Inside Carrie's Box, There's More Mark DeRosa Stuff!

Mailbox with mail

My inbox looks something like this.  Bill, bill, with love from mom, bill, "Do you want to be LARGER?", bill, "Do you want to meet cute singles in you're area??????, "#&$% you %^&*@" ... then there's Carrie Muskat's correspondence with her fans.

Her questions.  My answers.  Your look of disapproval as I mock the system.  Happy Friday, gang!

The Cubs expect Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto to have better years in 2010. Why not Mike Fontenot? Did something happen to him that no one is talking about? Even with his horrible year at the plate, he was great on defense. Second base is a defensive position and it would be hard to find a better defender. Cubs fans deserve to see what kind of season Mike would have if he were allowed to play the entire season at second base.
-- Gina S., Park Ridge, Ill.


I'll answer your questions in the order they are asked Gina. 1.  Why not Mike Fontenot? Because he's only inches taller than you average rodeo clown, better known as Aaron Miles. 2. Did something happen to him that no one is talking about? Yes, he became bad after being exposed when he became an everyday player. He wasn't great on defense, and I could throw a dart in the Cubs' clubhouse and find a better defensive second baseman. But my real hope is that my dart goes right through Miles' heart.

Gina, the Cubs gave Fontenot the chance to produce and he failed. Miserably. 

If Starlin Castro is doing so well, why not have Ryan Theriot move to second and promote Castro next year? [Cubs general manager Jim] Hendry could trade Fontenot and keep Baker because of his versatility. This potentially solves one of the Cubs' needs with players they already have. If it doesn't work out and Castro can't handle starting every day, Theriot can move back to short and Baker to second and Castro becomes the backup.

-- Sean P., Des Moines
The last thing I want is another Corey Patterson or Felix Pie being rushed up too soon and being burdened by having to live up to your lofty expectations. But you do make a good point. Theriot could move to second base, a position in which he should be less likely to overthrow the Cubs' giant of a first baseman. Let Castro linger in the minors for one more year before sending him to the big club where he will turn into a pumpkin.

I know you've gotten a lot of questions like this but since Mark DeRosa is a free agent, is there any chance the Cubs will bring him back? It seems that since he was traded, we have a big hole at second base and he was probably the most liked player on the Cubs in '08, and fans were pretty upset after he was traded.
-- Nick S., Itasca, Ill.

Sorry, Nick.  The Cubs aren't going to bring back DeRosa just because you (and many other Cubs fans) have an unhealthy boy-hood crush on a player that hit .250/.319/.433/.752 overall and posted a slash line of .228/.291/.405/.696 after joining St. Louis.  But you're right, the Cubs did have a big hole at second after he was traded -- a hole that could have been filled by Orlando Hudson.

Have fun with that DeRo The Hero poster that's on your ceiling.  Not too much fun, though. 

What's the status of the Cubs' future in Mesa for Spring Training? I've heard the state of Florida is making a pitch to move the Cubs there. I also understand the new Cubs owners are due to visit Mesa soon.
-- Andy H., Las Vegas

Florida makes pitches at mediocre baseball teams all the time.  Ever heard of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays or the Florida Marlins?  
Why doesn't this site keep us updated on the Arizona Fall League and all the Cubs prospects? Right now, is there anything more important?
-- Bruce H., Chicago

The following things are more important: Da Bears. The Blackhawks. The NFL. College Football. The Bulls. The NBA. College basketball. NHL. No one should care about Arizona Fall League Baseball more than the Bears.  Even this die-hard Cubs fan knows that.
I keep hearing about Carlos Marmol's "great numbers" but he seems to hit and walk an inordinate number of hitters. How does he stack up against other pitchers in that respect?
-- Karen H., Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Carlos Marmol hit 12 guys last year.  He walked 65.  That's a lot.  He made Ricky Vaughn look like Greg Maddux.  Muskat calls it "obscene" ... but not as obscene as the things I say when Marmol walks in a run with a 57-foot breaking ball while at the same time my girl walks in with Tom Brady and heads straight to my room.  It's never pretty in the end and usually ends up with me crying over a case of Old Style.

Why won't Piniella let Soriano bat leadoff next year if he's not battling injury. He might be as good as he was. We did go to the playoffs two years in a row with him there so why not give it a shot and see if he can break the record for most leadoff home runs in a career.
-- Dan H., Vinton, Ia.

Because Soriano sucked as the team's lead-off hitter in 2009.  His power is better served in the middle of the order because the Cubs have declined to pick up a middle-of-the-order thumper for each of the last three years -- and really -- ever since Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou skipped town.
(Bonus:) A note to emailers who suggest Soriano should move back to second base: The answer is no. Just look at the number of errors he made in the infield.  
And just look at the errors made by Theriot at shortstop.  And a lot of you fools want him leading off and playing every day.  Pardon me while I throw up my lunch at that thought.

Who will be the next Cubs legend "bronzed" outside of Wrigley Field? What about Ron Santo?
-- Paul A., Chicago

I'm thinking Mark Grace, a true Wrigleyville legend. If not, can we cast Miles or Milton Bradley in bronze to ensure they don't suit up for the Cubs ever again?
Who was the last Cubs player to wear No. 42?
-- Eric W., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Of all the random questions you could ask -- why this?  Why now?  Everyone on the Cubs wore it to commemorate Jackie Robinson Day in the MLB.  The last singular Cub to wear it was coach Dan Radisson.

Now shoo, off to something more meaningful.  Like your local high school football game. 

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