WILLIE MAKES SURE SORI DOESN’T GET A SWELL HEAD
While Alfonso Soriano continues to defy the laws of probability with his battery-operated bat, he has steadily improved with the glove as well. But his mentor, third base coach, Willie Randolph isn’t blowing smoke up lil’ Sori’s ass:
“I still think he’s got a ways to go,” Randolph said. “Being an All-Star is a nice thing, but an All-Star to me is doing it offensively and defensively. When you start talking about the whole package, that’s when you see the confidence get to a new level. That’s when you start saying: ‘I enjoy doing this. I can be an All-Star hitter and an All-Star second baseman, too.’ ”
…From third base, Robin Ventura has noticed the footwork. That is a change from last season, when Soriano led major league second basemen with 23 errors. Ventura said Soriano used to wait for balls to come to him, but now he moves toward them to receive better hops.
“From where I’m at, I see the ball bouncing at him and what kind of hop he’s going to get,” Ventura said. “Last year you could see it happen before it got there. It was like watching a car wreck, watching the hops come at him. He was making it tougher on himself, but he’s got it now. You can tell his confidence just by watching him.”