I wasn't around much for yesterday's festivities, so let me get a few things off my chest. I realize the Cubs have won three straight and eight of their last ten and I should probably just shut-up, but this sh** is bugging me.
- The "hop" that Soriano does before he catches a flyball is kinda lame. Then of course, I have a hard time relating to anyone who could drive a car like this. Lame as it is, it didn't create his calf strain and I'm not just saying that because the Cubs are in full-press denial mode. You can just look at the highlights of it. Soriano didn't leap more than six inches off the ground and landed just fine; he didn't roll his ankle or overextend his knee or anything. Whatever the problem was, it was already there and if it didn't happen on that play, it certainly would have the next time he ran out a ground ball or slid into a bag.
But if makes him stop leaping like one of the seven lords, then by all means, it was the "hop" that caused it.
- Now that Soriano is on the disabled list, it sure seemed like bringing up Matt Murton was going to be the no-brainer move. But I did mention in the Parachat that night that it wouldn't surprise me if Eric Patterson got the call. Why? Lou and the Cubs picked Mike Fontenot over Murton in spring training, so it's no big suprise that if regular playing time for one or the other would surface, that Fontenot would get that shot first. Plus the Cubs are in love with speed and left-handed bats these days. So I'm not sure if I was the least shocked person in the Cubs universe when the announcement was made, but it certainly seemed plausible.
That being said, this decision is just as lame as Soriano's hop. Murton's 929 major league plate appearances and 820 OPS over that time tells me he's deserved the shot to fill-in just about every day that Soriano sits. As Thunder Matt's Saloon theorizes, Murton has certainly done something to anger the baseball gods. Somewhere I picture Murton sitting in dark room, just a lone light bulb dangling from the ceiling barely illuminating it. He reaches up to his wall to put a picture of Lou up...along with the thousand other pictures of Lou...all with their faces cutout.
- But what's really got me riled up is the bullshit that Lou and the Cubs are pulling with Felix Pie. The kid has some problems at the plate, no doubt. And I'm glad Lou is showing an active interest in working with him. But damn, he sits for almost a full week on the road trip and his first game back is against one of the better pitchers in the game, Aaron Harang. What you expect from him? Then Lou piles on a bit by leaving Pie out there in the seventh inning when Dusty brings in the lefty Jeremy Affeldt. Pie predictably strikes out again. Then after kicking Pie's dog and sleeping with his girlfriend, Lou keeps him out of the lineup when the pitching equivalent of a pinata is on the mound in Josh Fogg. Damn!
There's a scouting theory out there that players with "long swings" do better with more playing time. The more they sit, the tougher it is for them to get their timing down. Apparently a theory that Lou hasn't heard about.
Furthermore, what the f*** were the Cubs thinking this offseason if they weren't committed to Pie? I don't remember exactly how many center fielders were on the market, seemed like about 10 that they could have signed or haggled for in a trade. But the whole time we heard that they were committed to Pie and Sam Fuld battling it out, with the possibility of a right-handed hitting option to help out (Reed Johnson of course). Did Hendry forget to check with Lou if he was committed to that same course of action?
As I mentioned earlier, the Cubs are winning right now, so all seems good in ye ole' land of Cub. But it's not like our offense has been suffering and Pie is a heckuva lot better with the glove than Reed Johnson is out there. But if he's not going to play, send him down or trade him, but if he's up, let him start versus Josh Freaking Fogg at least.
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