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Yuni vs. his predecessors, part 9 March 14, 2008

Posted by Brad in commentary, stats.
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1994-1996: Luis Sojo
Stats: .262/.300/.370 in 799 at bats over three seasons. Like Felix Fermin, Sojo also played some second base. Like Fermin, he had negligible power, speed, defense, or talent.
Place in M’s fandom: Defined by one play. During the Mariners’ one-game playoff against the California Angels, Sojo had the defining hit. Rick Rizzs’ play-by-play (first transcribed elsewhere) tells it perfectly:

Here’s the pitch. Swing, and it’s a ground ball, and [Rizzs’ voice raises to a fever pitch] it gets on by Snow. Down the right field line into the bullpen. Here comes Blowers… Here comes Tino… Here comes Joey… The throw to the plate is cut off. The relay by Langston gets by Allanson. Cora scores! Here comes Sojo! Everybody scores! Sojo comes in!

Other than that play, which may have kept the Mariners in Seattle, Sojo didn’t do much. When the next season rolled around, Sojo had lost his job to Alex Rodriguez.
Sojo was picked off waivers by the Yankees in August 1996, which led to a prolonged stretch of confused fandom. On one hand, Sojo’s arguably the greatest playoff hero in M’s history. On the other hand, everyone else in the country remembers him for being the Yankees go-to defensive replacement/mascot when they repeatedly won the World Series. Mariners fans still can’t claim him as their own.
Wikipedia/Google: The second-best line in Sojo’s Wikipedia page: “Not classically athletic, he was a natural shortstop in the minors, but took on an expanded role in emergency situations.” Not classically athletic… what a great euphemism.
Best line: “When registering for hotel stays, Sojo used the alias Harry Pelotas to avoid unwanted fan attention. ‘Pelotas’ is Spanish for ‘balls’.” What a great nom de hotel, Luis.
Sojo made Futility Infielder’s Wall of Fame. Also an inductee? Jay Buhner.
Like Felix Fermin, Sojo turned to coaching once he stopped playing. He even managed Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic in 2006. But, according to the New York Times, that didn’t go so well.

Asked about the reaction in his home country after Tuesday’s loss to the Dominican Republic, Sojo responded with a profanity he said was directed at “everybody back home.”

Nice.

Luis Sojo probably curses more than Yuniesky Betancourt, but he doesn’t play ball better than him.

Tomorrow: some dude.

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1. Yuni vs. his predecessors, wrap up « Yuniform - April 3, 2008

[…] Alex Rodriguez Rodriguez’s place at the top of the M’s shortstop scrap heap (and a nice big heap it […]


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