David Brown

Spring Swing: Cubs' Soriano can't do photo shoot without pine tar

David Brown
Big League Stew

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MESA, Ariz. — The Cubs might have wandered off the winning track for many of the past 102 seasons, but two things are guaranteed in 2011: They will be well-paid and they will be photogenic.

Alfonso Soriano(notes) and Carlos Peña (pictured on the left) also are capable of producing runs. Though his $18-19 million salary and unorthodox defense can overshadow Soriano's game, he actually produced a decent season, finishing with an above-average .818 OPS (on-base plus slugging). He also played in 147 games, his most since 2006.

He's also got a winning smile and big socks — both of which look great on film.

Peña, who signed a one-year, $10-million free-agent contract in the offseason, has been able to produce offense with a low batting average for most of his career. But last season he dropped to .196 and was weak in even doing that, finishing with a .407 slugging percentage. Ouch, Carlos. The Cubs need him to on-base .350 and to slug .475.

Meanwhile, he doesn't even show off his socks. Pants go all of the way down to the heels of his shoes. What kind of a look is that, man? What other kind of fashion-deficient fellows do the Cubs have?

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"Your pitcher wears combat boots!" Wait until St. Louis Cardinals fans get wind of the Cubs new cleats for 2011. The taunts for right-hander Andrew Cashner(notes) (left) should be creative, and will almost make up for losing Adam Wainwright(notes) and Albert Pujols(notes).

Actually, these aren't the Cubs new cleats. They're part of a promotion for Bootcampaign.com, which — by selling combat boots — benefits military returning home from active duty. If you or your mother are interested in wearing combat boots, go to facebook.com/bootcampaign for more details.

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