Alfonso Soriano Should Be “LEFT” Alone

By Jerald LeVon Hoover
Updated: March 26, 2006

NEW YORK – For all of the hypocrites that are berating Washington National, Alfonso Soriano for not wanting to play in the outfield need to take a chill pill. There is no way that a boss or the powers-that-be can just tell a person to change the way that they are accustomed to doing things and it just be all right with them. No matter how much money a person makes in that position if a person isn’t going to be comfortable you will not get them at their optimum best.

Soriano who is a natural (albeit not a very good fielder) shortstop played his entire career at he converted position of second base. He had to do that because he came up in the New York Yankees farm system and everybody knows that that position is being manned exclusively by none other than Derek Jeter. Shucks, A-Rod (Alex Rodriquez) couldn’t even supplant Jeter, so there was no way Soriano was going to.

That being said, Soriano tirelessly worked with then Yankee coach and now New York Mets manager, Willie Randolph on the mechanics and nuisances of being a true second baseman. Notice the word, “worked”.

Soriano has been a lethal batsman for the last four seasons while averaging over 30 home runs and nearly 100 runs batted in. But, he did that as a second baseman with the Yankees for the first two and the Texas Rangers for the latter, not a left fielder; a position he hasn’t even attempted to play professionally.

If you’re the Washington Nationals why on earth would you make a trade for Soriano who is making 10 million this year in his walk year (he’ll be a free agent next season) without first talking with either him or his agent about a position change. Especially one that is to those extremes; whereas second base is on the right side of the field and left field is obviously on the left side. For one if Soriano isn’t comfortable playing out there his confident in manning the spot will be shaky at best. And there is no question that his offense will suffer. The Nationals play in the National League so there is no designated hitter spot to hide Soriano behind.

Therefore late and in tight games when the pressure is on there’s no doubt that Nationals manager and Hall-of-Famer Frank Robinson will make a defensive substitution change. The odd man out will of course be Soriano. And by taking away a possible at bat that can in turn have a negative impact of his batting prowess.

So, if you’re the Washington Nationals you could see the handwriting on the wall or in your case on the field. Do the right thing and trade Soriano to a team that can really use a dedicated albeit era prone second baseman and get something for him while you can.

Did someone say, New York Mets?

Jerald L. Hoover