Chicago Cubs manager Mike Quade has announced tomorrow’s Opening Day lineup, and it contains at least two surprises:

Kosuke Fukudome, RF
Starlin Castro, SS
Marlon Byrd, CF
Aramis Ramirez, 3B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Geovany Soto, C
Alfonso Soriano, LF
Darwin Barney, 2B
Ryan Dempster, P

The first surprise is Darwin Barney getting the start at second rather than Jeff Baker. Barney certainly earned a look, but there’s little doubt that he’s in there for his defense. The second surprise is Geo Soto batting ahead of Alfonso Soriano. Kudos to Mike Quade for having the gumption to make the move. Only about three spots to go.

And now, with the lineup announced, I’m left with the difficult task of reporting that nobody won the BN Opening Day Contest. Although we received a huge number of entries, very few had Barney in the lineup, and, of those, none had the lineup quite right.

But, here I am with a $50 gift certificate to CubWorld burning a hole in my pocket. I’m going to figure out how to award it over the next few days, but keep your eyes peeled: you may have a second chance.

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