Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella has had a long career, both as a player and a manager. As to the latter gig, Piniella has always been known as a fiery guy, prone to explosive fits – but ones that are generally cleverly designed to spark his team.
With the Cubs, Piniella has never seemed the fiery type. Instead, he seems like just another old guy. Except occasionally – ever so occasionally – he busts out some fumes. Unfortunately, it’s almost always after games in conferences with the media.
”We need everybody to start hitting better with men on base,” Piniella said, emphasizing the all-hands-on-deck request after Derrek Lee’s two-out single in the seventh inning tied it and Xavier Nady’s two-out pinch single in the eighth gave the Cubs the lead.
Earlier, a question about rookie Tyler Colvin’s playing time amused Piniella and touched a nerve, with the volume getting louder as he went along.
”What we need to do is win,” Piniella said. ”We talk about at-bats for people, [bench] people needing to play. We talk about everything but winning baseball games. That’s what the hell I want to talk about is winning baseball games. Period. You know? That’s what I think is really important.”
The Cubs’ sluggish start is no mystery, Piniella said. The bottom line is production from players, especially in key situations.
”I’d like to see people get hot and stay hot and win baseball games, and everything will take care of itself,” he said. ”Then I wouldn’t be getting these questions day in and day out and having to make excuses, OK? Then I wouldn’t have to answer these questions all the time.
”Nobody is going through the motions. It’s just a matter of being more consistent. Once we do that, everybody will be happy. The media will be happy, the manager will be happy, the players will be happy, the fans will be happy. It’s as simple as I can put it. And if not, we’ll continue to be unhappy.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
It would, of course, be ridiculous to suggest that the Cubs’ struggles would be solved by kicking some dirt or throwing some bases. But to me, Lou’s passivity on the field suggests a passive approach in the dugout and in the clubhouse. Are the players really getting riled up enough about their pathetic performance? Sometimes a kick in the ass goes a long way, but I don’t think Lou is prepared to do the kicking anymore.