Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fearless leader

The last few days have been interesting in Cubdom. More and more the Cubs are counting on players who started the season at Iowa to contribute and win games at the major league level. First year skipper Lou Piniella has decided Michael Barrett will see less playing time. With his old team in town it seemed like a great time for Uncle Lou to reflect on his first few month with the Cubs. Larry Stone with The Seattle Times took a look at Piniella's stay with the Cubs. Here is what Lou thinks on the following subjects:

On Cubdom:

He admits now, as Dusty Baker had before him, that he had little idea what he was getting into.

"It's not easy," Piniella said. "It's a little bit more daunting than it looks from the outside. It really is. I guess it's because they haven't won here for so long. That's the reason. We have to change the culture.

"I have grandmothers tell me, 'You know, I'm 90 years old. I haven't seen this team win. Will you please have some urgency?' I tell them, 'Look, I'm 63. I ain't going to manage much longer. There's some urgency on my part, too.' "

Many of us suspected this when he took over the team and fed us every line in the book about winning, no curses, urgency. The reality is the situation here is bad. Now the question is how long does it take until the situation breaks you? Dusty Baker broke in 2 years. Don Baylor the same. I see no reason why Lou will last any longer than 2 years before he goes off the deep end.

On the players:

"I get along well with the players," Piniella countered. "A couple of them were a little dissatisfied they weren't playing every day, but what can I do? I can only play eight people."

I really don't care if the players like him or not. Sorry.

On the Chicago media:

"I tell you what, you get in that [interview] room after a game, and you've lost a tough ball game, they take their damn belt off," he said.

Once again this is very reminiscent of Dusty Baker and/or Don Baylor. Neither of them were prepared for the media coverage that surrounds this club. Many people pointed to the fact that Piniella played and managed in New York. That was over 20 years ago. Since then he has managed in small markets Cincy, Seattle, and Tampa. The media scrutiny in these smaller cities is nothing like you get in Chicago. Lou should have been ready for this. The Cubs brass should have prepared him.

Because I need more time (I hear an old Oasis tune in my head):

"We're going to get it done here," he declared before the game. "It might take a little more time than I envisioned. But we'll get it done."
Here we go. How long until last falls declaration that "we're gonna win here" is just gone? I'd say midway through 2008. Also, does Lou understand the fact that this team is about to have a major shakeup this offseason? I would really like to know his feelings on the matter of the team changing owners.

On the Cub ineptitude:

"It ain't going to drive me crazy," Piniella said. "I want to get it done, but it's not going to drive me crazy."

LMAO. Wanna bet?

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