Chicago Cubs’ slugger, Alfonso Soriano, has wielded power not just in the lineup for the Chicago Cubs, but when filling out the lineup card as well.
Alfonso Soriano was hailed as one of the keys to finally bringing the Chicago Cubs a World Series title. The reality is that he is a useful cog in the Cubs machine, but a far cry from the savior the Cubs PR machine advertised.
Soriano’s wheels are not what they once were, and he is a defensive liability in left field. his bat still brings the thunder though, especially home run balls out of Wrigley Field. however, his RBI power was non-existent last year, thanks to the fact that Soriano batted leadoff, not allowing him to knock anyone in with his blasts.
The controversy is that Soriano wanted to bat leadoff, while Manager Lou Pinella wanted Soriano lower in the order, to take advantage of the slugger’s power. Soriano sulked, and did not hit a lick when moved lower in the order. Poof-there is Soriano back atop the lineup, either striking out, or hitting home runs, but in neither case belting runners home.
Alfonso Soriano out-foxed his Manager, getting his way like a spoiled child, and upsetting the balance of the Chicago Cubs lineup in the process. It continues, as Pinella is looking to again drop Soriano down in the order. Again, Soriano is moaning, wanting to hit in the top spot in the order.
The old Lou Pinella would have told Soriano to shut up and play where he is told to play. The new Pinella, the kinder, softer version, seems less averse to such discourse in the Cubs clubhouse. Less discourse, less success if Soriano is not put in the #5 slot, where he could knock in 120 runs with his output.
The latest noise out of Cubs camp is the idea of moving Soriano to the two-hole. More confusion as Soriano strikes out over 100 times a year easy, can’t bunt and can’t hit to right-field.
The go Cubs go ringtone is something that is very popular in Chicago as when the Cubs win a game at home, the song by Steve Goodman is played there. since the Cubs have been doing a lot of winning at Wrigley field this year, it is noted that he go Cubs go ringtone by Steve Goodman is one of the most popular according to i-Tunes.
Steve Goodman is the artist who performs the song and it starts out as baseball season is back again. so it was a very popular song in the beginning of the season even before the Chicago Cubs were even winning. the Cubbies haven’t won a World Series title in 100 years and haven’t been to a World Series in over 50+ years.
So there is definitely a lot of buzz around Chicago as the Cubs have one of the best records at Wrigley Field compared to any other team in the majors. the go Cubs go ringtone is something that people who like the Cubs can show off their enthusiasm and support for the team. it may be noted that the new manager for the Cubs Lou Pinella has also added some excitement to the club this year with his love for the game and good experience with managing other successful ball clubs.
In 2008 this may be the year that the Cubs get closer to their 100 year drought of winning a championship and if that is the case, the go Cubs go song will become overly popular not only in Chicago but many other cities nationwide.
Why is it that baseball is full of curses? It is just sad that your favorite team cannot win a World Series because of these so-called curses that hit the team. sometimes, it makes people wonder if these hexes are true. Well, it seems that most baseball fanatics and players are quite superstitious when it comes to their losses.
It is also funny how the effects of these curses coincide within the time it presumably started and the periods wherein the team is not winning. It is not as if the team is unable to win a game. It is just frustrating how an amazing team with the best players will be deprived of getting into a World Series or even win one. usually it takes years to lift the curse for some it never does.
Take in the case of the red Sox, it took several years before the got their championship titles. It was not until 2004 that they got their first. the hex was totally exorcised when they bagged their second win last year. everybody thinks it was a major relief for the team and the fans. They can now breathe because in every game that they play, no supernatural phenomenon will be holding them back their win.
However, how about in the case of the Chicago Cubs wherein they never won a World Series? this team had also undergone a curse. It was because of William Sianis and his billy goat that caused their frustration season per season. this team is one of the strongest contenders in MLB. despite having an outstanding line up, the team always looses their championship matches. what was worse it that most of their key players are incurring a lot of injury.
