Lou Piniella's Tirades Are Getting Old
Thin-skinned Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella took exception to criticism about his use of rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin and went on a tirade before yesterday's contest against crosstown rivals the Chicago White Sox.
Perhaps he should be worrying about the way his team is playing instead of the outside criticism about his decision.
Part of the description of your job as a manager is that people will criticize you. Until Piniella went off yesterday I didn't know you had to have certain credentials before you were allowed to express your opinion.
White Sox color analyst Steve Stone took the brunt of the rant along with local talk show host David Kaplan also being confronted by an angry Piniella for comments he made on his show Chicago Tribune Live.
Stone had the same job with the Cubs for years, and was a former major league pitcher and Cy Young award winner.
I guess his credentials weren't enough to warrant criticizing Piniella who often seems like he would like to be anywhere other than a post-game press conference following a loss.
And be careful about the questions you ask him, because he might shout back at you, "Do you think I'm stupid or something?"
Yes, I do!
Piniella went on to cite his record as a manager.
"I won over 1800 games as a manager, and I'm not a damn dummy," said Piniella. "There are only 13 other managers that have won more games than me. So I guess I know what the hell I'm doing."
Who cares how many games you have won as a manager in your career?
How many playoff games have you won as the manager of the Chicago Cubs? How about a big zero.
I've won the same amount of postseason games and I'm not even managing the team, though if I were I guarantee the ball club have been swept both years.
In 2007, Piniella pulled starter Carlos Zambrano in Game One of the playoffs with Arizona during a tie game to save him for Game Four.
I guess somebody forgot to tell Piniella that there is no Game Four in the first round if you get swept. Sounds like a playing to lose attitude.
In 2008, after the Cubs won 97 games and were the best team in the National League for the entire season, Piniella came out late in the year and defended the team's performance no matter what they did in the playoffs.
"It doesn't matter what we do in the playoffs; nobody can say we didn't have a great year."
Again, does that sound like a winning manager and the guy you want leading your team in the playoffs?
He also put Kosuke Fukudome in the two-hole when he hadn't hit for the past three months. You could have put a fan from the bleachers in the game and he would have had as good a chance of getting a hit.
Then after the Cubs were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Piniella complained that the team needed a left-handed bat and that's why they couldn't compete in that series. So that got us Milton Bradley.
How did that work out?
I guess it never occurred to him that bad managing might have had something to do with it. In fact, I have yet to hear him ever except blame for anything since he became the Cub manager.
It's always "I just make out the lineup, I can't hit for them."
Well, maybe the lineups you're making out aren't so good? And maybe, the players are tired of your act and that's contributing to the listless play on the field?
Piniella does not have much contact with the players in the clubhouse, and leaves it up to the coaches to interact with them. Maybe they feel disconnected from him?
It doesn't mean they're trying to lose or play poorly, but when you don't like your boss, it makes it tougher to come to work every day.
The attack on both Stone and Kaplan came from his limited use of Colvin, who has done a good job whenever he's been in the lineup.
Piniella has been saying for the last two weeks that he's done such a good job, I'm going to put him in there everyday. And then the lineup is posted and there is no Colvin.
His excuse is that he has five outfielders and has to get them all in the lineup.
"Ive got five major league outfielders, and I'm not going to abandon one or two of them. It's just not fair and I'm not going to do it."
I thought the job of a manager was to win. I didn't know the job description included being worried about the player's feelings.
The previous manager, Dusty Baker, was always criticized for not playing the young players and playing his favorites, and he was run out of town.
But the Cubs almost made it to the World Series with him managing the team. And he currently has an inferior Cincinnati Reds team way ahead of the Cubs in the Central Division standings.
So who is the better manager?
You can rant all you want about how many career wins you have and where you rank all-time in wins as a manager.
The question is what have you done for me lately?
Piniella won a World Series in his first year managing the Cincinnati Reds. Do you know how many times he's been back to the series since?
And he's managed a lot of very good teams.
When you look at him in the dugout lately, unshaven and disheveled, you think you're looking at a homeless person rather than the manager of a baseball team.
So I don't care about your history. I care about now, and right now, Piniella deserves a pink slip.
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