Soriano to keep options open
Left fielder Alfonso Soriano got the day off Wednesday, and he finished his sixth Cubs season with 32 home runs and a career-best 108 RBI.
His final hitting line was .262/.322/.499 for an OPS of .821. He committed only 1 error.
"Personally I feel proud of myself because I'm 36 and what I can do, especially because I have a bad knee," he said. "I'm working hard to do what I do because I love this game and don't like being down.
"I'm working hard to make this team better and put my numbers up. The most important thing is to help this team to win."
Soriano added he was not considering surgery for his knee.
He has two years and $36 million left on the eight-year, $136 million deal he signed before the 2007 season. Even though he can veto any trade involving him, he seemed to keep an open mind about what might happen this winter, especially with the Cubs rebuilding.
"I have a lot of time to think about it," he said. "I'm ready to see my name in a lot of rumors. We'll see what they want to do and I hope we can be on the same page and see what happens.
"If they want to rebuild it for next year, I'll be here. If they want to take longer than two years, they have to think about moving me out to another team that can win quickly, because I have two more years on the contract, and maybe I retire after that. I just want to have one more shot to go to the World Series before I retire."
Cubs fire coach:
The Cubs fired third-base coach Pat Listach after Wednesday's game. Listach is a longtime organization coach and minor-league manager. He also was instrumental this year in helping second baseman Darwin Barney earn Gold Glove consideration.
"I believe in the direction the organization is going," Listach said. "I'm just not going to be a part of it."
Manager Dale Sveum said Listach "did a great job" and he'd recommend him for any position in baseball.
Barney seemed saddened by the firing.
"It's hard for me because he was one of the first people to really see what I had and believe in it and voice his opinion a couple years back," Barney said. "It's tough. He's going to be fine. He's got a place in baseball. He's going to find work, for sure, but it's hard to see him go."
James Rowson remains the interim hitting coach, and the Cubs will address that situation in the coming weeks. All of the other coaches will return.
Bryan LaHair hit his 16th home run of the year in the second inning and hit the game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth.
LaHair's 16 homers are second most on the team even though he didn't play much after first baseman Anthony Rizzo came up in late June.
"I was pretty psyched up about today's game," said LaHair, who made the all-star team. "I talked to my grandmother last night. I wanted to get one more for her. Luckily, I did. It's a good feeling."
LaHair found a role as a pinch hitter late in the season, and he said he wants to be back with the Cubs next year.
"I'm just taking all the positives out of this year, I'm not taking any negatives," he said. "I had a chance to play early in the year, and I played off the bench in the second half, and I thought I did well. There's obviously a lot of room for improvement and adjustments that need to be made."
This and that:
The Cubs had an announced crowd of 27,606 Wednesday, bringing their final season total to 2,882,756. It's the first time they didn't draw at least 3 million since 2003 … Starlin Castro became the first player in franchise history to play all 162 games at shortstop. He started 161. Castro also is the first Cubs infielder to appear in all 162 since Hall of Famer Ron Santo in 1968.
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