Yesterday, Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella (rightfully) moved struggling third baseman Aramis Ramirez down the lineup to sixth. The move failed to immediately spark the offense, and Lou was pretty hot about it after the game.
”What am I going to do? Wait until the All-Star Game to make moves?” Piniella said, bristling at a reporter’s suggestion before the game that he’s showing even less patience than usual in what could be his final year with the Cubs. ”We’re trying to win baseball games.”
There doesn’t seem to be a lot left to change to squeeze more out of a lineup that already has scored two or fewer runs 11 times this season. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
All understandable. I’ve complained about Lou overmanaging before, but this is not one of those times. Ramirez has been brutal for more than a month, and you just can’t have a pair of lead boots in the middle of the lineup like that.
But apparently, Derrek Lee does not agree.
”It doesn’t matter where you hit. You’ve still got to hit,” said struggling No. 3 hitter Derrek Lee (.223), who said he was surprised to see Ramirez moved out of the cleanup spot and would be surprised if he were moved out of his accustomed third spot.
”I don’t think moving solves things. You’ve got to hit somewhere,” Lee said. ”Me and Rami have been around a long time, and we’re going to hit. He’s been one of the best cleanup hitters in the National League. But, you know, Lou likes to try things.”
Wow. You know there must be at least an undercurrent of unhappiness if Derrek Lee – the consummate teammate and professional – is publicly questioning a decision of Piniella’s.
I’m sure he didn’t mean it sound quite like it did. In fact, Lee probably intended little more than an offer of support for his longtime teammate, and to respond to a suggestion that he, too, should be moved. Still, tough losses like back-to-back losses to a terrible Pittsburgh team can’t possibly be helping things.