9/24 Wish list
Lou Piniella already has his Christmas wish list done.
“You ask me, the biggest thing we need here is an RBI bat,” Piniella said Thursday, looking ahead to the 2010 season. “We need an RBI bat to sit in the middle of the lineup with [Aramis] Ramirez and Derrek Lee.”
That’s what the Cubs thought they had in Milton Bradley, but he delivered 40 RBIs in 124 games. Jake Fox has driven in 41 in 76 games. The Cubs will try to move Bradley this offseason after a turbulent first year in Chicago.
Does this RBI man have to bat left-handed?
“I don’t care if he hits between his legs, how’s that?” Piniella said. “Right-handed, left-handed, doesn’t really matter.”
But where would this big RBI guy play? If Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano can rebound, the Cubs may be able to take care of that missing piece in-house.
“We’re going to ask Soto to really work hard this winter and come to Spring Training in good shape and ready to go,” Piniella said. “Soriano, we need a good year from Soriano. One thing with Alfonso, and I’m going to have a nice talk with him, is when we’re going to rest him, we’re going to rest him. We have to keep him healthy and strong the whole year.
“Some of the people we have here need to pick it up some,” he said. “Adding one good infusion, an RBI bat, is the best thing we could do.”
Just look at the St. Louis Cardinals, who are on the verge of clinching the National League Central. Matt Holliday made a huge difference. The Cubs have scored 676 runs heading into Thursday’s game against the Giants. Last year, they led the National League with 855 runs scored. Another RBI guy would be nice.
Atlanta’s Bobby Cox was re-signed for 2010, and announced it will be his last year. Piniella has one more year left on his contract with the Cubs and he’s made it clear that 2010 will be his last as well.
“I don’t see myself managing beyond next year, I really don’t,” Piniella said. “I see giving it everything I’ve got to get this organization back on top and I look forward to that challenge.”
He feels he’d have a little better chance with that big RBI guy, too.
— Carrie Muskat