WBEZ | Alfonso Soriano http://www.wbez.org/tags/alfonso-soriano Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en A painful Cub season is done. Now what should they do? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-10/painful-cub-season-done-now-what-should-they-do-103057 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rsz_a_few_wrigley_fans.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F63504710&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;color=ffe12b" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>White Sox fans looked at their season on Wednesday, now it&rsquo;s the Cubs fans turn. Where do you stand on what happened this year and what should your teams do now? Feel free to attach a comment to the post or send me a thoughts and questions and you are invited to have your tweet on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@Crayestout</a> or go to my Facebook page <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame?fref=ts">Cheryl Raye-Stout #atthegame</a>.</p><p style="margin-left: 27pt;"><strong>Here is a look at the North Siders: </strong></p><p style="margin-left: 27pt;">Without taking out an advertisement and without a public proclamation, the Cubs are rebuilding, retooling and overhauling the team. The first season of the management team of President Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer is in the books . . . with 101 losses. Is it fair to judge this team with the wins (rare on the road) and losses since the future of the team is their aim?</p><p style="margin-left: 27pt;">Cubs fans have to decide if they want a Band-Aid year in and year out, or a full surgery to cure the problems of this franchise.</p><p style="margin-left: 27pt;"><strong>Will you have the patience to watch more losses the next few years and will you support this team?</strong></p><p style="margin-left: 27pt;">It is my belief that the team is going in the right direction. However, it is not an open-ended process. There must be clear progress and development of prospects in the not too distant future. Patience is tough to sell; in fact, manager Dale Sveum said he didn&rsquo;t realize his patience was so strong.</p><p style="margin-left: 27pt;"><strong>Cub fans: Do you agree or disagree?&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </strong></p><p style="margin-left: 27pt;">The Cubs said goodbye to several players &mdash;&nbsp;Kerry Wood, Reed Johnson, Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Geovany Soto and Jeff Baker &mdash; &nbsp;during the season. It may be the trade before the season that may have the biggest impact when they got Anthony Rizzo from San Diego for Andrew Cashner. During the next few months the Cubs may make even more changes.</p><p style="margin-left: 27pt;"><strong>Decisions must be made to continue the process of changing the Cubs. Here</strong> <strong>are some possibilities</strong>:</p><ul><li style="margin-left: 27pt; "><strong>Alfonso Soriano</strong> The Cubs have two years left on his deal-worth almost $38 million. Despite the team having a bad year, he actually had a good one, no errors in the field and a career high with RBI to go with his 32 homers. If you can find a team that he agrees to go, do you trade him?<br />&nbsp;</li><li style="margin-left: 27pt; "><strong>Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson</strong> Both these players are going to start in Triple-A next season. Is there a future for either one of them with the Cubs? Jackson plans on working with manager Dale Sveum with his swing this winter.<br />&nbsp;</li><li style="margin-left: 27pt; "><strong>Carlos Marmol</strong> With the Cubs rebuilding, do they look for a suitor for this up and down closer. With the Cubs piling up losses, his role will not be as necessary. Should the Cubs look to deal him for a prospect or two?<br /><br />This may not be popular, the Cubs should keep Soriano. The team is going to &nbsp;have to eat most of his contract, the might as well have someone that can protect Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro in the lineup. Soriano has embraced his role as a leader in a very young clubhouse. Marmol should be dealt, Vitters is not ready and may never be and Jackson has more promise. It may be a while, but players like top draft pick Albert Almora and Cuban signee Jorge Soler are big hopefuls for Cub management.</li></ul><p><strong>What should the Cubs do this off-season with these players?</strong></p><p><strong>Best moment of 2012:</strong> Darwin Barney showing he is one of the best defensive second baseman and went 141 errorless games.&nbsp;</p><p>Second best: 29-year-old rookie Bryan LaHair making the All-Star team (only to be demoted to pinch-hitting status the second half) and the promotion of top prospect Anthony Rizzo.</p><p><strong>Worst moment of 2012:</strong> Reaching the century mark in losses . . . enough said.</p><p><strong>What were your best and worst moments of this Cub season?