

    ……Aaannnnd that means I can go food shopping and get my oil change done. Wooo hooo!

  14. Rainbow Connection says:

    Soriano Is A Liar

  15. Craig Maduro says:

    There are some teams, no matter how talented, that you can count out of legit championship contention before the season even starts. The Atlanta Falcons are one of those teams.

  16. Gonzo says:

    Is it really Giambino’s birthday?

    • RetroRob says:

      It is, although he’s really 63. I first saw him play back in the 1970s under the name Wilbur Howard, before steroids and skin creams changed the complexion of his game.

  17. Mattchu12 says:

    Just doing some boredom surfing and I noticed Keith Law’s Top 10 Remaining Free Agents, and there’s still a lot of good players out there.

    1. Fielder
    2. Darvish (Should this really count?)
    3. Jackson
    4. Vazquez
    5. Kuroda
    6. Carlos Pena
    7. Madson
    8. Wei-Yini Chen
    9. Oswalt
    10. Maholm

    Those guys could really help a team out this season. Obviously, most of these guys are not fits for the Yankees, but I’m just saying. I’d love to get in on Wei-Yin Chen though, I look at him almost like a prospect. I’d love to see if we could get him on a minor league deal, he looks like he could have real upside and it never hurts to have left handed pitching.

  18. Mike Axisa says:

    What an anticlimatic ending.

  19. Rob says:

    Flipping the channels stopped on The Simpsons they just compared the Yankees to Nazis what the F ?

  20. Moboy says:

    2002-2006 he wasn’t better than Carlos Beltran. Carlos was a great hitting Centerfielder and Soriano was a half@$$ second baseman.

    Also Mo has a truble giving up bloopers in the playoffs to HGH users like Luis Gonzalez in that 2001 and Ortiz in 2004.

  21. J. Lucas says:

    I met soriano in Dallas after a Yankees-rangers game in the hotel bar. El duque took a picture with me but soriano told me no. Charlie Steiner introduced himself to me as Charlie and was the coolest guy. I lost a lot of love for soriano that night and wasn’t upset to see him traded. And ten fold 2001 was more painful than 04 although they can both go to hell.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      Blah. I don’t like talking to 90% of the people I meet and I don’t have a few dozens randoms approaching me every single day. He’s a person.

  22. Darren says:

    How much is Oswalt looking for? What, the Yankees can’t afford a 1 yr., $7mm guaranteed deal, with $5mm more in incentives? We need a better #2 starter in Playoffs. Why exactly am I supposed to feel confident about Hughes? NOW he’s gonna get in shape? And Freddy is Freddy. Nova is an unknownava. None of the Bs/Whelan/etc.s have Oswalt’s Ability If Healthy (TM).

    And for Oswalt, he does well in NYC he can write his ticket to long term deal. Seems like he should be ok with the pressure, he plays in Philly. If he’s gonna be unhealthy, it won’t matter where. In fact, Yanks are conservative with players returning from injury, so that’s a plus for him.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      I’m wondering how much longer you could have gone with me disagreeing with / mentally mocking every single sentence.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      They can afford it. They just believe more in what they have in hand, and less in what Roy Oswalt will additionally bring to the table, than you do.

      I’ve been a long supporter of bringing in him or Kuroda on a one-year deal. I also completely understand why they wouldn’t.

    • Robert says:

      You are not getting the Ace Oswalt.You are getting the 34 year old,4 era + pitcher .

  23. J.Lucas says:

    I am all over that Darren. Im not at all comfortable with this rotation. I think last year is as good as could have been expected and dont want to count on that again. I like Oswalt, then maybe even a flyer on Haren. Im very suprised Colon hasnt seen any love this off season. Bring him back on the cheap too.

  24. J.Lucas says:

    Mister Delaware I can sometimes agree with the “he’s a person” but he is also a person that was making millions on the backs of fans like me. We were walking in the bar at the same time its not like I interrupted the guy in the middle of something. Enrique Wilson was with him and took a picture with me too.

    • Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

      Gotta give people the benefit of the doubt sometimes. We don’t act 100% the way we want at any given time.

