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...

Recent comments

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  • has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?”

    crunch 10 min 32 sec ago view
  • I agree -- I think if you are a soft-tosser, you need a track record before you are taken seriously. If Kyle posts sub-3.00 ERA consistently and wins 15+ games a few times (and pitches more innings), he may have a shot at the award in a few years. Hopefully, he gets in the top 5 this year -- would be deserved and a nice boost for his confidence.

    billybucks 35 min 15 sec ago view
  • It's also possible that the Cubs have no intention of recalling Spencer Patton. Perhaps Maddon has seen enough of him, and Patton will eventually be one of the players cut to make room for others who will be added to the 40 in September.

    Arizona Phil 37 min 5 sec ago view
  • I doesn't know what your talking about.

    Sonicwind75 41 min 39 sec ago view
  • Maybe it's to get him some game action. He's only pitched for the Cubs once in the last 10 days. I don't really care much about him going down since he's sucked when up here.

    I really want Rivero to be called up.

    chitownmvp01 46 min 47 sec ago view
  • CHITOWNMVP01: It is indeed odd that the Cubs did not just wait one more day to recall LaStella.

    As far as Spencer Patton is concerned...

    Arizona Phil 55 min 26 sec ago view
  • Why didn't they wait until tomorrow to call up TLS? Don't they have to wait 10 days to bring Patton back up now?

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 16 min ago view
  • Cubs assigned to Mesa Solar Sox (AFL):

    Victor Caratini, C
    James Farris, RHRP
    Ian Happ, 2B-OF
    Eloy Jimenez, OF
    Ryan McNeil, RHRP
    Steve Perakslis, RHRP
    Duane Underwood Jr, RHSP

    Brian Lawrence, Pitching Coach

    Jimenez, Happ, Caratini and Underwood are among the Cubs Top 10 Prospects, and playing in the AFL should help speed their development.

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • Outstanding.

    Jackstraw 2 hours 2 min ago view
  • So presuming he remains on the MLB Active List for the balance of the MLB regular season, Tommy LaStella will be at 2+102 MLB Service Time at the end of the season, far short of what he would have needed to accrue to have a chance at "Super Two" status post-2016. (Even if he had remained on the MLB Active List for the entire season and finished at 2+124 MLB Service Time, he still would have only been "on the bubble" for possible "Super Two" status post-2016).

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • I don't know about the defensive part of the equation, the fact all the Cubs pitchers are so ahead of their FIP makes me think it's a lot more defense than anything special Hendricks is doing.

    Rob G. 2 hours 42 min ago view
  • Thanks, jacos! I love a good Alice Cooper group performance video -- especially when it corresponds with a shrinking, division-clinching magic number!

    JoePepitone 2 hours 42 min ago view
  • TLS up and playing second today. Spencer Patton to Iowa to make room.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • Yeah that article describes what I said in my other post about WAR. BR WAR is fine as a snapshot but FG is a better predictor of future performance.

    I also get what you mean by FIP being independent of luck but my point is all the soft contact Hendricks gives up negates a lot of that luck and defense aspect. In other words I believe he could pitch in front of any defense and have similar #s because for the most part he isn't giving up the screaming liners or hard hit liners to the gap.

    johann 3 hours 20 min ago view
  • Down on the farm:

    "Dealin'" Cease with another good outing for Eugene. Last 4 outings: 16IP, 1ER 29K. But, 10BB. Throw strikes, kid.

    Candelario is killing it at Iowa after struggling at AA: .320/.406/.941 in 241AB. At age 22. Where the heck to put him next year?

    billybucks 4 hours 23 min ago view
  • SF now only 1 game ahead of the Cards for home field in the WC game.

    billybucks 4 hours 34 min ago view