Results tagged ‘ Alfonso Soriano ’
Featuring the Cubs’ veteran left fielder, the August issue of Vine Line remembers Fergie Jenkins’ Cy Young season and gives an insider’s look to the Yankees series at Wrigley.
- Play it Forward: Alfonso Soriano has taken Cubs prospects under his wing.
- Total Domination: Ferguson Jenkins‘ Cy Young season still impresses 40 years later.
- The Profile: Chris Carpenter.
- Glory Days: 9 innings with Jose Cardenal.
- Stretching Out with Joel McHale.
- Farm Report: No rest for the minor league All-Stars.
- Minor league notebooks and more.
Get your insider’s pass to Wrigley Field today at cubs.com/vineline.
The upcoming June 2011 issue of Vine Line features Koyie Hill and Sean Marshall grilling up High Plains Bison steaks and burgers for a group of Cubs minor-leaguers. So with Memorial Day and cookout season right around the corner, we asked four other Cubs what they’ll be grilling this year. Subscribe or give a gift today.
Casey Coleman, RHP
“My girlfriend’s from Tennessee, and her grandma cooks a whole meal by herself: ham, turkey and sweet, fried corn. In Florida, the only time we would cook out like that is Thanksgiving.”
John Grabow, LHP
“Carne asada tacos. I usually make homemade salsa, guacamole. I love to grill. That’s one of my favorite things to do in the off-season, especially on football Sundays.”
Jeff Baker, IF/OF
“I’m a hamburger-and-hot dog-on-a-grill guy. It’s about the only thing I can cook. Ketchup and relish, the more relish the better. Then go jump in the pool.”
Alfonso Soriano, OF
“In the Dominican, it’s tropical food: rice and beans and chicken. So that’s what I like in the summer. And mangoes, too.”
Yesterday brought the 2009 season to a close, and despite the Cubs being out of it, the 162nd game reminded me why we stick it through to the end.
This time it was to see Sam Fuld pick up his first major-league RBI. And of course, he did it with some style, hitting a home run to deep rightfield to get it done all by himself. Fuld made a name for himself — and rewarded many of the organization’s scouts and minor-league coaches who have praised him for his baseball IQ and plate discipline — this season with a number of full-extension catches as well as a .299 batting average and .409 on-base percentage.
Being that it was Fuld’s first home run, it was worth paying close attention to the dugout’s reaction. Sure enough, the team gave Fuld the silent treatment while the outfielder beckoned them on a little bit. They held still until Fuld walked by Derrek Lee, who reached back to give him a big pat on the back.
“I kind of sniffed out what they were doing when I got back in there,” Fuld told reporters. “But it meant a lot to me.”
Once again, Cubs fans, you showed why you are the best in baseball. After Derrek Lee’s eighth-inning flyout, the near-sellout crowd gave him a standing ovation for his outstanding season.
“I wasn’t expecting it; I didn’t know how to react,” Lee told reporters after the game. “I appreciate it. It was really cool.”
Thanks to all of our fans who supported us at the ballpark or across the nation by subscribing to Vine Line this season.
Seen around the ballpark this last weekend:
? Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster continuing to go on runs together, even after Lilly had thrown his last pitch in 2009.
? Top Cubs prospects Brett Jackson, Casey Coleman and Kyler Burke wearing eager smiles as they were taken through the Cubs clubhouse to meet the big-leaguers and on the field for a ceremony with Double-A manager Ryne Sandberg (right).
? Sandberg and Lou Piniella talking Cubs baseball in the home dugout, minutes before the national anthem on Saturday.
– Sean Ahmed
On Sept. 2, Geovany Soto chaired the 2nd Annual Rooters Ball at Harry Caray’s Italian Steakhouse in downtown Chicago. Organized by the West Side Rooters Social Club, the event benefitted Chicago Cubs Charities, supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Major League Baseball Dominican Development Alliance.
Several current Cubs players joined Soto, including Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Derrek Lee, Carlos Marmol, Jake Fox, Sam Fuld, Randy Wells and John Grabow. Also present was “Mr. Cub” Ernie Banks, chairman of the West Side Rooters Social Club.
We talked to several players, in Spanish, about their charitable support:
VL: Why are you participating in the Rooters Ball?
Geovany Soto: Well, growing up in Puerto Rico, I was lucky that I had everything I needed and I was healthy all my life. But I saw the needs around me, and I thought that, if I ever had the chance, I would love to help kids. And in this case, kids with diabetes need a lot of help. Also, when I was playing in the minors, I had a coach [Alan Dunn] whose son was diagnosed with diabetes. I had a really good relationship with him and his son, and that painful moment for them affected me because they were important to me.