This team has been investing on good players and the best management team that they could get. Where else could the team blame their losses? the team is not inadequate when it comes to their skills. although after the Sianis quoted the Cubs aint gonna win no more. the Cubs will never win a World Series so long as the goat is not allowed in Wrigley Field. the team lost and became the worst team year after year, they made a comeback. in the recent years, they were able to make it to the World Series. no one is inadequate when the can make it to the finals. They always make it to the number 1 spot within the national league championships. the last time they won a world series was back in 1907-1908. although the hex did not occur until 1945, Chicago Cubs did not blame their losses prior to anything else other than plainly losing. Now, people talk about how greatly the curse is affecting their chances especially when there are many interceptions in the game (like the fan who prevented one of the Cubbies from catching a ball or the consecutive injuries the players are incurring).
On the other hand, is it all of this just psychological? because of the fear the existence of such curse, this has negative effects on the players causing them to hold back.
The upcoming 2012 season brings with a new era of management now that Theo Epstein is in charge of baseball operations. It remains to be seen if Epstein can duplicate the magic he orchestrated during his tenure with the Boston Red Sox but his presence certainly won’t hurt.
Unfortunately the Cubs, as an organization, appear to be primed to stay mediocre for 2012. the moves they have made are minor with the exception of shipping off malcontent starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano. Dumping his mental issues on some other franchise was a long overdue move on Chicago’s part.
I don’t want to sound too pessimistic but the Cubs are going to struggle to compete this year. Baring some injection of talent the team will have a difficult time finishing with a better record than the St. Louis Cardinals or the Cincinnati Reds; they might even finish behind the Pittsburgh Pirates and a declining Milwaukee Brewers team.
Cubs player additions:
David DeJesus – outfielder
Paul Maholm – left handed starting pitcher
Anthony Rizzo – first baseman
Dave Sappelt – outfielder
Ian Stewart – third baseman
Travis Wood – left handed starting pitcher
Cubs player losses:
Andrew Cashner – right handed starting pitcher
Tyler Colvin – outfielder
DJ LeMahieu – utility infielder
Sean Marshall – left handed starting pitcher
Carlos Pena – first baseman
Aramis Ramirez – third baseman
In addition to departing with Zambrano the Cubs also let long time third baseman Aramis Ramirez sign a free agent deal with Milwaukee. To offset his offensive production the team dealt for Ian Stewart but that deal will still leave the offense worse off because Ramirez carried a much bigger stick at the plate than Stewart will. Underperforming Carlos Pena left but that should leave the Cubs with an upgrade at first base. Anthony Rizzo has the looks of a Major League first baseman; hopefully he can polish himself up because the Cubs will need to get more production from their first baseman than they did last year.
The lineup will still have Marlon Byrd and Geovany Soto and both of these players are going to have to produce for the Cubs. sub par seasons from either of them and the season will get painful quickly.
The two biggest questions I have for the Cubs right now are related to outfielder Alfanso Soriano and shortstop Starlin Castro. will Soriano continue his decline or can he right his ship and be able to contribute solid numbers to the club? He just celebrated his thirty-sixth birthday, so I don’t see him making a huge rebound from last year, but if he could at least slow down the decline it would help.
Starlin Castro has all of the tools to be a huge star in the league, if he can get his head screwed on right. He is very young but has already shown signs of being a great shortstop; unfortunately he has also shown signs of immaturity. I recall a game where he didn’t even have his glove on his hand or he had a hand buried in his pocket fishing out sunflower seeds. Don’t we all get scolded for doing that in Little League? This guy is in the pros, he needs to figure out if he wants to be a great player or another head case.
The pitching staff is not very good. Honestly it looks like Ryan Dempster is still their number one starter and he finished with a 10-14 record last year. Matt Garza has the stuff to be an ace but he has been really inconsistent; if he could return to who he was in Tampa Bay it would really help settle the rotation down. Signing Maholm and Wood appears to be a case of making a move just to make a move. Neither pitcher will cause a lineup to shake in their cleats. Closer Carlos Marmol has ridiculous stuff and reminds me of a young Francisco Rodriguez when he pitched for the Angels. He saved over thirty games last year so it will be safe to assume he could do it again but I do question if he will get as many opportunities as he did last season.
