Soriano's Feet Not Glued To Second Base Nor Should They Be
[December 11th] -- Alfonso Soriano has made it clear that he just won't change positions. He doesn't see any reason or justification for doing it. "All-stars shouldn't have to change positions" said Soriano in an interview on Saturday.
Hey Alfonso, the storied history of major league baseball is replete [that means 'full' for my Baltimore readers] with all-stars and hall-of-famers gladly switching positions to help their team win.
Third-baseman Cal Ripken Jr. moved to shortstop so the Orioles could continue to play Doug DeCinces at third. Later in his career, he switch backed to third so the Orioles could play newly acquired Mike Bordick at short.
Hank Greenberg was one of the best fielding first baseman in the American League throughout the 1930's. Rudy York was one of the worst fielding outfielders in the American League throughout the 1930's, though he was capable at first. Problem: The two players were on the same team. No sweat. Greenberg moved to left field in 1940, a position he had never played, so that York could keep his bat in the Tiger's lineup. It worked. York hit .316-33-134 at first while Greenberg hit .340-41-150 at his new position. So much for a change in position hurting a player's offense.
Craig Biggio came to the Houston Astros as a catcher, but switched to second base so that Eddie Taubensee could play every day. Later, he switched to the outfield so that the Astros could acquire free-agent second baseman Jeff Kent, who added a .300-30-100 bat to the lineup for three years.
Even the mightly Babe Ruth switched positions. Ruth was quite content being a premier pitcher and hitter for the Boston Red Sox. In 1918, Ruth won 9 games and hit 29 homers. The Yankees, however wanted him to give up the mound and he obliged.
There are countless all-star players who changed positions to better their team. The Brewers Robin Yount moved to centerfield from his natural shortstop position. Alex Rodriguez switched to third-base from short when he joined the Yankees two seasons agoin deference to Derek Jeter. Frank Robinson's willingness to move to first in 1959 allowed a young Vada Pinson the opportunity to shine. The list is endless.
Yet Alfonso Soriano, an all-star but no hall of famer, doesn't want to move. He doesn't want to move because he doesn't want to move. He's a terrible second baseman and his athleticism might make him a quality outfielder, but he doesn't want to move. Why? He's Alfonso Soriano. That's why.
well, you may be Alfonso Soriano, but you're no Babe Ruth, Hank Greenberg, Frank Robinson, or Alex Rodriguez either. You seem to have a very high opinion of yourself, higher than any of us do. You're afraid that a move to the outfield might hurt your offensive numbers, harming your chances for a huge contract year. Well, what if you'd had said, "Sure Jim, I'll do it. What ever's best for the team." Don't you think that selflessness would have added a few zeros to your new contract?
Players with a lifetime on base percent of .320 shouldn't be so self-important.