From all accounts, Curtis Granderson sounds like a really good guy. He always seems to have something positive to say. It came as no surprise, then, when he said that he has no problem playing left field if the Yankees choose to deploy Brett Gardner in center. And why would he? Center and left field are separated by a matter of yards. I’m sure Granderson can make the necessary adjustments when reading the ball off the bat.
When I read this story, I thought of the situation the Nationals faced in Spring Training 2006. In December 2005 they acquired Alfonso Soriano from the Rangers, even though they had Jose Vidro entrenched at second base. The plan, apparently, was to move Soriano to left field. He threw a hissy fit of sorts, refusing at first to make the switch. Apparently the Rangers also broached the topic of a position change, but were also met with resistance. Eventually, faced with the choice of playing left field or being placed on the disqualified list, which would have made him inactive without pay, Soriano acquiesced.
While changing outfield spots is a bit different than moving from the infield to the outfield, it’s quite nice to have the player quickly agree to such a move. Really, though, the player doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have much say in the matter. His contract doesn’t designate his position. It merely makes him part of the team. It’s at the team’s discretion where he plays. Clearly there are exceptions — I can see a player’s point if he signs a free-agent contract with a team, only to have them sign another player at the same position and expect the former player to move. But, for the most part, players are at the mercy of their employers’ decisions.
With that, this is your open thread for the evening. It looks like the Olympics are your only sporting choice. The NBA is off following the All-Star game, and the NHL players are all in Vancouver.