Alfonso Soriano and Jim Bowden are both sitting pretty. Both can soon make a killing. Wherever he is next year, Soriano will again cash in. And wherever he sends him this week, Bowden will do a lot for the Nationals’ future.
There’s considerably more pressure on Bowden, who is holding that rarest baseball commodity — a bona fide superstar for whom the club has no real need. He’s got everybody but the Yukult Swallows clamoring for the left fielder-slash-second baseman-slash-DH … whatever: The guy just rakes.
More and more GMs are diving into the Soriano pool, and his daily performances illustrate why. Rather than be distracted by the daily rumors, Soriano has hit .467 since the All-Star Game break, with nine extra base hits. His OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) for all of July is an off-the-charts 1,353.
People like to criticize Alfonso because of his occasional brain-drains, whatever position he is playing. But he is the contemporary game’s best dash-and-flash player, and he just turned 30. None of his critics this week will be general managers.
Never mind a cut of Soriano’s next contract. I’d settle for a nickel-a-minute of air time this week between the cell phones of Bowden and his GM colleagues.