Soriano does not like to prepare if it's not absolutely necessary

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Alfonso Soriano got an unexpected day off yesterday, and he wasn’t happy about it:

Soriano was miffed when he learned his name wasn’t in the starting lineup Wednesday after he had a pair of hits Tuesday night.

“That’s why I’m mad,” Soriano said. “If he had told me yesterday,
then I wouldn’t come today ready to play . . . I think he could have
said to me last night, ‘OK, take a day off,’ especially because
[Thursday] is an off day. I’d be like, ‘OK, I’ll take the two [days].’
But I like to know before I come here.”

Look, I don’t for a second know what goes into preparing to do battle
on a Major League ballfield. I mean, I’m sure there are all kinds of
samurai-like rites and rituals involving incense and self-flagellation
and everything else, and that whether one endures it all is contingent
upon whether one knows ahead of time if one is going to be in the
starting lineup. But it does strike me that even if one knows he’s not going to play that day, that one would still, generally speaking, come “ready to play.”

More seriously speaking, I can see it if Soriano was mad that he wasn’t
playing because he, you know, wanted to play, but being angry because
he was forced to mentally prepare himself to play for a few hours on a
Wednesday morning makes little sense to me.

What is Soriano really mad about? If he knew he wasn’t
starting ahead of time would he have had a slumber party with the girls
the night before? Watched the entire fifth season of “Stargate:
Atlantis” and made nachos? Why doesn’t the media ask the things we want
to know about?

More importantly, what’s Soriano gonna do about it?

Asked if he would talk to Piniella about his complaint, Soriano simply replied: “No.”

OK, then.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.