Is Alfonso Soriano's Latest Attempt at Leadership for Cubs Too Little Too Late?
As per the Chicago Tribune, Soriano blew off some steam when Carlos Marmol blew the save Sunday.
When we have a 99 (percent) chance to win the game, it's very tough the last inning, he said. Three outs left and we lost the game. It's unacceptable, especially when we're winning 3-0 and (Matt) Garza's pitching a very good game.
It's hard to swallow. We thought we swept those guys and had some momentum going to St. Louis. … It's not a good feeling.
It was nice to see that from Soriano, but was it too little, too late?
The closer situation has not been good for the Cubs this year.
Chicago has blown 14 of 27 save opportunities this year with Marmol taking the brunt of the blame.
However, it's been others as well. James Russell has blown four saves, while Marmol and Shawn Camp have each blown three. There's a lot of blame that should go around.
Let's not forget the Cubs have the fifth-worst bullpen ERA at 4.28.
Closing games has been tough for the Cubs this year, but that doesn't take the full blame.
Does Alfonso Soriano have a legitimate claim to leadership on the Cubs?
Lack of Leadership
The difference between the Cubs and most other teams in baseball is that they don't have a true leader on the team.
Soriano spoke up on this occasion, but how often has that happened? What pitcher has taken ownership of that whole group and been a voice to them?
Occasionally a player will speak up, but it doesn't last. Nobody has enough respect within that organization from the other players. Nobody is viewed as the leader.
When a player like Soriano makes an attempt at leadership, it goes in through one ear and right out the other. He's viewed as a player who will be gone soon (via trade or free agency after 2014), so why should they listen to him?
Had he tried to be a leader at some point in the last seven years, he might be taken seriously right now.
Soriano's attempt at leadership is too late. Somebody else has to step up, however.
Jeff Samardzija, Anthony Rizzo or Starlin Castro have to step up. They are the faces of the franchise and must take over the reins of the team.
The reins are sitting on the ground as there hasn't been a true leader in the clubhouse since Derek Lee left in 2010.
The Cubs need a leader. Who will it be?
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