Monday, March 20, 2006

Soriano and the Nationals, the outfield battle!

Alfonso Soriano refused to play the outfield for the Washington Nationals in what was supposed to be his spring training debut Monday night, and general manager Jim Bowden supposed to be his spring training debut Monday night. Soriano, a second baseman by trade who the Nationals had hoped to convert into a left fielder, informed the club on Monday that he will not play outfield. He was told by the team that he could be placed on the disqualified list if he failed to do so. Soriano played most of the March representing the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, he was set to hit leadoff and play the outfield for the National against the Dodgers on Monday night. However, when the players took the field, only eight ran to their positions. Confused players and fans looked toward Washington’s dugout. Manager Frank Robinson then went to home plate umpire Mike Estabrook and told him there going to be some changes in the lineup. Brandon Watson, who was supposed to sit out the game, went to center field, while Ryan Church switched from center to left field. According to Soriano, he said that he was not mentally prepared to play the outfield. Soriano was acquired from the Rangers on December 7 for outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Termel Sledge and right-hander Armando Galarraga. Soriano is a hard player and good kid, it seems like the Nationals need to figure out a way to handle this situation or trade him out to another team.

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