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'

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.


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 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?


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...

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.

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.


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).

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.

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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  • Maybe Theo will sign Shark just so he can call Billy Beane and say: "Let's see...Russell? Check. McKinney? Check. Hammel? Check. Ninja? Check. Any other deals?"

  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha

  • -0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...

    -3 WAR projected over the course of a season.

    the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.


  • Rockies sign Brian Schlitter to a minor league contract. Good luck in Coors Field. Enough said.

  • i'll take him over frandy since it's unlikely he'll progress as a SS (and 2nd isn't looking much better).

    i hope patton's delivery deception skills play well in the bigs over time. cubs need pitching options that are MLB-ready and dude fits the bill for a MLB/AAA mix...both needed.

  • I'm not saying he's great, but can we agree on the word "decent"? Became a pro at 23, called up at 26; nothing wrong with that trajectory, he hasn't been knocking around. Even in the majors his SO9 is 9.7. In the minors it's 12.2, so he's always missed bats, and without being a wild man: his walks are low. He cost the Cubs an unheralded A-ball middle infielder and a roster spot.