This got me started all these:
Matt Murton was someone whom the Cubs organization, GM Hendry and his "guru" team, didn't really care as soon as they signed Alfonso Soriano.
Murton had excellent numbers and favorite scouting report back in his Minor days, especially pre-2007. The details are around googlesphere (more specifically, Baseball Cube, Fangraphs, etc.); I'm not here to bore you out with numbers.
The point here: He could actually run and throw as a Center Fielder in Japan! Look at the film. Wow.
Koshien, the home park of Hanshin Tiger (Kobe / Osaka), has one of the biggest fields in N.P.B. (Japan's big league). So, when I first heard Murton will take over the biggest part of this field, I was like: "Wut the hell are those coaches thinking."
Yeah, Murton was not supposed to field center. As the season goes on, I'm sure the old number-et-projection will reveal and there'll be a regress and so on. Guess what, it doesn't matter what will happen 144 games down the road there, because Murton is tearing the league RIGHT NOW, in his first year.
He is hitting pitchers at par with Kuroda and Okajima, just like what he would have done if the Cubs kept him for real, and his minor league number plus scouting praises would have lived up. I mean, of course that would mean not signing old Fonzi and Number 1 (Fukudome), which is like "no way, ain't the Cubbie Way."
The fun part gears on my imagination--What if Soriano was not signed? Then would Matt Murton not be sidelined into a pinch-hit role and be eventually deleted from the job queue to a Major League Baseball team? Hard to say, what if, what if, but I wonder if Soriano can actually take the center?
And if he ever did play a little tougher position than he is right now, would he be able to run like a hot dog? (Or wiener, like the North Suburban Crews love to say.) It can't be a trot, yeah?
Fonzi might end up the top 5 list of slow showboats on this site. (Can you track him, Neil?) But of course, that's assuming he'll got 20+ chances of rounding the bases, trotting-ly...
By the way, Jose "The Little Bradley Got An Issue With The World" Guillen is leading the chart. Bengie Molina (unsurprisingly) is leading the National League.
Got to love the slow guys. They bring in fire and personality and can spark up the team and swagger like the Cubs used to teach us fans and...