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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Baseball Musings: Crunch Time for Soriano

It's the middle of the WBC final game, but I saw this on the ESPN ticker and couldn't help but comment on it (via David Pinto's Baseball Musings):

The Nationals are off Tuesday, then travel to play the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter on Wednesday. If Soriano refuses to play in that game and again at home against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday, the Nationals will take action.

"We told him if we get to Thursday, and he refuses to play left field, we told him at that point we will request that the commissioner's office place him on the disqualified list, at that time - no pay, no service time," Bowden said.

"If he refuses to play and goes home, and the commissioner's office accepts our request to place him on the disqualified list, then at that point, if he were to sit out this year, he would not be a free agent, he would stay our property because his service time would stay the same."

How absurd. I'm sorry, but if you're in the employ of a major league team you play the position you are asked to play. Sure, you can voice your displeasure to your manager and your general manager...heck you can even complain to the media, though I think that's bad form. But you do what you're told. Ballplayers are paid a lot of money and are given a whole host of other privileges. In return, you're expected to show up, play hard every day, and do what you're told.

And I have to say, it's also another example in a long line of cases that demonstrate that Jim Bowden is a terrible person to have in the front office. He occasionally comes up with a good move, but his ability to interact with the players and staff is miserable. A true leader of an organization would have been able to solve this problem behind closed doors, not in this apparent media stunt that we're seeing right now. -j