Even though he seems to understand baseball, there are still a few questionable moves he has made. Foremost among those was his insistence that Soriano lead off. It appears that he is finally starting to budge on that one:
Cubs manager Lou Piniella has stuck by Alfonso Soriano as his leadoff man the last two seasons but on Monday said he may drop the left fielder down in the order. Piniella said he talked to Soriano at the Cubs Convention about it. One reason for the switch is that Soriano doesn't run as much as he used to.I will just ignore that comment about how he doesn't run like he used to (running is overrated and in fact can be detrimental to the team if the success rate is not very high, it is also almost completely irrelevant to the effectiveness of a leadoff man). While he is not a terrible leadoff man, his numbers are clearly not conducive to getting on base, the most important thing from a leadoff man. It's not that he is bad at it, he actually had a .344 OBP last season. The thing is that he has a high slugging percentage at .532 which makes him far better suited to the 3, 4, 5, or even 6 spot in the lineup. On top of that, there are 7 everyday players that have a higher OBP than Soriano: Johnson, Lee, Soto, Ramirez, Theriot, Fontenot and...the player everyone loves to hate...Fukudome! Yes all 7 of those players had better OBPs. I don't hate Soriano, but I do hate him in the leadoff spot. Hit him 5th or 6th and have a Theriot, Fontenot, Johnson, or, dare I say it, Kosuke, lead off. Make it happen Lou.
And yes, I'm just as excited as you that baseball is almost here.