The Cubs have been very successful this year. Especially in the first half of the season. The Cubs have a 4.5 game lead going into the All Star Break. 8 Cubs have made the All Star team for the National League and manager Lou Piniella even made the team as a coach. Alfonso Soriano will not be able to play due to breaking his hand off a pitch, but will be at the festivities, and will return after the break. Cubs closer Kerry Wood will also not play because of a blister on his hand, the Cubs felt it better to let his hand heal, he will also join the festivities. Carlos Marmol will replace Kerry Wood as the closer. Each player has proven themselves greatly.
Soriana is a great batter and baserunner. Aramis Ramierez is an excellent third baseman and a clutch hitter. Kosuke Fukudome has been great as the new Japanese oright fielder and patient hitter at the plate. Geovany Soto is the first rookie catcher to ever make the National League All Star Team, he is a great catcher and an amazing hitter. Carlos Zambrano has been above excellent as one of the Cubs starting pitchers. Ryan Demspter has battle back this season going from once a starter then to a closer for 3 season and then back to a starter. Kerry Wood has done exceptional by coming back from being a starter and having several arm surgies and becoming a top closer for the team and shutting down batters in the 9th. Carlos Marmol has a great eight inning reliever shutting the lights out on batters he faces. And Lou Piniella took the Cubs to the playoff last season in his first with the Cubs and is on the same trek again this year. The 79th All Star game is on Fox starting at 8 p.m. on Tuesday July 15 at Yankee Stadium.