Writers Bloc: Soriano Japan's finest?


Updated: April 30, 2003, 7:37 AM ET
By Jim Baker
  • Forget Matsui and Ichiro, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the best import from Japan is Alfonso Soriano. Rarely mentioned is the fact that major leagues scouts missed the teenager when scouring the Dominican for baseball talent. He was found instead by the Hiroshima Carp, who put him in their baseball academy near San Pedro de Macoris. His long, strange trip to the majors began soon thereafter.

  • Joe Posnanski has some advice for Royals fans: don't be so quick to jump off the bandwagon. Just because they've lost two games in a row for only the second time this season, it's no reason to give up hope just yet. Fans need to keep doing the silly things fans do to show support for their team, he writes in an amusing column in today's Kansas City Star.

  • Today's topic for Dick Heller of the Washington Times is Johnny Oates, the former catcher and manager who is battling brain cancer. The whys and wherefores of such a terrible illness afflicting a person of Oates' character are especially vexing but Heller reports that Oates has drawn strength from his faith and does not appear to be bitter about what fate has in store for him.

    Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at