FanDuel - WFBC

September 19, 2006

With 45/40, Alfonso Soriano is in elite company, but can he do it again?: This writer seems to think not.

posted by mjkredliner to baseball at 09:04 AM - 31 comments

I wouldn't rule out 50/40 just yet. That only 4 players have done this says how difficult it is, I think. Speed and power is a remarkable combination. And, that he did it with RFK as his home park made it that much greater, I think.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:07 AM on September 19

I don't see where the writer is predicting what Soriano will or won't do -- all he is doing is observing that in the three times it has ever occurred, nobody has done it twice. I am glad you posted this mjk, because it is an interesting subject, but this article is short and obvious. It could have been an interesting piece if the writer explored -- as they do in the comments below the article -- why players don't repeat the feat. Soriano is one homer away from having accomplished this twice, and I see no reason to believe he won't have another good shot (or two, or five) at it before he is done.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:05 AM on September 19

I see no reason to believe he won't have another good shot (or two, or five) at it before he is done. Agreed. I also don't think the writer was saying "Absolutely not" to his chances, but, as all writers do, unless something's been done in the past, they look for trends that would suggest it won't happen. But, there always has to be a first one to do it, and I think Soriano has a great chance. He's a free-swinger who will always hit balls out. Whether it's a strike or a pitch out of the zone, he can put it in the seats. As for the steals, with the poor state of catchers currently who can throw guys out (legitimate base stealers, that is), as well as the increasing number of pitchers who seem to struggle keeping guys close or even giving the catcher a chance to throw someone out, he can continue to swipe 40 a season, no problem (health permitting). Playing on a bad team doesn't hurt either, since getting thrown out won't really matter in the grand scheme of things anyways. It he can pound balls out playing at RFK, there's quite a few other band-box stadiums he'll find to his liking too (should he be dealt this off-season).

posted by dyams at 11:19 AM on September 19

How about savoring this guys amazing accomplishment for at least a few seconds before we look towards next year... Anyone??

posted by myshtigo at 11:29 AM on September 19

I'm all for savoring it. That's not what the story was about, though.

posted by dyams at 12:08 PM on September 19

I've said for years that Soriano wouldn't be able to hit 40/40 in 2007, and I'm not about to change my mind now!

posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:10 PM on September 19

Strictly individual-oriented accomplishments pursued relentlessly in the waning weeks of a team's losing season are not on my list of things to savor. On edit: DrJohn, I've been saying the same thing about Len Crambush in 2027, but nobody listens to me.

posted by BullpenPro at 12:11 PM on September 19

If he never does it again,does he come off the list?What I am saying is---it's a season statistic. There are other "clubs" for homers and stolen bases in a career. That he has even achieved this once in his career is amazing.It seems to me that the only thing holding him back from doing it again,is that it's only been done four times in history,and noone has ever done it twice.

posted by Tubby Fan at 12:32 PM on September 19

Can he do it again? Definitely. Will he do it again? Probably not. Does it matter? No. It's just a made-up statistic for someone to keep track of and write about. Like hitting for the cycle. Or most consecutive games with a homerun or a double or an rbi. Interesting, but in the end not really that important.

posted by graymatters at 01:51 PM on September 19

I've said for years that Soriano wouldn't be able to hit 40/40 in 2007, and I'm not about to change my mind now! how can you say for years someone wont do something in a specified year, is that the same as me saying D Jeter wont hit 40 hrs in 2010? maybe im just reading this wrong? anyone? soriano however is an outstanding player and i see him doing it again

posted by jjmule16 at 03:32 PM on September 19

dude, the good doctor was joking.

posted by cybermac at 03:53 PM on September 19

I'm still in shock that the Rangers let him go last year and got nada for him. The rap on Soriano was he wasn't a good infielder. I thought he was adequate and with that stick who cares?

posted by sickleguy at 04:20 PM on September 19

I think one of the most amazing things about Soriano's season has been that he has also thrown out 25 base runners in his first year as an outfielder.

posted by urall cloolis at 07:03 PM on September 19

He missed the 40/40 club last year by one HR.... Now he got it... and he should be able to repeat any time in the near future... If I were to put money down, it would be on that he will do it again before his career ends.

