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Paging Milton Bradley and Geovany Soto

Anthony HammettCorrespondent IMay 6, 2009

MILWAUKEE - APRIL 10:  Milton Bradley #21 of the Chicago Cubs makes a hit against the Milwaukee Brewers during the Opening Day game on April 10, 2009 at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The season has begun.....where are Bradley and Soto?

Baseball season is about 26 games in for most teams thus far. There are a ton of things that catch the eye early in this season.

For starters, how about a hats off to Zack Greinke? If he didn't pitch for the Royals everyone would have this guy as their top pitcher.

Ryan Zimmerman has a 22 game hit streak for the Nationals, and that might be the only positive thing they have happen with that organization all season.

The Dodgers are 12-0 at home and counting. The Tampa Bay Rays have fallen behind New York and Boston and Toronto in the early going. However, with all of that being said, my biggest concern is the Chicago Cubs.

I have a deep passion for Chicago Cubs baseball. I am 25 years old and I have lived in the state of Georgia all my life. I began watching the Cubs on WGN when I was six and fell in love.

Ryne Sandberg and Andre Dawson were my idols. Little did I know that when I chose the Cubs as my team they would go 101+ years and counting without a championship.

Last year got my hopes up. Geovany Soto emerged as one of the best catchers in the National League as a rookie, ranking right there with Russell Martin and Brian McCann. The big three contributed during the season in Soriano, Ramirez, and Lee. Theriot and Fontenot handled the middle infield like they should.

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Fukudome got off to a nice start but really slumped the second half of last season. The pitching staff did what it was supposed to do during the season last year and for the most part the Cubs cruised through the NL Central for the entire season.

Then the playoffs came and the curse rose its ugly head. The Cubs were swept right out of the playoffs before we could blink an eye.

So now its 2009. The Cubs once again try and win that elusive championship that seems impossible for them to grab.

They started the offseason by trading one of the most productive players from last year's roster in Mark DeRosa to Cleveland for minor leaguers. It will not pay dividends now, but it could help them later down the line.

They also got rid of their closer in Kerry Wood and gave him to the Indians as well. They replaced DeRosa by signing Milton Bradley. He has been known to have a bad attitude in the past, but when he is healthy and in the lineup he is usually productive. More about him in a second.

The Cubs replaced Kerry Wood with Kevin Gregg from the Florida Marlins. He and Carlos Marmol have taken turns swapping the closers' role thus far in 2009, and it wouldn't surprise me if that continues.

So why am I frustrated? 26 games in and the Cubs are two-and-one-half games out. That's not so bad, is it? You wouldn't think so, but there have been many problems early. Carlos Zambrano is on the DL right now and that's bad enough for starters. Geovany Soto has missed a lot of action along with Milton Bradley as well.

The Cubs have already called up a lifetime 35 year old minor leaguer to get some playing time because of not having enough outfielders. Bradley is batting .128 with 2 HR and 2 RBI when he has played. Soto isn't doing much better, hitting .167 with 0 HR and 4 RBI.

Reed Johnson is platooning with Fukudome and he is only batting .227 with 0 HR and 1 RBI.

Alfonso Soriano has 7 HR and Mike Fontenot has 5 HR which are bright spots for the Cubs, showing some product at the top and the bottom of the lineup.

Kosuke Fukudome has started off 2009 with consistency, but this was also around the time last year that he began to slump and never came out of it. For Cubs fans' sake and mine, let's hope that doesn't happen this year.

So here's to the Cubs and hoping they can end my misery along with the rest of their fans.

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