CHICAGO -- Alfonso Soriano appreciates how his teammates have rallied publicly in support of the veteran outfielder.
On Saturday, Jeff Samardzija came to Soriano's defense after fans booed him for not running out a hard hit ball that the veteran thought was caught. On Monday, it was Matt Garza's turn.
"He's a gamer," Garza said of Soriano. "I love the guy to death. I'll back him to the end. We love to have him out there and I love having him in the lineup. He cares so much about what he does and takes pride in his craft. He deserves a lot more respect from the fans than he's getting."
The reality is fans have high expectations since Soriano signed an eight-year, $136 million contract with the Cubs.
"When you give somebody the amount of money they gave him, fans expect him to be 28 forever," Garza said. "I'm sorry, but time catches up, and for this guy to still do what he does, that's amazing, it's outstanding. Not a lot of guys his age can keep doing what he does. There's very few and the few that do are well respected and this guy catches grief."
"It's good to hear," Soriano said. "[The players] know. It's good to know I have their support because they know how hard I work and they know how hard I work to win, not to work to be a better player, but to win. That's why I signed here -- to win. It's not about the money. Who cares about the money?"