2010 Chicago Cubs
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 2010 Chicago Cubs / Franchise: Chicago Cubs / BR Team Page
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The 2010 Chicago Cubs were expected to compete for the NL Central title, but their season quickly turned sour, and they were never really in the race. In spite of a large payroll and a roster loaded with former All-Stars, their most productive players over the first half of the season were unheralded: CF Marlon Byrd, who had spent most of his career as a fourth outfielder, played extremely well after being named the starter and was the team's sole representative at the 2010 All-Star Game; and starting pitcher Carlos Silva, awful in his two previous seasons with the Seattle Mariners, surprisingly found himself as the team's most effective pitcher. Another bright light was rookie shortstop Starlin Castro, the first major league player born in the 1990s, who hit over .300 and showed very good instincts after being called in early May. Meanwhile, team mainstays like 1B Derrek Lee, OF Alfonso Soriano and 3B Aramis Ramirez were either slowed down by injuries or saw their production drop. P Carlos Zambrano saw the most precipitous drop, being yanked from the starting rotation in the early going, and then, after returning, throwing a tantrum when manager Lou Piniella removed him from a game after a terrible first inning and earning a suspension as a result.
On August 2, the Cubs staff gave up 26 hits in a game, tying a franchise record that had stood for over 50 years. Shortly thereafter, Piniella had to miss some time to be with his ailing mother in Florida. He had earlier announced that this season would be his last one as a manager, and on August 22, he decided to bring forward the date of his retirement making it effective after that afternoon's game against the Atlanta Braves. In a performance typical of their season, the Cubs lost, 16-5. Piniella retired with the team in 5th place with a record of 51-74, 21.5 games out of first. Third-base coach Mike Quade took over as interim manager for the remainder of the season and the team played much better under him, going 24-13 during those five weeks. That earned Quade the full-time managerial job for 2011.
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