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Much ado about nothing: Soriano takes the field in left

In a high-stakes game of chicken, Alfonso Soriano fliched first: he agreed to play left field when the Nationals took the field today.

"It's a relief for everybody, it really is," manager Frank Robinson said before the Nationals played the Cardinals. "We get the distractions away from here and we can focus on baseball now and getting this ballclub tuned up and ready to go for opening day."

Robinson said he gave Soriano the option of not playing Wednesday and making his outfield debut on Thursday for a home game. But he said Soriano wanted to get started now.

"All I wanted to know from him was, was he willing to play left field," Robinson said. "He said he was ready to go, he wanted to get at-bats and get out there and play."

I'd still downgrade him at least a little if you're an owner in an NL-only league that would lose his stats were he traded to the AL.