Encore: Will All The Gold Make Soriano Happy

Updated: December 3, 2006



We’ve got a Wing Dinger

of a Black Box today

and to make it Better

about a Box Favorite

Alfonso Soriano

Yes it’s about Baseball but really a far more Cosmic matters. Here is the Story Line. Free agent Alfonso Soriano leaving the 2006 Washington Nationals in his past has signed a mega-deal with the Chicago Cubs. The 4th biggest deal in MLB history. Bringing him financial security for Life and Beyond.

Sounds Perfect

but is it ?

It brings up one of the eternal questions for humans not just athletes. What can money buy and what can’t it. And the companion question. Is the most money you can get the way to value your life. Lots of people do.

Here are the particulars . Alfonso Soriano in the last few days signed an 8 year NO trade $136 Million deal. The richest in Cubs history. And it’s not one of those ‘phony’ NFL contracts. He gets all $136 Mullion even if he tuns into a Baseball Pumpkin. Or gets injured. For the next 8 years.

The deal is for more money and for more years than any of the better known sports commentators were projecting during the 2006 season. The high end guesstimates 5 years for $75 Million. SORIANO REALLY DID TWICE AS WELL. Only the Box projected the conventional view would be Wrong.

So that should end this Story

Alfonso Soriano lives

happily ever after

but NOT so Fast

Here in the Box we go Deeper. You can read all the superficial sports stories at the New York Times and Washington Post. On or off line. Let’s continue with a Question. Look at the photo above. Does Soriano look happy ??

Some history first

Now we’re not suggesting feeling Sorry for multi-millionaire Alfonso Soriano. But he has been the MLB equivalent of an Abused Baseball Child. First Abused by the New York Yankees who unceremoniously traded him for Alex Rodriguez even though Soriano had come out of no way to take over 2nd base for New York and his productive bat mightily contributed to Yankees success.

Traded to the Texas Rangers after another outstanding season, without a word to him they unloaded him to the Washington Nationals and with Texas knowing the Nats intended to force Soriano to leave 2nd Base and play the Outfield.

Which is what Washington forced him to do this past season. And Soriano still had another fabulous season and was once again chosen an All Star Game Starter out of position in the Outfield where he had never played. One of very few players in baseball history ever chosen at 2 different positions.

To add insult to injury Washington tried mightily to unload Alfonso before the trading deadline than insulted him further putting him on Wavers in August while telling him they loved him. And wanted to resign him to a new contract !

So it’s easy to understand Soriano concluding Baseball is like any other business. And performance, loyalty and integrity means little or nothing to the Owners and that Soriano should act accordingly. Take the money and run to the Bank. And forget about anything else like the joy of the Sport.

But still Alfonso Soriano

does not look Happy

In fact he just his first little dose of the cost of that Money. Alfonso wants to play winter ball back home in the Dominican Republic. He loves Baseball the way a painter does painting or a writer writing. They don’t do it just 6 months of the year. But the Cubs have refused him permission. At $136 Million Soriano is too valuable to risk playing Winter Ball. Which he always had before.

Here is the Larger Point

very very very much so

There is NO doubt Soriano would have LOVED playing back in New York City again especially for the other NY team that did not screw him. Yes playing for Willie Randolph and the Mets where Soriano would have been worshipped by the NY fans and packed Shea Stadium game after game to wild cheering.

But the Mets were not going to offer 31 year old Alfonso Soriano either $136 Million or an 8 year no trade deal. But he probably might have gotten a $100 Million 5 year deal and maybe a no trade clause ?

But even that is not the Point

With the leverage of the $136 Million offer but a willingness to consider other offers that might pay him less but bring him more satisfaction than playing for the Chicago Cubs Soriano would have received a slew of interesting offers from National and American League teams. And American League teams where he could have also DH-ed when he might be injured or getting Older.

Even that’s not even the Point

If Soriano did not let the MOST money possible decide his future then he could have taken the deal that made him feel best as a player and in a ball park best suited to him and for a manager who he felt the most rapport for ….

……. and for a team he thought had the best chance to go all the way next season and weighing ALL the factors Dollar Signs just bering one Soriano could have signed the Contract that excited him the most and by the way let him play the Winter Ball in the Dominica Republic he loves.

In other words

Soriano could have made the Deal most likely to have him play his Best Ball adding to his All Star and potential Hall of Fame record better than anywhere else, and to the greatest possible fan appreciation. Yes where he would have the most FUN while still making a Big Pile of Money if not $136 Million.

Instead Soriano only went for the Gold

and a place Chicago that might be more

critical of the Money he’s getting

than the quality of his Play

He doesn’t look Happy

be critical of the

Golden Rule

a Lesson for

All of Us.

Whenever you want to reach us with comments or better yet an idea for a topic for the Box ……. blackbox@blackathlete.net