Geovany Soto: the Cubs' Bronx Bomber

In Friday's New York Times, Alan Schwarz profiled Geo
Soto, and we learn that despite being born in Puerto Rico and attending
high school there, Soto played his first "significant game" in New
York. The Cub catcher lived with his family in the Bronx from the time
he was four until age eight.

Soto remembers it very clearly. It might have been just
below the reservoir. Or maybe down near that ice rink. But it was
definitely in Manhattan's Central Park.


"It was awesome," said Soto... "You go with your dad to
the practice field, but never in my life I'd ever put a uniform on and
played with other kids. I felt like, 'Wow, it's really happening—I'm
going to play baseball.'"

Schwarz also writes about Soto's rapport with the Cubs pitching staff.

In part of because of his excellent English, Soto handled
the veteran pitching staff with such aplomb that many Cubs considered
him the team's backbone and most valuable player—despite the presence
of established stars like Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso
Soriano. Soto knew when to talk and when not to.

Regarding Soto's hitting prowess, Schwarz mentions
Soto's significant weight loss leading up to his monster offensive season at Iowa
(.353-26-109) in 2007.

[Soto's weight] ballooned to as much as 250 pounds. It was only after losing weight that he began to emerge...


"Nobody was high on him after 2006, myself included,"
said Gary Hughes, a special assistant to the Cubs' general manager, Jim
Hendry. "But there was a different Geovany Soto out there."


The new Soto had more flexibility through his midsection,
allowing him to turn on pitches, and the stamina to keep calling them
deep into games and seasons.

Soto is hardly the first player to see a correlation
between his weight and his baseball numbers. Still, with all the stats
sites and baseball reference books out there, I can't ever recall
seeing one that tracked changes in a player's weight from season to
season. Maybe it's not possible to get legitimate numbers anyway: teams
in all sports are notorious for fudging those figures to effect.
(Basketball teams, of course, are also known to misstate their players'
heights.)

But if it was possible to gather this data, I think we
would be able to establish some interesting connections between
particular players and particular performance levels.

Comments

In part of because of his excellent English, Soto handled the veteran pitching staff with such aplomb that many Cubs considered him the team's backbone and most valuable player—despite the presence of established stars like Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano. Soto knew when to talk and when not to.

Did the paper of record end a sentence with a preposition on a paragraph talking about excellent English?

I'll show myself out...

Maybe they were trying to rhyme "not to" with Soto.

Actually, ending a sentence with a preposition is considered proper. See Chicago Manual of Style 5.169: "The traditional caveat of yesteryear against ending sentences with prepositions is, for most writers, an unnecessary and pedantic restriction. As Winston Churchill famously said, 'That is the type of arrant pedantry with which I shall not put....' The 'rule' prohibiting terminal prepositions was an ill-founded superstition."

pedantic restrictions like a motherfucker.

*goes around giving out lots of high-5s*

I saw the Pedantic Restrictions play a great show at the Whiskey A Go Go in LA back in 81 or 82. Wall of Voodoo opened IIRC.

it's not that I really care, but it's what you always hear...plus I thought the rule was it was okay if it was part of verb.

something like..."not that he was aware of..."

Anyway, I was just busting balls...I certainly don't have the right to be correcting other people's grammar.

I'm not the greatest with my grammar rules, but my sense is that at this point split infinitives and ending sentences with prepositions is more a matter of style than of grammar rules.  I try not to end a sentence with a preposition because A. it usually doesn't have a good ring to it and B. it's become a silly social convention that people notice, even on baseball blogs. The NYT writer should have avoided it for both of those reasons, as much or moreso than for any questionable grammar...  

 

:)

 

 Ok, back to work here.  woo.

 

Oh, and Nice Article.

i wonder what god of graphic design made that patch on Team Italy's jersey...

bright white text on bright/light neon green...brilliant. i still have no idea what it says.

