I watched most of the Alex Rodriguez press conference from my desk at work. Torre, Jeter and Reggie Jackson were there. Rodriguez looked sharp and was predicatably smooth answering questions. He answered several of them in Spanish which I thought was cool. You know my daily subway commute takes me through Washington Heights. I tend to see more Red Sox hats than Yankee gear in that part of the world thanks to Manny and Pedro. I wonder if that will soon change.
Rodriguez tells Tom Verducci that moving to third is not going to be an issue:
"I look at it as a new challenge. I won two Gold Gloves and an MVP at shortstop. I thought I achieved just about everything personally at shortstop. Now it's time to win. I've always thought of myself as a team player. Playing third base is the ultimate team move."
Like I said, smooth. Then again, what is he going to say? That he's the straw that stirs the drink and that Jeter only stirs bad? Oh, that's a different era, excuse me.
Where does this leave Soriano? Early reports out of Texas have him moving from the infield out to center. Soriano could have great success hitting in Arlington, but both David Pinto and Lee Sinins are skeptical. In his ATM report today, Sinins writes:
It is no secret that I am not optimistic at all about Soriano's chances of
long term success. I believe he's already peaked and it will be downhill
from here. The Yankees are gambling that people like me, who have been
saying trade Soriano, he's currently not as good as his hype and his peak
is going to be real short, are correct. The Rangers are gambling that
everyone calling Soriano one of the best young players in baseball are
going to be right.
I think we've seen the two best years we'll see from Soriano offensively. He's had OBP the last two years of .332 and .338. That just doesn't cut it, especially if he's used as a leadoff man. Maybe Showalter can get him to lay off the outside pitch. But at some point, he'll hit a HR off one and fall in love with it all over again. Pitchers realize this. There's no reason to throw the man a strike to get him out.
It will be interesting to see if Sori's best years were in the Bronx. What do you think?