New and Improved: Alfonso Soriano

A new attitude towards the team will help the $100 million man.

Good news, Cub fans. We have a new and improved Alfonso Soriano this coming season. One that will stay healthy, avoid silly mistakes, and happily hit from any spot in the line-up. In other words, Super Soriano!

Super Soriano is conditioning his body now to be ready for the cold weather of playing early in Chicago.

"My [injury] problem in April is because of cold weather," Soriano said. "I want to work on my legs and see what happens. I want to work hard and play 162 games this year."

Soriano's early-season problems extend beyond his injuries. Even when he is playing, he's not hitting, batting just .192 in April. He isn't clear on how he will get better in those early, random cold days in April, but maybe flying up to Chicago in January for the Cubs Convention will help. If he can survive breathing during this weather, a 40-degree day in April isn't much to deal with.

"I feel comfortable batting leadoff and any [place] in the lineup," he said recently. "It's not about me, it's about the team and what [manager Lou Piniella] wants to do this year because, I'm 33 now and they think I can't run anymore."

See? The old Soriano, the one who played for the Cubs last year, was tentative on the basepaths. Previously, he was one of the most prolific runners in the majors, but he grew tentative last year. Though he was caught stealing last year just three times, he stole a base only 19 times. But this year, Super Soriano will be running for the Cubs. He sees how he can be used by Piniella, and with his teammates, can help the Cubs not just get to the playoffs, but actually advance past the first round.

Super Soriano, the one who is worth more than $100 million, is the exact player the Cubs need. Now let's just hope that he actually shows up this season.

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