Assailing Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has become something of a Wrigley Field tradition along the lines of not paying attention to the game and throwing up in a urinal. Soriano's teammate Matt Garza, for one, has had just about enough of it. The Chicago Sun-Times quotes Garza:
‘‘I get pissed off when the fans treat him the way they do,'' said Garza, echoing teammates and club personnel in even stronger language. ‘‘That's freaking ridiculous. The guy's doing everything he can. He's hit 20 plus homers every season. He's a gamer. He games up and he does things he shouldn't be doing.
‘‘I love the guy to death. I'll back him till the end. He's a great dude. I love to have him out there. I love having him in the lineup, and he cares so much about what he does and takes a lot of pride in his craft, and it's a lot of respect right there.
‘‘And he deserves a lot more respect from the fans than what he's getting.''
As another Matt (our own Snyder) has pointed out, much of the Soriano hate likely surrounds his bloated contract, but that contract is hardly Soriano's fault. That's a management decision.
To be sure, there are worse fates than having a soused 19-year-old bleacher-dwelling "bro" from Winnetka curse your existence, but it's worth noting that Soriano is having a quality season at the plate. There's also a philosophical point to be made that one should never boo one's favorite team.