Soriano: Just Like 2006 Grossman



 By Paul M. Banks 

From sports talk radio to internet comment threads to discussions held at sports bars, the Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano is a hot topic. Whether it’s positive or negative, depends on the week, or sometimes the day. Last Wednesday night, the Cubs leadoff hitter was a hero and local deity after driving in the winning run with a walk-off single. A week from this past Sunday he was a goat and pariah after he dropped a routine fly ball during the final inning of a loss at Pittsburgh. Oh the polarity! Does this experience seem familiar? It should, because of the season Bears quarterback Rex Grossman had in 2006. When Grossman was good, he was phenomenal, setting Bears franchise passing records and leading the NFL with seven 100+ passer rating games. “Bringing Rexyback” was even the September NFC Player of the Month. However, when he was bad, he was an abysmal “Train Rex,” producing five games with a sub-50 passer rating. This included a 0.0 in the season finale. If you’re unfamiliar with this statistic, let’s just say that you could take a random QB out of a Chicago Social Club flag football league, put him in the NFL and he would really have to try to screw up to get a 0.0 passer rating. Rex was like Forrest Gump’s description of life and a box of chocolates: you never now what you’re gonna get. 


2008 Soriano is currently the Cubs version. During his injury-plagued April, he hit .192 with just 2 HR and 5 RBI. He just finished a May (.339, 10 HR, 29 RBI) that might earn him an MLB player of the month award. And I thought the girls I dated in graduate school were unstable. So is the real Alfonso Soriano…an oft-injured $136 million dollar mistake who insists on hitting leadoff despite his subpar on-base percentage and perhaps the worst defensive left-fielder in the game today? Or is he the most exciting bat in the Cubs lineup, a powerful slugger capable of carrying a team for a whole month like he did during September of last year’s division title season? The correct answer is d.) all of the above. Grossman and Soriano are described by many different adjectives, just not “predictable.”



  1. Greg Vandeventer says

    Great comparison and a terrific article!!!!!

  2. paulmbanks says

    thanks man! how about that eruption by big Z just now?

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