Chicago Cubs: A Bunch of Chokes or Players in a Slump?

Jake KarmelCorrespondent IIJuly 11, 2009

HOUSTON - APRIL 06:  Milton Bradley #21 of the Chicago Cubs flips over after missing a fly ball against the Houston Astros on Opening Day on April 6, 2009 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.  The Cubs defeated the Astros 4-2.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Pirates great, Roberto Clemente once said, "You can never break out of a slump if you don't swing the bat." That's true. Think about it. If you don't swing, you will never break out. Tell that to the Cubs.

The first issue for the Cubs is their outfield. An outfield that makes over $30 million all together per year, should not have only 78 RBI all together in July. Especially if two of those outfielders are supposed to be "power" hitters.

An infamous member of this outfield,Β Alfonso Soriano, is slumping. It's as simple as that. But he has been slumping since May. Soriano is batting .231 with 14 home runs and 32 RBI. That makes me sick. His OBP is even sicker. His OBP is a mere .294. His average should be .294. Not his OBP. He leads the team with 80 strikeouts.

Every Soriano at-bat happens the same exact way. He swings at a fastball and sometimes fouls it off. He will then look at a slider in the dirt. Then he will swing at the same exact slider in the dirt. Followed by a slider in the dirt or a fastball high and out of the zone. Ask any Cubs fan. It happens every time.

Issue number two is Milton "Badley." Yes, he is part of the outfield but he is so bad he deserves his own topic. Milton "Badley" is batting a mere .236 with six home runs and only 19 RBI! Those numbers are pretty good for April and maybe the first week of May. These numbers are not okay for July.

Milton Bradley's fielding is terrible (as you can see in the picture). He drops routine fly-balls all the time. I understand he may lose them in the sun but when you have sunglasses, you have absolutely no excuse. Especially when you are a major league ball player.

Issue number three with the Cubs is their inconsistent hitting. They can win a couple in a row like they did versus the Pirates and Brewers. Then they play the Braves and will lose two out of three. The Cubs will go on a roll then give the games right back the following week.

They went from the best hitting team in baseball last season, to the 27th best average in the major leagues when they apparently "upgraded" their hitting with the addition of Milton Bradley. They are No. 9 in strikeouts with 620. Just talking about this team is making me angry.

This team is very frustrating to say the least. They need to turn it around now. They could easily be running away this division but since they have been so inconsistent, they aren't and probably wont.

What I'm trying to say is, this team is a bunch of choke artists. Whether you like it or not. When you're a major league ball player, you don't just all of a sudden "forget" how to swing a bat or field a fly ball because you're with the Cubs. You choke when you're with the Cubs. This is the case with Soriano and Bradley especially.

Jake Karmel


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