La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Three postgame thoughts from LEN3: The Cubs. Soriano. Strategy

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 9, 2012 - 12:12 AM

Here are three thoughts after the Twins defeated the Cubs on Friday.

1. This Cubs team is bad: They kick and throw the ball around. They make baserunning mistakes. When Samardjiza, Dempster or Garza aren't pitching, they are exposed. Theo has a big job in front of him. That's why you had to grimace when the Twins were matching them bad pitch for bad pitch and bad play for bad play. For the Twins, you take wins any way you can get them but, ugh....

2. Alfonso Soriano. He's grossly overpaid and his contract is sinking the Cubs. But did he put swings on two pitches tonight. We sit a few feet to the right of home plate, so it's pretty cool when balls are hit out to left because you can watch them climb the decks. When Soriano's second homer left his bat, I put both my hands on my head and yelled, "
Oh, my!" That ball was headed to Fridley if the stands weren't in the way. I think the estimate of 440 feet was a little light.

3. Game stuff. Span went on contact in the ninth inning. If he doesn't run, the Cubs have a shot at a double play. People were complaining about Joe Mauer not batting, but the odds were high that Mauer would have been walked intentionally, wasting the move.



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