Middlebrooks: Soriano unfairly maligned

June, 16, 2012
CHICAGO -- Cubs fans on Saturday night lit into Alfonso Soriano, who in the last month has hit more home runs than any player in the National League, booing him unmercifully when he did not leave the batter’s box after hitting a line drive to third baseman Will Middlebrooks with two on and two out in the sixth inning, especially after Middlebrooks did not field the ball cleanly.

Soriano was booed after the at-bat, again when he ran out to his position in left field after the inning, and twice more in the eighth, when he came to the plate and then struck out.

Interestingly, one player who exonerated Soriano was Sox third baseman Middlebrooks.

“He hit it hard, about took my hand off,’’ Middlebrooks said. “It had good topspin on it.

“When I looked up, he was just standing there. I probably would have done the same thing. The ball went into my glove and came into me, so it looks like I caught it. It was not wrong on his part. Just a hard baseball play.’’

The most vocal elements in a crowd of 40,756 certainly didn’t see it that way.

“Yeah, I don’t know what to say about that,'' Middlebrooks said, "other than 95 percent of guys would have done the same exact thing. Because like I said, it went into my glove and then kind of turned into me. He couldn’t see that.’’

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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