Roch around the clock


March 23, 2006|By ROCH KUBATKO

The first ball hit to Alfonso Soriano in left field yesterday was David Eckstein's single in the third inning. He bent over, picked it up and resisted the temptation to pivot and fire it to the center fielder for the out. I also took it as a good sign that he didn't charge the ball and throw on the run.

He looks like an outfielder to me. What was all the fuss? Soriano later caught Albert Pujols' fly ball and doubled Eckstein off second base. He raced after Jason Marquis' double near the line and made a bare-handed pickup. He didn't crash through the fence like Bump Bailey in The Natural.

Soriano also doubled and scored. He'll still make his living with his bat.

General manager Jim Bowden kept praising Soriano for making a personal sacrifice to help the team. He also said he never would have made the trade with the Texas Rangers if he knew Soriano wanted no part of left field. I thought Soriano made that perfectly clear in the past, but I could be wrong.

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