Two for the Road: Ramirez and Soriano Need to Go

There is no next year. There isn’t a year after that either. The Chicago Cubs won’t be making any World Series appearances anytime soon.

The reasons why? It’s not curses or any voodoo, but it does involve a pair of goats: Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez. When your leadoff hitter can’t get on, and your clean-up hitter leaves eight runners stranded and has no RBI’s you’re not going to win many postseason games. Some guys just can’t perform on the field when the spotlight gets brighter and more people are paying attention. Those are not the players you want on your team when you are trying to win a championship, especially the club’s first one in 100 years. 

Now this isn’t to completely pin the whole embarrassing week on two guys. I know Ryan Dempster looked terrible in game one. Geovany Soto and Jim Edmonds were non-factors. And Mark DeRosa, Ryan Theriot, and Derrek Lee made very costly, uncharacteristic errors in game two. But “uncharacteristic” is the relevant word here. Those six guys either have little playoff experience, or have been productive enough in previous Octobers that you can risk giving them the benefit of the doubt.

That's not the case with Ramirez and Soriano. We have more than enough information to make a judgment on how these guys play when it really matters.

Here is a quick breakdown of each player’s postseason resume.

Ramirez: .194 avg., 15 K’s in 18 postseason games. Zero RBI’s the last two postseasons. 2008 salary: $15,000,000

Soriano: .213 avg., 53 K’s in 44 postseason games. 2008 salary: $14,000,000

You can’t expect to see a different outcome next year if you can’t count on two major spots in your lineup.

This is still a very good team with a great chance of winning the division again in 2009. It looks like the Brewers window is closed now that C.C. Sabathia and Ben Sheets are likely headed elsewhere. The Cardinals are always right there, but they still don’t appear to have the horses. And the Reds and Pirates don’t seem to be serious threats.  Ryan Dempster will probably return, making the Cubs rotation one of the best in the league again. Jim Hendry will probably work his magic once again in the offseason and find a center fielder and a left handed bat.

But I see no reason to believe next year's postseason will be any different than this one.

Contact Us