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Clubhouse Leak: Soto Writes To Piniella
by Phil Bencomo
TO: Mr. Lou Piniella FROM: Geovany Soto DATE: 9/14/2007 SUBJECT: On Playing Time, Common Sense, And My Right To Rule Behind The Plate
I know that I have hardly been with the club long enough for the casual fan to recognize my name, let alone recognize my abilities at and behind the plate. And for that I am deeply disappointed. Had I been heralded as the Chicago Cubs' catcher of the future, as a prospect of a caliber above even that of the precious Felix Pie, I doubt I would have any cause to write to you today.
But that is the subject for another memo, for another of my superiors.
Instead, I implore you, Mr. Piniella: Right the wrongs committed by other, lesser men, whose eyes were blinded by foolishness, and anoint me, Geovany Soto, as the Cubs' catcher of today and tomorrow.
By now, I would have thought that you, Mr. Piniella, would have realized your folly. I understand that, initially, you were apprehensive to give me, young and inexperienced in your eyes, playing time over veteran Jason Kendall, or even in place of that consummate professional, Henry Blanco. Believe me, I understand.
But I thought you would have moved past that phase. I thought that, once my world-class and PCL MVP-winning abilities became evident (and I believe they have), you would forgo any baseless prejudices and name me your starting catcher.
Or so I thought.
The numbers speak for themselves. Any person with access to the simplest of statistics could tell you that I am, by far, the worthiest choice. The more advanced the statistic, the more convincing the argument. As a man of great knowledge and reason, Mr. Piniella, you should have long ago realized that fact yourself, or had the wisdom to seek out those already enlightened. I do not mean to belittle you -- that is far from my intention -- but I am deeply disappointed that you would let a player with talents such as mine rot on the bench for days on end, all while the Cubs remain locked in a bitter struggle for first place. I ask what I do of you not simply for personal gain, but for the good of the team. Had I been playing in regularly this season, the Cubs' magic number would have reached zero weeks ago. Of that I am certain.
Consider this, Mr. Piniella: During my earth-shattering, PCL MVP-winning 2007 season, I batted an astonishing .353/.424/.652 with 60 extra-base hits in only 110 games. While I was feasting like no other on minor league pitching -- and while I have sat idly, talents wasted, in the major league dugout -- my competitors have turned in pathetic performances on all counts. My PCL OPS was nearly two times the MLB OPS of Kendall in 2007, and that girly-man, hoping his bushy goatee will somehow make up for his all-too-apparent deficiencies as a man and ballplayer, could not throw out a base stealer even if he had a gun to his head, and the penalty for failure a messy, messy death. I, meanwhile, have thrown out a full third of all would-be base stealers.
And Henry Blanco hardly deserves a mention; the man is a broken down shell of his former self. How can one such as him even compare to the eternal greatness that is Geovany?
But wait, you say, let's not compare apples to oranges here. Minor league numbers aren't the same as major league numbers.
And you would be right; I knew you were a wise man, Mr. Piniella. But, to wit, examine these numbers: Jason Kendall has a paltry .215 EqA this season, and Henry Blanco sits at a disgusting .138.
But I, Mr. Piniella, finished the minor league season with a translated EqA of .299, which is better than any mark posted by a Cub on the major league roster with significant playing time.
In short, Mr. Piniella, you are leaving your best hitter, better even than your beloved Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez, in the dugout. It makes me want to both weep and vomit.
But I know you are not one to speculate with "theoretical numbers" and "projections." You want cold, hard results. And that, too, I understand.
So look no further than my major league statistics. You have only given me, unfortunately, 17 at-bats with the Cubs, but in those 17 at-bats I have hit .353/.450/.588 for an OPS+ of 163. There is no way around it, Mr. Piniella: I am the superior player, one who is tired of the ignorance of those who make the decisions.
I will have my rightful claim to the catching throne! Nobody will stop the almighty Geovany Soto! If you will not listen, Mr. Piniella, I urge you: Step aside, lest I am forced to take my wicked bat, forged in the deepest depths of Hell, to your temple and reduce you to ash.
I hope that your sensible nature will prevent such an unfortunate incident from ever occurring, but be warned nonetheless.