From Robin To Rickie

March 21, 2006

Tuesday Thoughts

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Schmid @ 7:46 pm

A few thoughts from today…

Alfonso Soriano – Well, what can be said about this situation? This has been building all spring and it is finally coming to a head. If you haven’t heard, the Washington Nationals’ Alfonso Soriano, who, other than a few games at short and third, has played second base throughout his major league career, has been asked to play left field. Link

    Washington has said this violates Soriano’s contract and have threatened to place Soriano on the “disqualified list.” This would prevent Soriano from getting a pay check and accruing service time.

    Soriano has no leverage here unless he’s thinking his statistics look a whole lot better as a second baseman than an outfielder as he becomes a free agent after this season. However, if he is not gaining service time and sits out the season, he will remain Washington’s property. There are very few players in sports who can dictate decisions with their team. If you owned a business, how would you feel if you had such an uncooperative employee?

    Soriano’s statistics have done a nose-dive the last three seasons a well. His batting average, along with his onbase percentage, are going into the tank. What’s even more disturbing is that this has happened in offensive haven Texas. Now he is the death valley of RFK stadium. Yes, he hit homeruns, but a lot come from pitches at his shoetops. His defense is horrible (hense one of the main reasons for the position move). He rarely walks and baseballpropectus.com has his value to his team decreasing over the next five years.

    Suffice it to say, I am behind the Nationals in this situation. I hope Washington sticks to their guns, but with paying $10 million to a guy they traded Brad Wilkerson for (who is pretty good), can they afford to do it? Probably not.

    Today, Ned Yost named Doug Davis as the Opening Day starter. I have absolutely no problem with this decision. You could even have made a case for Davis over Ben Sheets if Ben had been healthy for the start of the season. Doug Davis had a great year in 2005 and has probably been the greatest jewel and success story in Doug Melvin’s tenure. Anybody agree/disagree with me?

        I was very happy to see J.J. Hardy back in the lineup today. As I’ve said before, I’m looking forward to what J.J.’s going to do this season. I know Bill Hall has to get his PA’s, but I believe if everything falls right, J.J. will be an all-star at some point in the next five years.

        Let me know your thoughts.

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