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.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    A team’s best hitter is supposed to bat 3rd. Byrd is not the Cub’s best hitter. They need to move Ramirez and Pena up and Byrd down.

    • Ace

      As much as I like Byrd, you are quite right.

  • TSB

    I think they should put Tyler Colvin in RF, and leave him there. Fukodome can be the fourth outfielder, and rotate through the OF positions. He’s a veteran, better suited for it. Besides, he a short timer. I don’t want to happen to Colvin what happened to Hoffphuir, RF one day, 1B the next, out of the line-up, in the line-up etc. And when the performence falters because of the mind games and lack of playing time, pull the rug out from under him.

    • Ace

      It won’t happen (the same way) to Colvin – he’s far more talented and far younger than Hoffpauir.

  • Dave

    I’m just glad Hill isn’t starting.

  • Art

    Ace: i should get part of that $50. late last year and as recent as 1-2 weeks ago i said Barney should start.

    • Ace

      You may have $1. Minus tax and shipping.

      You owe me $4.50.

    • Dave

      I should get it because…..I’m awesome? And I have a silver car?

      • awesome

        good for you, keep up the good work.

  • Hogan

    I am sooo glad Quade broke up the K-hole of Pena and Soriano. I hope he keeps that up, especially when Colvin is in. Pena, Soriano, Colvin all in a row hurt to see this spring. Lots of pop, but lots of runners left on base.

  • Ta2dDad

    After following Lee’s up & down performance n the past, Ramirez has played a decent 2nd fiddle. I say good for him gettin his shot at the 4 spot. Let’ see what he can do.