Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh Good, Oh No

Sometime around 8:40 PM this evening, Alfonso Soriano will step into the batters box at Not-Yet-FDIC-Run-Bank Ballpark in Arizona. He'll likely flail away at the first pitch and a sigh of relief will likely be heard from several sources. The biggest sighs will come from the direction of Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. Just maybe having Soriano in the lineup will take some pressure off these guys and get them back to producing.

The reality is that the 2008 Cubs can live without Soriano in the lineup if they are getting solid contributions from Lee and A Ram. Lee has had two home runs since the end of May and seen 50 points drop off his OPS (81 points of it due to a drop in slugging) since that time. Ramirez has been in a funk for almost a month, as well. He's only had 9 hits since June 26th.

Just maybe with Soriano out, these guys were pressing. And as the team has treaded water for a month and burdened with heavy expectations, maybe they felt a need to press even harder.

This page holds no brief for Soriano. But, if his presence can get Lee and Ramirez to relax and get their games back, then Soriano can't get back soon enough.

Does this post really say that?

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