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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

FONZIE'S STILL THE COOLEST


I hated losing Alfonso Soriano. Hated it. Thought it was a terrible move then, and still think that now. He was productive, exciting, and just loads of fun to watch. He was a key part to the Yankees offense.

And yeah, he has dropped a ball or two. Soriano has led the league in errors from two separate positions. He never would have held on to Second Base even if Robinson Cano was not on his way to claim it. But I didn’t want to lose him.

Bobby Bonds was the first Yankee to hit 30 dingers and steal 30 bags in 1975. Alfonso was the second, in 2002, and he did it the next year as well. Two years in a row. I didn’t want to lose a two-time 30-30 Club member.

(In Photo: Bobby Bonds)
Soriano’s bat made up for any defensive gaffes. It didn’t matter that his favorite candy bar was Butterfinger if he brought power and basepath savvy. Oh yeah, he also set a record in 2003 for lead off homers with 13. Why wouldn’t you hate to lose that?

Detractors will also talk about how much Soriano whiffs. That can’t be denied. Fonzie racks up a lot of Ks. But that’s also the sign of a guy who can put the ball out of the park. Let’s review his dinger history shall we?


Soriano’s first MLB hit was a game winning homer against Tampa in 1999. He followed this by snagging the MVP Award in the 1999 All-Star Futures game with two home runs during that contest.

Were it not for Luis Gonzalez singling off of Mariano in game 7, Soriano wins the Yankees their 27th Championship back in 2001. Remember that? He had the go-ahead home run. He got it off of Curt Schilling, no less. Oh, and that was the same year he came in third for Rookie of the Year.



I. Hated. Losing. Alfonso Soriano.

Now, of course, he’s back. It’s nine years later, and he isn’t quite the same guy we traded away in 2004. But he’s still capable of meeting his career average of .272. He is still capable of swatting dingers. According to his career stats he is probably good for at least a dozen or so until season’s end. He is still a threat on the basepaths.

In short, Fonzie is capable of injecting some heat into the Yankee offense. He is already beginning to. He is more likely to do that than the guy the Yankees traded him for. That guy is still here. Remember him? It’s Alex Rodriguez.


Alfonso is now a respected veteran. He is famously good in the clubhouse. He is just the tonic for the ARod mess. And it’s poetic that Soriano can help the team deal with the issues of the player they traded him away for.

Soriano will remain cool under fire and steady the others. He will relieve tension and pressure. He will add power and speed. He will provide insurance for Robbie and Curtis Granderson. He will provide leadership.


The only thing about Fonzie that’s not cool is his bat. He is capable of helping the Yankees make the post-season. I hated losing him, and I am very glad he’s back.

 
Chad R. MacDonald
BYB Features Writer
Facebook: New York Yankees the Home of Champions
My Blog: ChadRants



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