Alfonso Soriano: Geovany invited me. I am here supporting him in this worthy cause. Tonight we are participating for the Chicago Cubs.
Jake Fox: No. 1, I have great respect for Geovany Soto, and when he invited me to participate, I did it gladly. This is a noble cause, and when a player of his caliber asks you to help, you do it because that’s what friends are for. Another reason is that my wife has diabetes. She is a Type 1 diabetic, and every time I can help JDRF, I am first in line.
VL: We know some of the proceeds from this event will go to the Dominican Republic through the MLB Dominican Development Alliance. What does it feel like to know that you are helping the Dominican community?
I just sat down with Lou Piniella for our “In the Dugout” Q&A, a first-half wrap-up to appear in the next issue of Vine Line. With one game remaining here before the All-Star break, Lou talked about the whole gamut: the Cubs’ injuries, depth, hitting struggles, success in the rotation, training staff and more.
One interesting note from our sit-down is Lou’s self-identification as a managerial “pragmatist.” He brought that up when discussing the recent success of Alfonso Soriano batting third, fifth and sixth in the order. Lou has seen a difference in Soriano’s at-bats — a patience and selectivity that wasn’t there before — and it sounds like Lou will go with what works. He didn’t necessarily expect the change to affect Soriano’s plate discipline, but Lou has been encouraged by the result.
Certainly it’s been a season that has demanded pragmatism, considering the litany of injuries that have struck the Cubs. It’s a situation Lou calls “almost comical” in a half-joking, half-disbelieving sense. He pointed out the really impressive work by Jake Fox as one of the things he looks forward to seeing continue in the second half.
For more, I’d encourage you to pick up the August issue of Vine Line. You can subscribe online or by calling 1-800-248-9467.
Fox won’t be starting tonight — at third base or behind the plate — as regulars Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez man the corners.
Right-hander Adam Wainwright (9-5, 3.09 ERA) pitches for the Cardinals.
And we have a late addition to the lineup: Punk rock band Green Day will be singing the seventh-inning stretch.
– Sean Ahmed
MESA, Ariz.—Every year, major-league ballplayers must endure an annual ritual of combing their hair, shaving their faces clean (or at least somewhat) and mugging for the camera. It is Photo Day for them, and they put their best faces forward, despite the fact it’s 7:00 in the morning.
The entire first floor of Fitch Park is turned into a massive photo studio. Among the participants, the Associated Press, Major League Baseball, Topps and Comcast, among others. It’s all put together very efficiently and organized, led by media relations director Peter Chase and his staff. Our staff photographer Steve Green organizes the photographers in location.
For the most part, all the players arrive at their designated times, albeit bleary eyed. There are very compliant to whatever poses we ask them to do. Steve and I are there to do a special photo shoot for our gameday program, CUBS2009. We had scripted the poses beforehand knowing we wouldn’t have more than a minute with each one.
The shoot went swimmingly. We got some great shots Geovany Soto and Ivan DeJesus modeling the WBC jersey of their home country Puerto Rico. We also got a couple and of Mike Fontenot and Carlos Zambrano doing their pregame routine of “Z” hammering “Font” into the ground. They were very playful and the shots turned out great. But to see them, you’ll have to get the program at Wrigley Field!!!!
We also got Ryan Dempster and Rich Harden playing hockey with hockey sticks and using a baseball as a puck. Tremendous. Chad Gaudin and Reed Johnson seem like they are in a competition to see who can look most like a billy goat. Perhaps when they finally shave off their goatees, we can say we killed the “curse of the billy goat!”
Of course, then there was manager Lou Piniella, who’s seen his fair share of photo days. In fact, say Lou, how many of these photo days have you seen?
“Too many,” he laughed.
However, Cubs legend Billy Williams skipped photo day and went straight out to the field..
“‘Greenie!’ You don’t need me, right? Man, you got enough pictures of me after all these years. Look, after you turn 65, your face don’t change much year to year,” Williams said, cracking up all the photographers.
Hey, when a Hall of Famer says he doesn’t want to take a picture, he doesn’t have to take a picture.
We also worked with Morry Gash, the photographer from AP. I asked him for a photo that he shot the other day. It was such a candid shot of Alfonso Soriano that I had to ask him if we could just borrow it for the blog.
But altogether, the photo shoot–and day–worked out very well….I’d encourage everyone to check out the gameday program the next time you’re at Wrigley Field. The pictures and experience was certainly worth more than a 1000 words.
PS. And one special note of sympathy goes out to our hitting coach Gerald Perry, who also was not at photo day. He lost his father last Friday to colon cancer. We are all thinking about you, G.