Alfonso Soriano isn’t exactly known for his prowess in the outfield, which is why Mike Quade and the entire Cubs coaching staff are frightened over the idea that Soriano has taken it upon himself to teach his “hop” technique to all of the younger outfielders.
To properly incorporate the hop into every catch, Soriano had the grounds crew paint hop scotch boxes throughout the entire outfield.
“He could single-handedly ruin all of the progress we’ve made in teaching these youngsters in our minor league system the proper fundamentals,” said a nervous Quade. “He’s got them hopping around like 10-year-old girls out there!”
Included in Soriano’s “teachings” are certain techniques he has employed to routinely end up at the bottom of the league in fielding percentage, such as using the sun as a measuring point to predict where the ball will land, and how to sense the warning track before you actually reach it in order to avoid catching the ball near the outfield wall.
“I think all this criticism of my fielding is unfair,” said Soriano. “If I was so bad, why would Jim Hendry sign me to a nine-year contract, right?”
Although Soriano is passing on his bad fielding habits to a younger generation of ballplayers, Quade is relieved that he’s keeping his batting tips to himself.
“Hendry made it a policy that Soriano must stay at least 50 feet from any players under the age of 25 while they take batting practice,” said Quade. “We just can’t have an entire team full of players who only swing at sliders in the dirt.”
By Michael Kloempken. Photoshop by Kurt Evans.