March 3, 2006

Alfonso Soriano and the Nats

a small sports story that doesn't seem to be getting a lot of publicity is the alfonso soriano saga with the washington nationals. for those that don't know, soriano is a 2nd baseman who swings his bat really hard and runs really fast. unfortunately for him, baseball is about more than that, because he is also a mediocre baseball player and a terrible fielder. i wonder whether baseball players from the 1890's would hate soriano or just think he's a complete lunatic. i mean, wouldn't the response of most normal people be "wait, i'm a bad 2nd baseman who can't make contact or draw a walk, but you want to pay me millions to come play in the outfield? um, well, i have no idea how to play in the outfield, but sure!" i also think a hundred years ago, the manager and owners would just say "fuck it, you'll never play major league baseball again. have a nice life." unfortunately, this is not a hundred years ago and that makes the nationals management look like complete idiots. here's a news flash: you're running a multi-million dollar business. you acquired an overpriced piece of human capital. you didn't ask him whether he wanted to do what you're going to ask of him. how do you still have a job? i realize i don't have the experience or baseball knowledge of these guys, but i have common sense. someone give me two years of training and i swear i could run any professional sports franchise on the planet. who would be moronic enough to not call up the guy and ask "hey, by the way, we want you to play a position you've never played before in your life. are you cool with that?" if sports worked like a real business, somebody would be getting fired.

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