CCS Hall of Fame '19
My favorite teams
Video on article page.. Thoughts?
Alfonso Soriano vows his trademark hop when he catches the ball will be no more, just as he promised years ago to quit hopping at home plate after home runs.
That's what he said after Saturday's 4-3 Cubs loss to the Astros, another game in which Soriano heard both boos and cheers from the 40,471 fans at Wrigley Field. Though went 2-for-4 with a key eighth-inning RBI, he also made his third error, giving him three on the season.
"No, not hop," he said. "Just more concentration when I catch the ball and not do the hop.
"Sometimes when (I hop) I move my head. So I have to get routine fly balls, I have to make those plays."
The one he missed Saturday was definitely routine. It was a two-out soft line drive right at him in the fifth inning. But after taking a few steps in, the ball clanked off the edge of his glove for an error that turned out to be harmless as the next hitter was retired.
"I just take my eyes out of the glove before the catch," he said. "I have to be more relaxed."
Soriano appears so bothered by his defense that it has become a mental distraction, so getting him to relax may be difficult.
"We need Soriano to swing the bat, that's the whole key," manager Lou Piniella said. "We know he's not going to win the Gold Glove in the outfield. Make the routine plays and swing the bat and we're very, very happy."
And that, Soriano is doing, going 5-for-10 in the last three days to raise his average to .286, third among the everyday lineup.