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January 7, 2013
Birthday boy: Alfonso Soriano
Time does fly -- Alfonso Soriano turns 37 today. We began hearing about him 15 years ago as a highly touted Yankees prospect, before he took over at 2nd base for Chuck Knoblauch in 2001. That fall, he smacked a World Series homer, that if not for the D'backs fluky bottom-of-the-9th rally, would have brought another title to the Bronx.
With quick wrists, surprising power and impressive speed, he blossomed into a star in 2002 and '03 before being traded for Alex Rodriguez. His years in Texas, Washington and the Cubs (whom he joined as a pricey 2007 free agent) saw some good numbers. But Soriano never moved up to truly elite status, as one of the best players in the game. And he never had an RBI or scored a run in a pair of NLDS appearances with Chicago. You have to wonder how his career might have evolved had he remained in the Bronx, surrounded by Jeter, Posada, Giambi, and eventually Cano.