If to Eyre is human, Lou Piniella is divine. The Cubs’ manager is determined to get his left-handed reliever’s name right one of these days – especially after an exchange with beat reporters that went like this Wednesday:
PINIELLA (talking about his bullpen): I’ve got [Carlos] Marmol and Kerry [Wood] and maybe Stevie Eyre to get us to [Bob] Howry. And Howry getting us to [Ryan] Dempster.’’
REPORTER: Did you do that on purpose?
PINIELLA: What’s that?
REPORTER: ``Stevie Eyre.’’
PINIELLA: Is it Eyre? What is it?
REPORTERS (together): It’s Scott.
PINIELLA: Well, God, I say the same thing all the time. I had a Stevie Eyre in Cincinnati. How about that?
REPORTER: Really? You said once that wasn’t true.
PINIELLA: Maybe I didn’t. I don’t know, what the hell. Why do I say `Steve’ all the time? [Looking at media relations man Peter Chase] Remind me of that.
CHASE: I do.
REPORTER: Just think `Great Scott.’
PINIELLA: Great Scott. I won’t forget anymore. … What the hell’s wrong with me? Scotty. Scotty. Scotty. You know what, when I mention his name, is it `Air’ or `Ire’?
REPORTERS AND CHASE: ``Air.’’
PINIELLA: So I said the `Eyre’ right. Scott Eyre. I love it. There won’t be any more problems.