The Cubs have had their share of experience indulging high-salaried players with hair-trigger tempers. Their success record has not been good, and the proof was in the broken Gatorade coolers, broken bats and broken promises. Carlos Zambrano and Milton Bradley come to mind immediately. Their repeat offenses tested the tolerance of managers, teammates and even umpires for years. Each indiscretion was followed by a sincere-sounding apology, followed by yet another volatile tantrum. By early accounts, top Cubs minor league prospect Jorge Soler does not fall into the Zambrano-Bradley personality mode. But he is only 21 and new Cubs management is determined to head off what could be yet another disturbing pattern for a potential franchise player who has been signed to a nine-year, $30 million contract. Baseball scouts say the power-hitting Soler is dangerous with a bat in his hand. But the kind of danger the Cuban outfielder engendered Wednesday night while wielding a bat was not quite what anyone had in mind. Soler was suspended for five games on Thursday after an incident between Class-A Daytona and Clearwater. Soler and Clearwater's Edgar Alonso exchanged words at second base after Soler slid into the base. Teammates came out to separate them. Both headed back to the dugouts, but Soler came sprinting back out — bat in hand — toward the Clearwater dugout, He was restrained by a teammate before he perhaps would have gone all Juan Marichal on Alonso. Marichal, the Hall of Fame pitcher for the Giants, struck Dodgers catcher John Roseboro on the back of the head with a bat on Aug. 22, 1965, drawing blood. He was suspended for only eight playing dates. "I couldn't believe it when I heard about it because (Soler) seemed so quiet in spring training," Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro said. "I don't know what happened to him." Cubs President Theo Epstein said he spoke to Soler on Thursday morning over the phone through an interpreter and feels assured Wednesday night was an aberration. "Jorge is tremendously remorseful about what happened," Epstein recounted. "He understands what he did was wrong. He didn't sleep all night, up all night thinking about it. Very apologetic … he understands this can't happen again."
Cubs prospect Soler suspended 5 games for bat-wielding tirade
Chicago Tribune | Apr 12