Geovany Soto: the Cubs' Bronx Bomber

In Friday's , 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/... 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-r...

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-r... 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/... 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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  • Hagsag 2 hours 21 min ago (view)

    It is hard to blieve that Corey Black is still around. Why?

     

  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 54 sec ago (view)

    Remember, the Cubs have until 5 PM (Eastern) on - SUNDAY - to decide whether to add any of the 25 minor leaguers who are eligible to be Rule 55 minor league second contract free-agents or 6YFA to the MLB 40-man roster, sign the player to a 2021 minor league successor contract, or allow the player to walk. (Some -- perhaps even most -- of the 25 have no doubt already signed successor contracts - TBD).  

     

  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 11 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have claimed 2B-3B-LF Max Schrock off waivers from the St. Loius Cardinals, and LHRP Rex Brothers has been sent outright to AAA Iowa. 

    If Brothers doesn't elect free-agency immediately, he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA on Sunday at 5 PM Eastern, unless he agrees to sign a 2021 minor league successor contract).  

    Brothers is out of minor league options and he is arbitation-eligible post-2020, so he was likely to be non-tendered on 12/2 anyway. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 53 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: It's pronounced "MAH - day" 

     

  • crunch 13 hours 22 min ago (view)

    "Jon Lester said in an interview on SiriusXM Friday that he's had conversations with president of baseball operations Theo Epstein "about getting something done, coming back and being a part of the organization." "

    ummm...how about no?  i mean, thanks for those 3 good seasons in your first 4 years as a cub...but after those last 2...yeah...no.

    also, the cubs claimed 2nd/3rd max schrock off waivers from STL (no power, bit of speed, slow to react in the IF even though the glove isn't bad).  meh.

     

  • K Dub 13 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Cubs had a prospect named Jose Made (also Dominican) between 2007-2009. I believe his name was pronounced like the verb "made". 

     

  • tim815 14 hours 44 min ago (view)

    I lean two syllables.

    He was Dominican-born, so Mah-day would have made sense, but that's a good Q.

     

  • K Dub 22 hours 59 min ago (view)

    PHIL: How is Kevin Made's last name pronounced? Is it mah-day? Or like it's spelled - made? Thanks!

     

  • Cubster 23 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Brewers decline Ryan Braun's option. Any predictions as to where he goes?

     

  • crunch 23 hours 52 min ago (view)

    KBO (korea) ends their season tomorrow.

    a.russell started off hot, but severely cooled off to a .253/.317/.336 slash (not counting today's game).  if he comes back to the US (and finds a team that wants to sign him), it should be rather cheap.

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Around the corner or in the ditch?

     

  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    my dream of seeing s.castro end his career with 3000+ hits and a WAR in the mid-30s, making HOF voters sweat, came to an end this year with the shortened season followed by the early injury.  he came into the year as a just-turned 30 year old (march 24) with 1617 hits.

     

  • George Altman 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Jerry Reinsdorf is reasons 1 thru 100 why I could never root for the White Sox and have hated the Bulls since 1999.

     

  • Sonicwind75 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Feels like Ricky and Starlin Castro should form a support group.  Everytime your rebuilding team is about to turn the corner and you're gone. 

     

  • Cubster 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    76 yr old Tony LaRussa to manage the W/Sox. Reinsdorf decision over objections. 

    Poor Rick Renteria. History repeats itself, NOPE. This won't end well (except for bring your dog day).

     

  • Cubster 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    but, but, but we're rounding the corner. The vaccine is warming up in the bullpen. Tucker's missing email package from Rudy is just lost in the mail. There are no pee-pee tapes. Corona, corona, corona. I like beer.   ...and the DeutchBank will just forgive billions of MLB owner's debt if they ask nicely. How are the Russian minor leagues looking this year Phil?