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The National League Central has the defending champion Cardinals who, even with the loss of Albert Pujols, will still be competitive and very well might win the division. the Reds won the division in 2010 but went a step backwards last year; I think they will have a better 2012 than 2011. the Pirates are still a pretty young team but even they flirted with first place a few times during the 2011 season before fading back, they should have a decent year too. the Brewers took a big step backwards with the loss of Prince Fielder and the pending fifty game suspension of Ryan Braun so I don’t think they will repeat as the division winner.
The Cubs have started to move some pieces around, for the long term, but it certainly will not help them this year. at best I think they will finish third in the division but I would not be surprised to see them finish lower.
Rodrigo Lopez will make his fifth appearance and fourth start of the spring this afternoon. Lopez has allowed three runs on nine hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in 12 innings. Lopez is coming off a solid five-inning outing against the A’s in which he allowed one run on three hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
While Lopez is in the mix for either a job in the rotation or as the long man out of the pen, the bottom line is that he signed a minor league contract with the Cubs and is not on the 40-man roster. if the Cubs are focused on building for the future, having Randy Wells go North with the team would be a better option than the 36-year old right hander.
Along with Rodrigo Lopez, the other pitchers that are scheduled to pitch this afternoon includes James Russell, Frankie de La Cruz and Blake Parker.
Dale Sveum is expected to run out the following lineup this afternoon: Reed Johnson (RF), Blake DeWitt (LF), Starlin Castro (SS), Alfonso Soriano (DH), Bryan LaHair (1B), Geovany Soto (C), Ian Stewart (3B), Jeff Baker (2B), Joe Mather (CF)
Jeanmar Gomez has put together a solid spring for the Indians and is coming off a nice four-inning outing against the Dodgers. Gomez pitched four innings of one-hit ball with a walk and three strikeouts. the 24-year old right-hander has not allowed a run this spring and has surrendered only four hits in 11 innings with three walks and seven strikeouts.
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The Chicago Cubs is a Major League Baseball team that is based in Chicago, Illinois. They are owned by the Tribune Company and managed by Lou Piniella, whereas John McDonough and Jim Hendry serve as its president and General Manager respectively. the Cubs and the Chicago White Sox are the two major league teams that are based in Chicago. Both of these clubs are the chartered members of their respective leagues.
After the success of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional team ever in 1869 several openly professional teams appeared on the scene around 1870. Each team aimed at scoring a victory against the Red Stockings. Several teams adopted different colors and strategies. White was chosen by the Chicago Cubs. A professional league named as the National Association was formed around 1871. it was a first of its kind.
Although the Cubs have seen some overall good seasons, they have failed to achieve the World Series championship title since 1908.
In the 1984 NLCS, the Baseball Cubs played against the San Diego Padres and managed two comfortable victories on their home ground. however the next three games were to be held in San Diego. of these the Cubs only required one win to make it to the final. They lost the first of these games by a considerable margin. the fourth game was also lost after Steve Garey hit a winning home run. the fifth game was not any different. But they managed to take a led in the sixth game. But a little error led to the victory of the San Diego Padres that took them into the World Series.
Four years later their opponents were the San Francisco Giants in 1989 NLCS. History repeated itself. They won the first two games and despite having a lead lost three straight games owing to small blunders on the management’s behalf and the players, resulting to their exit from the NLCS.
However they managed to emerge victorious against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS after 14 years. This win made history as it was their first postseason series win since 1908. after this they managed to win against Florida Marlins at a score of 3-1. it was being assumed that they will reach the World Series after 58 seasons.
A wild card entry entered them into the 1998 playoffs. Two young players, Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood were main contributors to the teams overall success. their opponents were once again the Atlanta Braves but they failed to repeat their earlier magic and lost out to the Atlanta Braves in three consecutive games.
Later in the 2006 season the Cubs were once again in a very good form. But unfortunately tan injury to their star player Derek Lee who was their baseman, sent the team into frenzy. They performed poorly and also set a record of scoring just 13 runs in 11 games.
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