CHICAGO — This is your year Cubbies. No, really. Ronny Cedeno said so.

 

As much as Uncle Lou hated to hear it, Cedeno uttered the two words that no team should even think about in April: World Series.

 

This is the team’s best start since 1995 (finished with a record of 73-71), and much congratulations should be given to the Northsiders for picking up win No. 10,000. As much as the franchise loves to hang onto the Loveable Loser tag, it is only the second franchise in Major League Baseball history to accomplish the feat.

 

That’s right. Despite 26 World Championships, not even the New York Yankees have reached 10K.

 

Where were we … Oh yeah, the World Series.

 

The Cubs have won two in 101 years with this representing the 100th anniversary of the last time they celebrated a title. Twenty-two different teams have claimed titles since 1908, and 25 franchises have at least made an appearance since 1945 – the last time the Cubs showed up for the party. In fact, of the current 30 Major League Baseball teams, only three have never made it to the Series. The Tampa Bay Rays have only been in the league since 1998, and the Seattle Mariners have made it without a trip in its 31 years in the league. An argument could be made for the Washington Nationals – formerly known as the Montreal Expos – who were well on their way with an All-Star lineup in 1994. And the Texas Rangers won the Series in 1924 as the Washington Senators.

 

So maybe this is your year. Everyone else seems to think so. The bleachers are rowdier than ever, and the Cubs currently have a 1.5 game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central.

 

They also currently lead the National League in runs scored (135), hits (226), and batting average (.284), and are second in RBI (125) and total bases (363). They have arguably been one of the hottest teams in baseball winning nine of their last 10 games.

 

Ironically, the streak came following a freak injury by Alfonso Soriano.  The Cubs are hands down a much better team with Reed Johnson in the lineup as the leadoff hitter, but don’t tell Lou. He has already confirmed that as soon as Soriano is healthy, he will be back in left field and batting at the top of the lineup.

 

Are you serious? Why would you tinker with a lineup that has shocked the baseball world and made you the hottest topic since Barry Bonds. You’ve even managed to help Bears fans forget about the whining Brian Urlacher – the “underappreciated” Brian Urlacher — who wants to redo his contract for more money, but can’t decide whether to take off for Italy or Mexico before reporting to Bourbonnais. I’m sure once he decides, you can go to FoxSports.com to find out the details.

 

Maybe Marty Brennaman was right in saying that the Cubs would find a way to “screw this whole thing up.”

 

Do you think it was coincidence that just as Soriano was seen in Colorado doing running drills and playing long toss, the Cubs streak came to an end with a 4-2 loss? I remember a time when teams used to only dream of having a guy like Soriano in the lineup. Now the NL Central should be looking forward to his return. Reed Johnson might have been one of the most expendable guys on the Blue Jays roster, but he is the spark that lit a fire under this Cubs team. The stats speak for themselves:

 

 

   

 

Player

 

 

G

 

AB

 

R

 

H

 

2B

 

3B

 

HR

 

RBI

 

TB

 

BB

 

SO

 

SB

 

CS

 

OBP

 

SLG

 

AVG

 

 

Reed Johnson

18

61

9

19

3

0

0

9

22

5

5

1

2

.394

.361

.311

 

 

Alonso Soriano

13

57

7

10

1

0

2

5

17

4

11

2

0

.230

.298

.175

 

 

The bottom line, Cubs fans, is that if Lou follows through with his plans to reorder the lineup that got his team to the top of the division, you can forget about a World Series and start looking like a new manager. Piniella will be driven out of the Windy City faster than Dusty Baker.

 

 

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