posted by zippinglou at 07:39 PM on September 19

I'm still in shock that the Rangers let him go last year and got nada for him. Well, the player they got in return (Wilkerson) wasn't really chopped liver. It looks like he was damaged goods, but he had shown signs of being a top-notch player. As for Soriano's chances for repeating the 40/40 feat, I'll bet against it. Not because I don't think he has the skills, but because I believe in the phrase "regression to the norm". I don't believe he'll hit 40/40 every year left in his career, so it's a strong belief that his "normal" skill level is below that. Players peak all the time, but that doesn't mean it is necessarily their new level of skill. He's going to be 31 next season and that would suggest his skills are going to begin a (possible) slow decline, especially speed. As well, he's starting to hit the ball in the air more than ever before, meaning he's less likely to hit singles, reducing his chances to steal second. As well, his stolen base percentage is the worst of his career this year, suggesting that it's more of a case of running A LOT instead of running well. I think one of the most amazing things about Soriano's season has been that he has also thrown out 25 base runners in his first year as an outfielder. Well, that's because lots and lots and lots of base runners have been told to try and take an extra base on him. Outfield assists (like catcher's caught stealing totals) are odd fielding statistics because a high value in them suggests that opposing players don't really believe they are that good. Look at Ivan Rodriguez's caught stealing numbers: only 22, compared to AL leader Ramon Hernandez with 39. However there have only been 43 attempts when IRod's been behind the plate (while Ramon has faced 85). Soriano has 21 outfield assists, while Ichiro Suzuki (who is known for his arm and accuracy) only has 8 (yes, it's LF vs RF, but RFs usually get more chances to throw out runners anyways). I'd like to see a count of how many runners try to take an extra base on Soriano. My guess is that it's MUCH higher than an average left fielder.

posted by grum@work at 08:28 PM on September 19

Mr. Grum. I see and agree somewhat with your point on the outfield assists. I am still personally impressed by the number of assists he has, all things considered and being in his first season as an outfielder. I am definitely NOT trying to say he is the best or even among the elite defensive outfielder in the game. I am still impressed though.

posted by urall cloolis at 09:34 PM on September 19

Grum: I don't think yours is a bad bet, but I don't think the likelihood of his doing it is as low as you suggest. If you take out 2004 (his first in Texas), Soriano has shown a "norm" of high-mid-30s homers and has stolen over 40 bases more often than not. Certainly, the big factor will be where his next contract comes from, but if he ends up on another (or the same) team that is at a dead end by the beginning of September, Soriano is going to have a lot of leeway to pursue these numbers again to put people in the seats. But for one homer, this was #2 and I'll respectfully bet against you that there's another in his future. As for the assists issue, you are dead on. I think that would explain why Melky Cabrera leads the AL in that category -- it took a while for the league to believe in his arm as well.

posted by BullpenPro at 10:20 PM on September 19

All I know (or hope) is that Alfonso Soriano will be wearing a Mets uniform come next year. Soriano showed signs of greatness when he was with that "other" New York team and I'm sure that the Yankees are kicking themselves in the ass for letting him slip away before he even hit his prime. Whether he gets 40/40 again in a season is truly a toss-up but considering the fact that Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez were the only ones to accomplish this feat, let Soriano enjoy THIS year.

posted by BornIcon at 06:03 AM on September 20

I'm sure that the Yankees are kicking themselves in the ass for letting him slip away before he even hit his prime Didn't they trade him as part of the deal for A-Rod? I can't see being upset about that deal. Plus they've got a decent 2B replacement.

posted by yerfatma at 06:10 AM on September 20

Good luck to your Mets on that one. There's usually a good reason for why a guy who puts up Soriano's numbers gets shuttled around as much as he has. You'll notice his performance hasn't translated into all that many wins for his ballclub. As for the Yankees kicking themselves, if you mean kicking A-Rod, then, yes, you're right. Of the guys who have done the 40/40 thing, only Canseco (the first) was on a division-leading team. The season after Bonds hit the 40/40 mark, he came up 3 stolen bases shy of doing it again. That his team was in a pennant race, winning the division by 2 games, is not a coincidence. If the Giants had been out of it, Bonds would have gotten that other 40. I really feel that 40/40 is a show that is put on for the benefit of losing teams -- it's not that hard to do if that's all you're trying to do. And my impression of Soriano (perhaps flawed) is that this is what he's ALWAYS trying to do. It's not a winning strategy.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:29 AM on September 20

