TAMPA, Fla. - The Yankees have been trying Alfonso Soriano in rightfield in spring training. If he plays there this season, it will be his first time at the position in a regular-season game.
But Soriano has played rightfield in a game that counts, even if he doesn't remember it.
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Soriano played one inning in right in Game 5 of the 2003 World Series.
"I did?'' he said the other day. "Really? Me?''
Soriano, the Yankees' second baseman at the time, was slumping in the postseason. He was benched for Game 5 by manager Joe Torre at what was then called Pro Player Stadium against the team that was then called the Florida Marlins.
Soriano entered as a pinch hitter for rightfielder Karim Garcia in the eighth inning and struck out against Dontrelle Willis.
Torre, who already had used three outfielders as pinch hitters, decided to leave Soriano in the game and sent him out to rightfield for the bottom of the eighth. It was Soriano's first inning at any outfield position as a big-leaguer.
One ball was hit his way -- a single by Alex Gonzalez that he fielded and threw back in.
Still no memory, Soriano said.
Told no fly balls were hit to him, he said, "Thank God.''
The Yankees went on to lose the game, 6-4, and the World Series in six. After the season, Soriano was traded to Texas in the deal that netted the Yankees Alex Rodriguez.
Soriano became a leftfielder in 2006 with the Nationals. He might play some rightfield for the Yankees this season, though most of his time probably will come as the designated hitter.