Stop the Soriano Leadoff Nonsense Now

Spring training will be a lot more fun if we do, promise

We've already discussed this, but here it is: Alfonso Soriano is usually a leadoff man. He likes to bat leadoff. Unfortunately, he's no longer a very effective choice there -- his speed is dwindling and his on-base percentage is weak. He is a power hitter now, and he needs to bat in a power hitter's spot. He's starting to get this.

So, thankfully, is Lou Piniella, who said yesterday he was considering moving the occasionally stubborn Soriano down in the lineup. Hooray! Unfortunately, that kicked off the following exchange, which takes place in the Chicago Tribune but is really going on in reporters' and fans' heads and Lou Piniella's head, singular, and before we blockquote it can we just say that it needs to stop. Now. Or this Cubs spring training is going to be an inexorable march, and spring training is supposed to be fun:

"He" is manager Lou Piniella, who said Monday he would not "throw out the possibility" of moving Soriano down in the order. Piniella said he could try Ryan Theriot, Aaron Miles, Mike Fontenot and Kosuke Fukudome as leadoff men in Cactus League games. Piniella later added that if the season opened now, Soriano would be his leadoff man, but the cat was already out of the bag.

Soriano said Tuesday he was OK with moving if Piniella left him in one spot. The story took a day off Wednesday before Piniella was asked about it again Thursday.

"I never said that we're going to move him out of there," he said. "I said we're going to take a look at the possibility. I never said we're going to move him."

So, basically, Lou Piniella said that he may or may not move Soriano down in the lineup. Soriano is cool with that. Today, when asked about it again, Piniella wavered, making it seem like Soriano would still bat leadoff. The date on your calendar is February 20.

Of course, the correct answer is to try someone else, someone with a high OBP, first. But at this point we don't even care about the correct answer. We just want to go through February without having to hear anything else about where Alfonso Soriano is going to bat. It's a minor difference anyaway, and it's dumb, and there are more important things the Cubs should worry about, liking keeping Milton Bradley healthy. There. There's one. Let's talk about that instead. Anything but this. 

Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site,

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