Distinguished Senators, the Washington Nationals Blog That Is Great

Sunday, January 29, 2006


Ken Rosenthal brings bad tidings and a very bad idea.
The Nationals want to move Soriano to the outfield; Soriano intends to stay at second base. A trade is possible, but a more logical solution would be a juicy long-term contract that would entice Soriano, a potential free agent, to change positions.
You've got a selfish, stubborn player who's managed to make himself the least popular man in Nationals history before even playing a game. What could make more sense than making sure he sticks around? Seriously, it's a damn catastrophe that we're going to be paying this guy between $10 million and $12 million, and Soriano isn't going to sign anything guaranteeing him a drastic paycut.
The idea that Soriano's value is highest as a second baseman no longer is valid. Soriano has committed a major-league high 105 errors at second over the last five seasons; Jeff Kent and Ray Durham are next with 59 each, according to STATS Inc.
Wait . . . is this an argument in favor of an extension? "Soriano's incompetence at second reminds some of a young Jacques Clouseau. 'They gotta lock this kid up,' said one National League scout, a cigar clenched in his teeth, as he urinated on a copy of Moneyball."

All his whining aside, Soriano will play the outfield if he has to. He's worried about how much it's going to cost him in his next contract to move off second, but it'll be much more costly not to play at all. Soriano in the outfield will be anything but pretty, though. Depending on to whom you listen, Soriano is without exaggeration the worst second baseman in baseball, and there's little reason to think he'll be anything less than cataclysmic in the outfield. He's a known bad defensive player who'll playing a position he doesn't want to on a team he never wanted to join for a manager who is going to loathe him and in front of fans who are going to boo him with a ferocity they'd been saving up just in case Cristian Guzman joined al-Qaeda.

Speaking of guys who could spend the summer chasing down triples while having things thrown at them,
Outfielder Sammy Sosa appears headed to the Nationals.
It seems that junior general manager Jose Guillen is hard at work.
Jose Guillen said he has been in touch with Alfonso Soriano, the team's big offseason acquisition who does not want to play in the outfield, and at the same time has tried to persuade Sammy Sosa to sign with the club.
First we get Guillen because he's a close personal friend of Jim Bowden, as well as an occasional babysitter. Now, having run Brad Wilkerson out of town, Guillen is doing all he can to fill the clubhouse with grumbling Dominicans. Once again I feel like digging through my garbage for my season ticket renewal notice just so I can throw it away again.

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