It's probably also worth noting in this discussion that Soriano has the highest caught stealing percentage of his career this season.

posted by holden at 10:15 AM on September 20

Soriano could easily repeat the feat, but he needs some solid hitters around him. He needs a guy like Torri Hunter to hit behind him to create some sort of diversion to make stealing bases easier. Right now, the Nats have some good talent, but nobody who can really act as a security blanket for Soriano. If Soriano ever went back to the Yankees (or a team with a good lineup), he would have a great shot at repeating.

posted by Kendall at 08:41 PM on September 20

Soriano has achieved a fine numerical distinction; give the guy credit. But, if Rickey Henderson would have ingested the same amount of performance enhancing supplements that Bonds and Conseco have,don't you think that Rickey might have established a 70-70 club? Maybe a 100-100 club! Can we really trust, or appreciate, any statistical milestone that is reached in this age?

posted by judgedread at 10:23 PM on September 20

40/40 is a "made-up stat", but to even approach those figures in a single season puts you in pretty select company. Some players that have come close: Willie Mays(36/40), 1956 & (35/38), 1957 Hank Aaron (44/31), 1963 Carlos Beltran (38/42), 2004 Eric Davis (37/50), 1987 Vladimir Guerrero (39/40), 2002 Larry Walker (49/33), 1997 Howard Johnson (36/41), 1989 Soriano (39/41), 2002 Bobby Bonds (39/43), 1973 & (37/41), 1977 Barry Bonds (34/39), 1992 & (40/37), 1997 Darryl Strawberry (39/36), 1987 Shawn Green (35/35), 1998 and, how could we forget, Ken Williams (39/37), quite a year for 1922! So yeah, I agree, it signifies little more than a great year, but, I also think that Soriano is a heckuva ballplayer, who has overcome some bad press by hustling and being a positive influence in the clubhouse, and who would be a welcome addition to any team.

posted by mjkredliner at 12:49 AM on September 21

But, if Rickey Henderson would have ingested the same amount of performance enhancing supplements that Bonds and Conseco have,don't you think that Rickey might have established a 70-70 club? That's some very impressive hyperbole. Considering Henderson never hit 30HR, I'm not sure there would be any chance he could hit an extra 40+ HR in a season, regardless of the drugs he might have been able to consume. It should also be pointed out that Bonds 40/40 season was 3 years before anyone believes Bonds first took any PEDs. He needs a guy like Torri Hunter to hit behind him to create some sort of diversion to make stealing bases easier. Torii Hunter is like a lite- version of Alfonso Soriano. Not quite as much speed, not quite as much power, not quite enough batting eye. If anything, I'd put Hunter IN FRONT of Soriano to give Hunter more options.

posted by grum@work at 11:20 AM on September 21

This just in - regrets from Soriano. Alfonso Soriano Regrets Joining 40-40 Club After Meeting Other Members

posted by skydivemom at 09:03 AM on September 22

Nice, SDM, but you forgot the first rule of posting anything from the Onion: IT'S A FRIGGIN' JOKE, SCREWHEADS!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:03 PM on September 22

I guess I can't post something funny like countless other people do. Yes I know it is a joke and no one else has commented on it so I guess you are calling me a screwhead. Good day to you too! Next time I will be sure to post that I am making a joke so you will know.

posted by skydivemom at 07:17 PM on September 22

SDM, lighten up...I was commenting on the fact that people often don't realize the Onion is a satirical site, and often start sputtering and freaking out after they read an article like that. Jeez, I"m on your side here.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:11 PM on September 22

Bad day - you took the hit. Sorry!

posted by skydivemom at 10:08 PM on September 22

Just in this morning: 40 doubles, too.

posted by mjkredliner at 07:55 AM on September 23

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