The Cubs Will Lose Their Leadoff Hitter for Six Weeks

By: Cindy Ferguson

The Chicago Cubs have been having a good season until now, their game has been stable and they currently hold one of the best records in the major league, trying to make a postseason appearance in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1908, but they received some very bad news this week; their left fielder and leadoff hitter Alfonso Soriano could be out of the field for six weeks due to a broken finger.

Soriano got hit in his left hand by a fast ball pitch thrown by Jeff Bennet in the second inning of Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Braves. Immediately he was examined briefly by Mark O'Neal, Cubs head trainer, and then he was taken to a local hospital for X-Rays which determined a bone fracture in the fourth finger of his left hand.

This is a very unfortunate situation for the left fielder that was also on the disabled list for a few weeks at the beginning of the season with a calf injury. Even thought he was back and quickly recovered his .283 hitting average and even managed to hit 7 home runs in 6 games during a week in May, hitting almost .500 during that stretch, and finishing that month with 12 home runs and .345 hitting average. Last Wednesday Soriano started the game for the first time in seven weeks.

For the Cubs, loosing Soriano at this moment could be quite negative, according to team's manager Lou Pinella. "He was just starting to run the way we thought he could, playing well in the outfield and hitting the ball with some power," Pinella said in a post-game conference. "It's a bad break for us, it really is." Cub's players also referred to Soriano's injury as a very unfortunate event, but they're conscious they have to move on and rely on the strong team they have.

Alfonso Soriano plays with the Chicago Cubs since the beginning of the 2007 season, when he signed the most expensive deal in the franchise history, an eight years contract of nearly 136 million dollars. As of June of the same season he won the National League's Player of the Month title and led the Cub's in home runs during June and July and in September he hit fourteen home runs, twenty-seven runs batted in and led the Cubs to win the National League Central Division.

The Chicago Cubs is the team that has had the longest drought between championships in all of the four US major sports leagues. Their last World Series championship was almost one hundred years ago, on the 1908 season. This is the reason why there's an urban legend that says the Cubs have a "curse" on them since 1945, the last year they had an appearance in the World Series and were defeated by the Detroit Tigers. And in a moment like this, when the team has a 42-24 record in the major league and suddenly find themselves without their leadoff man due to such an unusual accident, there might be lots of people wondering, do you believe in curses?

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