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Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Alfonso Soriano feels for Adam Dunn

ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano reiterated Wednesday that he feels bad for slumping Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn, who regularly gets booed at U.S. Cellular Field.

But Soriano, who was quoted in Wednesday's Chicago Sun-Times saying Chicago's fan base is tougher than those in other cities, wanted to clarify his remarks.

"I think it's a misunderstanding," Soriano said. "The fans here are good. At the same time, when you're doing bad, they boo. But if you're doing good, they clap for you. So it's not like I said they are bad fans.

"Here, everywhere, Cincinnati, St. Louis, any ballpark that you go, if you're not doing good, what do they want to do, they want to boo you. If you're doing good, they're happy for you. It's not like they're the worst fans in the world."

Soriano, who's also played in New York, Texas and Washington, was asked by the paper if it's worse in Chicago than in other cities.

"It's the worst," he told the Sun-Times on Tuesday. "I played in New York, but the fans are worse here. But at the same time, I understand. Fans can get frustrated because they want the team to win, and they want the players to hit. At the same time, the game's not easy.''

Soriano, who's in his fifth season in Chicago, has experienced the wrath of fans at Wrigley Field, and that's despite the fact he helped lead the Cubs to the playoffs in 2007 and '08. But Soriano's huge contract generated expectations that he has fallen short of since '08. Part of his struggles have been due to three major leg injuries.

Cubs manager Mike Quade believes that boos are part of playing in Chicago.

"You sign up at this level, you understand it's a part of the deal," Quade said. "I was kind of laughing because I think (Soriano) has a pretty ... good relationship with our fans. But this is part of what happens at this level. You just deal with it and find a way to compete."

Dunn signed a hefty free-agent contract with the White Sox, who were hoping he'd be the final piece to a return trip to the World Series. But Dunn is off to the worst start in his career, batting just .175 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs heading into action Wednesday.

"I feel sorry for Adam Dunn, because he's a great player," Soriano said before Wednesday's series finale against the White Sox. "Every time he comes to home plate and he's not doing his job, they boo you. He understands, I understand, every player understands, because he's not doing good. That's why the fans are not happy with him because he's not doing good. The fans let us know they're not happy. If you hit a a homer, the fans want to clap.

"I enjoy my time (in Chicago) and I enjoyed playing for the fans. It's not like I don't like the fans in Chicago. I enjoy playing for the fans in Chicago. I just said I feel sorry because Adam Dunn is a great player. The fans don't understand he can have a bad year and they boo him. Happens to me all the time, but then I'm doing good, they clap and they're happy. They are fans and want the players doing good."