NEW YORK -- Cubs TV analyst Bob Brenly ripped into Alfonso Soriano during an interview Tuesday on WSCR-AM 670, saying the left fielder displayed a "selfish attitude" and suggesting Soriano should've been yanked from Monday night's game after admiring a long fly ball instead of running hard out of the box.
It all began while discussing Ted Lilly's attempted steal during a rehab start in Peoria. Brenly then interjected: "Wouldn't it be refreshing if we could get our left-fielder to run as hard as Ted Lilly does?"
That remark led to a discussion on Soriano's second-inning at-bat, in which he turned a possible triple into a double by watching the ball at home plate before jogging toward first. Asked if he would've pulled Soriano if he were the Cubs' manager, Brenly said: "I wouldn't hesitate to do something like that. I think it sets a bad precedent to the team... and a bad message to the younger players."
As for Soriano's comment that the "important thing was I made a very good swing at the ball," Brenly said: "That's all true, but that's a very selfish attitude to take. This is about winning ballgames. It's not about how I can pile up my numbers or how cool I look when I hit a ball hard."
Brenly added that "for some reason, (Soriano) doesn't totally grasp that theory."
Soriano said Tuesday he heard about the comments from Brenly, but shrugged them off.
"I don't listen to the radio, I don't read the papers, so whatever they say, it means nothing to me," he said. "Maybe to some other guys it means something, but it doesn't mean anything to me."
Asked about the criticism that he was being "selfish," Soriano said he didn't care.
"You know what? I don't pay attention because I know that's not me," he said. "If he says something that I know would bother me, I would talk to him. But I know that's not me, so that means nothing to me. I'm not selfish. I'm working hard. I try to win. So if he says something different that (bothers me) than I can talk to him. But in my heart, to me, and to every one of these guys, if you ask that question, they'll say I'm totally different than what he says. So that means nothing to me."
Soriano also said it will take him a little time to fully get rid of the "hop" in the outfield because it's just a reaction.
"I just want him to catch it," manager Lou Piniella said.Soriano was summoned into Piniella's office for a pre-game meeting.
"He called me because some media asked the question, 'Why didn't I run?'" Soriano said. "But I explained to him why. I could've made third, but I don't want to make the second out at third either."
Piniella said he told Soriano: "'When you hit the ball, even if you might think it's a home run, leave the box, and when you recognize it is a home run for sure, then you can go into your trot."
Piniella added that he was watching the flight of the ball and didn't see Soriano watching his shot.
"But I have talked to Alfonso about it," he said. "And you know what? At times, habits are hard to break."
Could Soriano have had a triple?
"Look, a really fast player would've had a triple for sure," he said. "In Alfonso's case, I'm not going to say he should've or not because I didn't see it. But look, it's a long way out there (to center) and he obviously thought it was a home run when he hit it., But it didn't go out. It hit the wall. But we've talked to him about it, and we'll see if it works. I think it will."
Asked on WSCR if he would've benched Soriano, Brenly said he's not in the clubhouse, but added: "From what I've seen from the press box, I think it should've been done a long time ago."