      I recently took part in a charity event with the Nets in which I interacted with about half the team. Honestly, I’m not up on the 2012 Nets roster by face, so I literally had to introduce myself to each one of them just to figure out who’s who. Deron Williams was initially stand-offish when I did that, then turned out to be a hell of a nice guy for the rest of the event. If I judged him on those initial 30 seconds only, I’d have walked away with a completely different opinion.

      • J.Lucas says:

        Oh I’m not saying I hate the dude based on that but for me it was a once in a lifetime kinda deal. I live in Oklahoma and only get to visit NYC maybe once a year. I’m just sayin Wilson and El Duque made this guys day when Soriano didnt. Raul Mondesi saw my Yankee jersey, (ya grown man in a jersey) and came and shook my hand Shane Spencer came over and offered to sign something.

        • Mister Delaware says:

          But you have no idea what sort of day he was having. Maybe a relative was sick. Maybe he had diarrhea. Maybe he’s socially awkward. There’s like a million maybes that all fall under “he can’t expect to be on call for fans 24/7, even though your portion of that was only 30 seconds”. Like I said, he’s a person who deals with person things despite being a celebrity.

  25. J.Lucas says:

    meh, Jumpin Jack, i meant Harden. Amazing how much you lose with one letter.

  26. Monteroisdinero says:

    Can’t believe this thread started with an elaborate post by Steve Swisher on getting rid of his son.


  27. Rainbow Connection says:

    Soriano looks like the horse character from Ren and Stimpy.

  28. Darren says:

    The more I think about it the more I realize how stupid Mr Delaware is for not liking the Oswalt move.

    Look at the free agents left. Do the Yankees have money left to spend?

    Who would you rather spend it on than Oswalt?

    You’re like the morons on Survivor who leave the food auction with money in their hands. SO WHAT if he gets injured and can’t pitch – the money was just money. And a reasonable Oswalt move would not prevent any other moves that we want to do.

    But the possibility that he can make it through the year to help, or just come back in time for the playoffs is worth it. So you’re banking on Hughes leading the league in WHIP or having an 8+ SO/9 like Oswalt in 2010? He had an xFIP of 3.68 in Aug and Sept after he returned from the DL in 2011. By all accounts he feels great.

    There is ZERO downside to this move and it’s worth making.

    Don’t come crying to me when we have no second ace in the playoffs. Again. Let’s hope Nova reaches his reach potential, I guess.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      There is ZERO downside to this move and it’s worth making.

      The downside is that he gets hurt and the Yankees don’t have that money available to spend on a clear upgrade. They don’t have infinite money. There’s a difference between giving Oswalt the $10-12M it’ll take to sign him and giving Bartolo Colon a minor league contract last year.

      • J.Lucas says:

        So whats the downside on doing it again with Colon this year? He is better than Aaron Cook to the redsux.

        • Jesse says:

          The downside is that Colon gets injured or sucks, really. Except the result of one of those things happening isn’t $10-$12M going down the drain like it would with Oswalt if he got injured or sucked.

      • Darren says:

        If Oswalt’s medicals are as scary as Wally Mathews makes it sound like, it won’t take more than $8mm plus incentives to sign him (unless the Nats do something). What clear upgrade are they going to find before May or June? By that time, if anyone becomes avail via trade, whatever fake cap is being bandied about right now will have no meaning.

        The only reason the Yankees even have a “budget” is for negotiating purposes with agents.
        They can exceed it any time they want. Who does Hal have to answer to?? No one except maybe his wife.

        Right now Oswalt is the only hot chick at the bar. She might cost you a bottle and then split but she’s definitely worth getting to know better.

        • Mister Delaware says:

          A more apt analogy is Oswalt as the hot chick at the bar who might cost you a bottle then throw her back out the second you get her sweater off, leaving you out the cost of the bottle while still having to take care of her back injury.

    • Jesse says:

      Love the “Survivor” reference. Awesome show.

      • Darren says:

        I know, right? it has a bad reputation a if it was a stupid MTV show when it’s actually way more interesting than any stupid Law And Order, CSI, etc. procedural.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Don’t come crying to me when we have no second ace in the playoffs.

      Wait, was anyone coming to you in the first place???

    • Mister Delaware says:

      You confused me being absolutely against your phrasing with me being absolutely against signing Oswalt.

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