Tuesday, August 28, 2007
At around 7:15 PM tonight, Lou Piniella will make the biggest mistake of his managerial career here in Chicago. At that time, unless Rich Hill poops in his pants between 7:05 and 7:13, Alfonso Soriano will swing at Jeff Suppan’s first offering of the evening (anyone want to wager he won’t be swinging?).
In caving into the needs of Soriano, Lou is harming the team’s chances of winning. It’s pretty obvious that Soriano is mentally weak. If he thinks pitchers are going to throw him fewer curve ball in the leadoff spot, he’s sadly mistaken. If Soriano wants fastballs, he’s got a better chance of seeing them with Ryan Theriot on base than leading off.
Additionally, with Soriano’s quadricep likely below 100%, Soriano is not going to be stealing any bases anytime soon. That further lessens the ability of a leadoff hitter to distract a starting pitcher.
The lineup for tonight should be Ryan Theriot first and Soriano second. You could even go with Mark DeRosa second and Soriano cleanup and drop A Ram to 5th (stat seen – A Ram is leading the team in RBI, but 20th in the National League? Don’t even begin to suggest that the offense on this team is sufficient!).
Lou left himself some wiggle room to move Soriano in future lineups by saying, "We'll put Soriano back in the leadoff spot and Theriot in the 2-hole, and we'll adjust."
With any luck, what he’s doing is giving in to Soriano today so that Lou can assert his will tomorrow. If that’s not what’s happening, Lou is not creating the most effective lineup for an offensively challenged team.
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