Cubs

2012 Cubs sorely lacking power

732590.png

2012 Cubs sorely lacking power

As the old saying goes, chicks dig the longball. I guess that must mean the Cubs aren't very attractive right now.

Last season, the Cubs hit 148 homers, good for 20th in the MLB. They entered 2012 without Aramis Ramirez or Carlos Pena on the roster, who combined for 54 homers in '11.

In their place are Bryan LaHair and Ian Stewart. The former hit 38 homers in 129 games in Triple-A in 2011, but had just 195 major league at-bats before '12. Stewart hit 53 homers for the Rockies from 2008-10, but didn't have any last season in 136 plate appearances.

Thus, it should come as no surprise that the Cubs are not trotting around the bases often this season.

But did anybody expect just five homers in the first 16 games? Even the Pirates have seven dingers, and their offense has been historically bad to start the season.

Heck, there are even single players that have as many or more homers than the entire Cubs team. Check out the list:

--Dodgers OF Matt Kemp: 9
--Rangers OF Josh Hamilton: 7
--Yankees OF Curtis Granderson: 6
--Rangers C1B Mike Napoli: 6
--Cardinals OF Carlos Beltran: 5
--Twins OF Josh Willingham: 5
--Orioles OF Adam Jones: 5
--Orioles OF Nolan Reimold: 5
--Orioles C Matt Wieters: 5
--Cubs AAA 1B Anthony Rizzo: 7

Yep, that's right. Anthony Rizzo, one of the Cubs' top prospects, has more home runs by himself than the entire roster of Cubs players in 16 games.

Cubs batters have had 528 at-bats so far this season, which means they are hitting a homer once every 100 ABs.

Wow. Though, maybe that just means they're due and we could expect five home runs alone tonight.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.

Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th. 

Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.

The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.

Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.

"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"

Paxson famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch the series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.

"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"

Watch the video above to see the interaction.

Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.