JUPITER, FL — After he was a no-show for his first game as the Washington Nationals’ new left fielder, Alfonso Soriano took his position on Wednesday, ending speculation about whatever people were speculating about. The game was uneventful for Soriano, with the exception of a throw to double Cardinals SS David Eckstein off second base. Fans would thus have to wait for the chance to see Soriano run into another outfielder.
After GM Jim Bowden threatened to put Soriano on the disqualified list, essentially suspending him without pay, the All-Star second baseman met with Bowden and manager Frank Robinson about the move. “All I wanted to know from him was, was he willing to play left field,” Robinson said. “He said he was ready to go, he wanted to get at-bats and get out there and play.”
The team traded for Soriano but forced him to play in left field so that Jose Vidro could play second. “We’re doing it for the season,” Robinson said, and by “the season,” he clearly means “until Vidro’s knee gives out again.”