Are Alfonso's Days as Top Dog Over?

MLB: Cubs v Rangers June 21, 2007
The talk of moving Alfonso Soriano out of the lead-off spot has already begun.

And I didn't expect anything less from the first few days of Spring Training.

Chicago's North Side fans and certain segments of the media have been clamoring to drop the former 40-40-40 man down in the order to take advantage of the power that comes from Soriano's big bat.

And since his stolen base numbers have drastically dropped since his banner year with the Washington Nationals, these folks actually have a valid case.

Yet, I'll stand by my guns and suggest that Soriano stays atop the lineup.

The Cubs have been one of the league's most potent offenses with free-swinging left fielder leading off. He takes advantage of early-inning mistakes and pummels them over the left-center field wall. He has the potential of stealing second and third base if said ball does not reach the seats or Waveland Avenue.

But like most sluggers, Soriano has been prone to the punchout. And since you can't steal first, it makes it very difficult to take advantage of his speed.

With that said, maybe Soriano should drop to the middle of the order.

But then who replaces him in the No. 1 spot?

Ryan Theriot is a scrappy little player, but scrappy is truly "crappy" with an "s" in front of it. And Cubs fans have chosen to ignore the way he has just fallen apart in the stretch run each of the last two seasons.

Aaron Miles? He of the .329 career on-base percentage and .305 career OBP at the leadoff spot.

For all his faults, and a career OBP of .329 of his own, Soriano has posted a .293/.342/.550/.893 line out of the leadoff spot.

Mike Fontenot is the left-handed version of Theriot, despite his status in Ron Santo's eyes as "Lil' Babe Ruth."

So where are your other options? Fuku? D. Lee? Crazy Uncle Milton?

Yeah, on second thought, unless Brian Roberts finds his former steroid-using self in Cubbie Blue pinstripes, Lou Piniella should just pencil in the most polarizing lead-off man in the history of the game atop his everyday line-up.