I have called him the team albatross and have been horrified by his fielding, but all is forgiven now that Alfonso Soriano is hitting--and more specifically, hitting homeruns. He has a four-bagger in each of his last four games and looks to tie the franchise record in Pittsburgh tonight (Don't say I jinxed him--people have been talking this since last night).
I'm kidding when I say all is forgiven, though it is until he starts slumping again. We all know from past experience that Soriano is streaky, and I still think his in the midst of one of those streaks. Working with Rudy Jaramillo supposedly has made him more patient at the plate, and there have been some definite differences, like when he lays off an outside pitch more frequently than he used to. He also has hit to the right side more often--at least from my seat it has looked that way. But, until we see it last all season, we'll still call him a feast-or-famine kind of guy. (Soriano also supposedly stopped using his annoying, fundamentally-unsound hop when catching fly balls, but it seemed to me he has gone back to it the last few games).
I don't think anyone can change Soriano too much, but enjoy the streak while it lasts. Maybe it will last a little longer than in past seasons, and maybe he can carry the Cubs for a few weeks, too.
Brad Ausmus worked out as well as Robin Ventura
2 hours ago