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Sori, Mr. Bowden.

I said from the get-go I didn't want him. So did Willie Randolph.
But the rumors persist about some supposedly young, some supposedly athletic, some supposed slugger at second base. But what do we really know about Alfonso Soriano? He's a lot more like Mr. Matsui than you'd think.
  • One thing is his age: he's three months younger than Kaz Matsui. They're both thirty this year. And for all we know, Sori could really be fifty.

  • His home/away splits: His home OPS at the lovable bandbox Ameriquest Field (OBP + SLG) is 1.011. Phenomenal. His away OPS- .639. For a comparison, Kaz Matsui's OPS last year was .652. Moreover, Chris Woodward's was .730. And don't let OPS be the only factor: Matsui hit .255 last year. Sori's road split: .224. Alfonso played in the AL West last year. A good way to compare parks is by Park Factor, the so-called number to determine whether it favors hitters or pitchers. A park factor over 100 favors hitters. Ameriquest had a PF of 104. However, Angel Stadium had a PF of 96, Seattle's Safeco Field a PF of 99 and the Network Associates Coliseum in Oakland a PF of 103. These parks, where Soriano played most of his road games, are favorable to the NL East parks, yet Soriano hit .103 in Seattle, .256 in Oakland and .150 at Angel Stadium. Imagine if this kid played 81 games at Shea (PF 99). Using the numbers generated at the other 99 PF stadium, we could be looking at a second baseman with a .103 batting average at home. Ugly. And don't get me started about his power numbers on the road. In 326 Road AB (he had 315 at home), he hit 11 HR and drove in 31 runs, while striking out 74 times. Considering he'd be playing his home games at Shea and his road schedule would be relatively similar, he could hit 22 HR and drive in 62 runs while hitting .224 with a .265 OBP and striking out 148 times. Yeah, I'd take that for ten million dollars if we could sign Mo Vaughn out of retirement to play first base for twenty...

  • He can't field. He made 21 errors at second base last year, down from his 2004 total of 23. His fielding percentage last year was .972, while Matsui's was .970. He, paired with Carlos Delgado on the right side of the infield, who made 14 errors at first base last year, would create a joke of a porous infield. Not to mention you can't move him to any other position.

  • He doesn't hustle. The man pauses to look at home-run shots; he doesn't run out ground balls and he mouths off to his manager. It's one thing if he can hit. It's quite another if he does what I said above. And you would definitely not want to hear him spout off at WIllie if he was ever forced to ride pine. Lest you forget, Willie coached him for five seasons as a Yankee. He must have learned something there.

  • He's strikeout-prone and doesn't walk. Simple. Season-by-season strikeout totals: 125, 157, 130, 121, 125. Any one of his totals would have put him in the lead on the 2005 Mets. Not only does he strike out frequently, he doesn't walk. Season-by-season walk totals: 29, 23, 38, 33, 33. Carlos Delgado (121 SO in 2005) and David Wright (113 SO) at least offset their high K totals with walks. Wright and Delgado walked 72 times. Even Jose Reyes walked 27 times. And he only struck out 78 times. Sori doesn't like to walk and he likes to strikeout. The man swings for the fences at all times.

  • One could think of so many better solutions at second. The best opportunity: Trade Kaz Matsui to the Nationals for one of their two second basemen: Jose Vidro or Marlon Anderson.

    What do you think? Is Fonzie redux at second the future for the M-E-T-S METS METS METS? And, if we could snag him for a petty Kaz Matsui or Victor Diaz, would you do it?

    I hope Wags' inflamed birdie isn't from anything more than a bad drive in the PSL, or "that hole", if you've read Adam Rubin's book.

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