I think it's a sponsorship patch...puerto rico had a best buy logo.

yeah...i just have no idea what it says, though...the color scheme on it (and the glossy material it's printed on) makes the whole thing a neon blur.

don't worry, there's a bunch of ad agency dudes in Italy right now arguing about it...

"Vito, wtf? Neon Green? Anyone fucking bother to see how this would look on TV?"

Why's he got to be named Vito, huh?

Racist.

Why's he got to be named Vito, huh?

First Godfather name that came to my mind...Fredo, Michael or Sonny were also acceptable.

You're right about Rob, btw. I know for a fact he IS a racist. He hates white people with a passion.

i've met some white people, they're not all bad. some even live in my neighborhood and no one's said a bad word about them that i know of.

I'm definitely not a racist. I've got some white friends even.

I'm not a racist, I voted for McCain.

Wittenmyer proves useful...

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/14654...

great article on Mark O'Neal, Cubs almost didn't get him as Cards originally refused to let Cubs interview him.

Phil Rogers on how Chicago White Sox Dr. Anthony Romeo repaired CURT SCHILLING'S SHOULDER. (and he could return to baseball the second half of this season)

Says, this procedure, biceps tenodesis, could make shoulder injuries as fixable as elbow injuries.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-08-rogers...

Navigator, you misread that article...Dr. Craig Morgan did Schilling's surgery. He was assisted by one of Dr. Romeo's associates. They apparently used Dr. Romeo's technique. The operation isn't new it's just a minor variation on technique that is "new".

Yeezus, I was just steering you to the article.

fergeddit

No, you were steering and summarizing. You summarized wrong.

Phil Rogers sunday article mentions Dr. Tony Romeo (he's officially on the WSux payroll as one of their team physicians, he's a shoulder specialist from Rush) in the context of the operation that Curt Schilling had (biceps tenodesis). Even though the surgery was done in Boston (by Dr. Morgan).

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-08-rogers...

This operation removes the biceps from where it originates above the glenoid (shoulder socket) because it's frayed or partially torn and takes the tendon where it rests more proximally on the upper humerus (arm bone) and re-anchors it there. The frayed origin can then be removed. This keeps the tendon from completely rupturing and gives the long head origin of the biceps a secure origin again. The short head origin of the biceps attaches at a different location (coracoid process) and usually doesn't tear.

http://www.southwest-ortho.com/images/sports/proxi...

Biceps tenodesis has been around a long time and the techniques have improved modestly with smaller incisions. The improvements due more to technology advancements such as suture anchors and interference screw fixation options than anything (at least for that operation). These tools have developed in response to shoulder arthroscopy which has seen many advances in the last decade. The Knee joint was the area that had the first wave of advancements before the shoulder became the "hot" area. Now the hip is in it's early development stages...hence the on and off decisions regarding whether ARo-d should have his hip labral tear fixed.

On WSCR sports update they said ARod WILL have surgery tuesday.
Expecting 6-9 weeks for recovery.
This is most likely what Utley had in the offseason so I'd expect if he does return that quickly it will be as a DH.

I was just steering you to the article.
---
not intending to pick...after all you are the Navigator and steering is your specialty.

there aint nothing on TCR but steers and queers and i don't see you wearing a rainbow flag with matching spats and clogs. oh my...smashing!

This was wrong on so many levels. I'm just gonna walk away from it.

Oh dear god...

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  • In all seriousness the Cubs have the fewest amount of games played in the NL which means they're gonna be facing quite the grind later on including 24 games in a row at the end of June and beginning of July so I hope he does get a few days off.

    johann 17 min 50 sec ago view
  • Meh. He only got one hit today. Maybe give him a rest?

    Old and Blue 53 min 34 sec ago view
  • 34-14...awww yeah.

    crunch 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 3 hours 10 min ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 41 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 43 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 53 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 7 hours 36 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 12 hours 21 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 12 hours 22 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 22 hours 3 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 1 day 1 hour ago view