A day after Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he is considering moving Alfonso Soriano down in the lineup, the Cubs left fielder held a press conference announcing he is willing to re-learn how to play baseball for 2009.

“The current economy is troubling for many Americans who don’t get paid a ton of money to play a kid’s game,” said Soriano, who’s three years into a $136 million contract. “Out of respect for the unemployed and those who have recently lost their homes, I am willing to put forth a little effort this season.”

Among the steps the perennial All-Star is willing to take are moving down in the lineup from the leadoff spot where he’s often ineffective, leaving the box within 10 seconds of hitting a home run and lightly jogging to a batted ball which rolls into the outfield corner. When asked if getting on base in a playoff game could become part of his new regimen, Soriano said he’d “think about it.”

“People are struggling to feed their families and pay their mortgages,” said Soriano. “The fans don’t want to see a multi-millionaire dogging it all game, every game. This season I’ll try to hustle more. Or at least try during night games at home.”

heckler editorial staff