Just because the senator from Kansas has announced his interest in becoming the most powerful man on earth, that doesn't necessarily mean it would be a good idea for the rest of us to enable it. Which brings me to this delightfully ridiculous and borderline upsetting development from the Cubs Convention:
Alfonso Soriano saying on Friday night that he's interested in playing centerfield, followed on Saturday by Lou Piniella saying, "Now that he's mentioned it, it makes a lot of sense."
Per this story by Carrie Muskat at cubs.com, Piniella only talked to Soriano about playing leftfield or right during the recruiting period back in November. Muskat writes that Piniella wanted to talk to Soriano about playing centerfield privately and only after the new Cub was in Mesa for Spring Training. Soriano's public expression of willingness to play center changed the master plan and allowed Piniella to address the matter with press.
Here's what I'm wondering:
If it's a good idea now to teach Soriano how to play centerfield, wasn't it a good idea back in November? And if it was a good idea back then, why wouldn't the Cubs have raised the issue during the recruiting process to make sure Soriano was onboard with it? (Have you forgotten about this?!) Or is it only a good idea because Soriano is agreeable?
Heaven forbid it's the latter, because that would be...well, asinine. Also it would suggest the Cubs had signed Soriano and invested a great deal of money filling other holes on the roster without a real plan for how they were going to man the outfield and flesh out their everyday lineup.
Here's another, positive take on the whole situation:
The Cubs aren't really thinking about having Soriano play centerfield or even rightfield. They realize there's risk enough in having a starting leftfielder who's just one season removed from playing secondbase (and playing it badly). What they're actually trying to do is let the rest of the baseball universe know they can fill their centerfield hole just beautifully, all by themselves, thank you. So if you Washington Nationals, for instance, are thinking of holding us up before you would part with Ryan Church, say, you can just forget it. And Darin Erstad and Steve Finley--you guys and those sleazy agents you hang around with better be paying attention, too, just in case you think you're going to back us into a corner and squeeze us for a few million more than you really deserve.
Yeah, that must be what they're thinking.
Post-Convention postscript: If you were unable to make it over to the Cubs Convention or if, as with me, the thought made you physically ill, there's a nice recap of what transpired at the Chicago Hilton and Towers over at The Cub Reporter. The piece is by dedicated TCR poster, mannytrillo.
And no, I didn't forget to acknowledge how little I know about football. I took as much joy in the Bears' victory Sunday as someone who actually believed in the team all season long. I think Rex Grossman is an average quarterback at best, but if the Bears defense can come up with another inspired effort and pry a few more turnovers out of the Colts, an average quarterback might be all the Bears need to win.