</strong></p><p>This year the Cubs did not sell their usual three million tickets and it will be interesting what kind of support they get next year and beyond. Epstein and his staff will look for some free-agents to help fill out the roster. 2013 holds as much promise as 2012. It is not wait until next year &mdash; it is wait until . . . . ?</p></p> Fri, 12 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-10/painful-cub-season-done-now-what-should-they-do-103057 Casino in Chicago? Will it have an awesome pool? http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-31/casino-chicago-will-it-have-awesome-pool-87228 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-31/casino.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The first big gambling house in Chicago since the late 19th century may be the first big initiative of the Emanuel administration. But the big question remains: Will a Chicago casino have a kick-ass pool?</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-31/AP060827041140.jpg" title="" width="512" height="335"></p><p>The IL House approved a huge <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-illinois-legislature-0531-20110530,0,5736083.story">expansion of gaming and casinos in Illinois</a>. They have paved the way for casinos in Chicago and it goes to the IL Senate today. If it doesn't pass today, then the extra session will need more Republican votes and the casino probably won't happen. It's essentially the show <em>24</em>, but instead of counter terrorism, it's downstate politics.</p><p>This is Emanuel's wheelhouse, getting legislators to flip their votes and endorse something he wants. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Thumpin-Democrats-Ruthless-Republican-Revolution/dp/0385523289">Books have been written on this very subject</a>! It's kind of exciting, but at the same time, kind of perplexing. Why now?&nbsp; As a Chicagoan, I've heard every argument about how casinos will hurt the city. Crime, debt, quality of life will suffer. Not to mention that I've heard that we might still have the mob in Chicago. And does the city have any way of controlling that? Our legislative bodies and mayors have never been able to make a casino happen in Chicago. So Rahm Emanuel is either a brilliant politician who can accomplish anything or a brilliant politician who just walked into a trap.</p><p>And better yet, didn't Des Plaines win the last coveted casino license recently? They are about to open a casino that is the closest to downtown Chicago. You know, to attract the Chicago gambling crowd. Good luck with that.</p><p>This is going to be a great story to follow. Anyone who has lived in Chicago for the past two decades understands how important this story could be (at least for newspapers).</p><p><strong>B story</strong>: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/blagojevich-back-stand-87173">Blago is back on the stand today</a>. Something tells me that copycat autograph seekers will try and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-27/soundvideo-bite-day-blagojevich-signs-piece-fruit-87145">get him to sign assorted citrus</a>.</p><p><strong>C story</strong>: Ooooh, the ink isn't even dry on redistricting Illinois' congressional map and the <a href="http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2011/05/illinois_congress_2012_bill_fo_1.html">fight for the new 11th district is on</a>. Adam Kinzinger won the district back in 2010, defeating incumbent Debbie Halvorson. Now, the new map features more Dems and Bill Foster, who lost the 14th to Randy Hultgren in the 2010 mid term elections, is now eligible to run in the 11th. So it's on. Already.</p><p><strong>Weather</strong>: Seriously, it's now summer.</p><p><strong>Sports</strong>: Now that we have no Bulls, no Blackhawks and no Bears, all focus shifts to baseball. And what do we have? Is it me Cubs fans, or is this team one of the most unremarkable ball clubs in recent memory? Who's the star, again? I know contracts have put a stranglehold on the front office, but this team seems to lack design. What is the deal? Quade seems lifeless and the team is now without their star (?) Alfonso Soriano, who joins Marlon Byrd on the injury report. And today, the <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/5684335-419/with-jeff-baker-on-dl-cubs-turn-to-homegrown-dj-lemahieu.html">Sun-Times wonders about the Cubs' backup plan</a>. Say what you will about the underachieving White Sox, but at least you see the potential of this team getting red hot. I'm not sure you feel that in Wrigleyville.</p><p><strong>Kicker</strong>: I've had this happen. Not in Greek, but I have had this happen:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/iheOMq8UkN4" width="480" frameborder="0" height="390"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 31 May 2011 14:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-05-31/casino-chicago-will-it-have-awesome-pool-87228