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Frank Being Frank

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  • Frank Being Frank

    Mgr. Robinson benched Soriano in last night's game when Fonzie failed in running out the pop up in fair territory to Lo Duca at catcher. And rightly so. Soriano said he was aware of the consequences for such lapses in gamesmanship. As the story below notes, a similar incident occurred in Florida earlier this spring. At that time Frank was gentle with Fonzie. Since the games are now for keeps, Frank ain't taking the crap. The excuse Soriano gave, thinking the ball would be foul, is one a Little League coach couldn't buy. Sori is a pro and should, therefore, play as one .

    He's not the only major league player that hasn't ever hustled, but with all that has transpired with him this spring this just seems another nail in the coffin that will carry Soriano's contract out of D.C. prior to the season ending. The other effect it has, the effect on team chemistry, is one this team doesn't need. I honestly feel this was a lapse in judgment on Soriano's part, not an intentional act. I does, however, give the appearance and has the effect that is none too desirable for any clubhouse. The Nationals are team that certainly do not need this.

    I don't dislike Soriano, but the sooner he is gone the less likely this club is hurt by the potential of mounting dissension.

    De facto captain Gullien got his two cents in. Are battle lines being drawn already?

    Generic vanilla version from mlb at

    04/06/2006 2:03 AM ET
    Robinson pulls Soriano from game
    Nationals manager upset about left fielder's lack of hustle
    By Bill Ladson /

    NEW YORK -- The Alfonso Soriano saga continued Wednesday night, as Nationals manager Frank Robinson's patience with the left fielder ran out against the Mets.
    After Nick Johnson homered with one out in the top of the sixth inning, Soriano followed and swung at Brian Bannister's first pitch, popping up to catcher Paul Lo Duca. Soriano stood in the batters box and never ran to first base, as LoDuca easily caught the ball in fair territory. Robinson was then seen waving his towel in disgust, and the manager immediately took Soriano out of the game and replaced him with Marlon Byrd.

    Robinson said Soriano will not be fined or suspended, feeling the left fielder did not intentionally try to hurt the team. Soriano is expected to start against the Mets on Thursday night.

    "It has been said more than one time -- [if] you don't run the balls out, you run the risk of being taken out of the ballgame," Robinson said. "Everybody has been put on notice in Spring Training. I thought he did not deserve to stay in the game."

    Soriano said he didn't run to first base because he thought the ball was going to end up in foul territory. At the same time, Soriano wasn't surprised that Robinson took him out of the game because he was told by the skipper in the past to run the bases hard.

    "He said in a meeting, when we don't run, he would get us out of the game, so I'm not surprised," Soriano said. "He not only talked to me, but to everybody."

    Wednesday was not the first time Soriano was told to run the bases hard. On March 23 against the Astros at Space Coast Stadium, Soriano popped up to second baseman Eric Bruntlett. Before the catch was made, Soriano didn't run hard to first base. According to a person in the dugout, Robinson gently told Soriano to run the bases harder next time.

    "Hey, everybody knows how Frank is," said right fielder Jose Gullien. "He doesn't ask you for much. He wants us to play hard, run the bases hard. If you don't do that, you know you are going to have a problem with him. I'm going to support every decision Frank makes on field. If Soriano has a problem with it, he has to go to him."

    Soriano didn't have a good night from the start. In the second inning, he was hit by a pitch. The ball hit the earflap of his batting helmet and Soriano was dazed for a few minutes. Robinson and head athletic trainer Tim Abraham went to Soriano's aid, but he remained in the game. Soriano ended up going 0-for-2 in the contest.

    "When you get hit in the head, you are a little scared, but after that, I felt like I could continue to play," Soriano said. "I feel OK. So I'm OK to play tomorrow. I'm fine."

    Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

  • #2
    Frank wasn't too amused with the umpiring crew. He felt (and it looked like it) that the Mets pitchers were getting a free pass to drill any Nats hitter they wanted while the first time one of his pitchers hits a Met the pitcher gets tossed.
    Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball


    • #3
      I saw the game on satellite. AS long as you are the team that hits the opposition batters first you are ok, if you drill the other team, it is retaliation. It is a bad policy.


      • #4
        I saw the play myself. It seemed to me like Soriano genuinely thought the ball was foul. I don't know, I could be wrong though.


        • #5
          That's just bad sportsmanship by Sori.
          Even if it's sure that you're out and the catcher is gonna catch it, you should at least prove the effort and run to 1B.
          Good going, Sleepy Frank.


          • #6
            Originally posted by 538280
            I saw the play myself. It seemed to me like Soriano genuinely thought the ball was foul. I don't know, I could be wrong though.
            And I was actually in the stadium and said he wasn't even trying to run the ball out. Even if it was foul he still has to run it out.
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