Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Lou on playing Soriano, sitting Mariotti

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Lou says the radio reporter asking that question that set him off Thursday was trying to ``create the news,'' asking something he already knew the answer to. Specifically, that taking Alfonso Soriano out of the game late for defensive reasons is absurd. ``You don't take superstar players out of the lineup,'' the manager said.

But in defense of WSCR-AM's Jesse Rogers, whether the question could have been rephrased, it wasn’t out of line -- especially considering it was Soriano’s first game back from the disabled list and Piniella has been known to do stranger things trying to secure a win.


Piniella, who said Soriano's recovered calf clearly was healthy, doesn’t see it that way. ``It’s like me asking on Sunday with the Sun-Times, `Take Mariotti out, he’s not writing a column today. Put in the third subordinate behind him.’ Right? Or doing it with [the Tribune] with [baseball columnist Phil] Rogers. `Don’t use Rogers on Sunday, use the third guy.’ You’d look at me like I was stupid.

``He’s my guy,’’ Piniella said of Soriano. ``He’s my left fielder.’’

Lou's postgame Thursday lasted barely a minute, with him snapping at Rogers' question with, ``You're damn right I thought about it. You think I'm stupid or something?'' After another silent moment, Piniella left the interview room, muttering profanities on the way down the hall toward the clubhouse.

``You know, I've answered more questions about Soriano than anybody else on the team combined,'' he said Friday.

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19 Comments

Well played tonite Fonzie. A home run doesn't go very far in rectifying two defensive blunders and an overall anemic bat.

Sometimes i wonder if Lou is capable of managing such a high profile team as the Cubs. Managers come into Chicago thinking they're the man, and quickly learn that the team is bigger than they are. Managing in Cincinnati, Seattle, Tampa is alot different than Chicago and the 100 year streak. Lou needs to realize that he'd be better off taking his anger out on some of his lackadaisial players, instead of the media.

Won't bench underachieving players on Cubs,won't be open competion for starting QB on the Bears,won't sign marquee player for the Bulls,Blackhawks miss playoffs...again.Yada,yada yada...Sports as usual in Chicago!

the facts are these- soriano was obtained by hendry because of a terrible prior season and he had the money to get who he thought was the biggest star on the free agent market. soriano puts up numbers-although not enough to justify his contract. soriano has been on 3 teams- the simple fact is he is not a winning type ballplayer- his defense is a joke- lou wants to win, but either his hands are tied by hendry or his own mind that you have to have soriano on the field and in the lead-off spot at all times. all the good chemistry, inspired by fukodome and johnson, is crumbling because of a selfish,incomplete ballplayer, that quite frankly is becoming an albatross to team- if reed johnson was in left field, the milwaukee game would have been in the win column- and unfortunately there will be many more like that- just enough in a competitive division to be the difference of getting into the playoffs and not getting in. soriano showed last october his value in the playoffs- when good pitchers are making good pitches- zilch- that's a real problem!

Dusty and Sammy......Lou and Soriano....hmmmmm

Well said, anonymous

Hey Lou!Get a brain! Super stars don't bat .157 & can field position well. Soriano gets super star money but on field has yet to prove he deserves it for Cubs.He shouldn't be leading off has no plate awareness at all. Could it be Peoria Matt? Maybe more to the story? Yes Lou we think your stupid ! Possibly Soriano & Lou have something going on!?? Hey Lou your guy 0 for game so far today. Cubs are better minus a .150 hitter on top of lineup & need someone who can field his position like a major leaguer. 100 years & counting.

Soriano is a huge waste of money....he needs to go! Any takers? I'll trade him for a bag of balls!

Joe H, I wasn't referring to a possible romance between the two, just that the two situations are starting to seem eerily similar.

How about batting Soriano 9th in the order, behind the Pitcher.
Use the Cardinal and Brewers approach -as they do with Jason Kendal-
and then instead of saying all the right things he can show his team that he is a "Team" player first.

In the nine hole he is still virtually leading off.
He can use his "Free Wily" Swing and can be more dangerous for the opposition possibly extending innings and driving in runs.

Allowing him to lead off puts that contract before what's best for the team. Cubs fans and players deserve better than that when we have better options already on the "Team" ....Now, about Kerry Wood closing games, we already have better options than that already on the "Team"

Hey, I wonder with the failure of Soriano in the Lead-Off spot and the other Cubs who tried Lead off not performing up tp Lead Off standards. Why not "Fukedome"? He looks like the perfect lead Off man. John G.

Lou is the man. He's a winner. The sportswriters are whiners. He knows his job, they know theirs.

"Anonymous" is absolutely right. Soriano's selfishness damages the team's rhythm and has taken them out of the wonderful groove they had going. He's a black hole for the team's energy. Hendry should be fired for that signing alone, and also for hiring Piniella, who's way, way over the hill mentally, as evidenced by his support for Soriano, his use of Marmol for two innings with a six-run lead, his decision not to bring in Marmol in extras the other day to shut down the Cardinals' rally, and any number of other constant blunders that directly inflate the loss column. Should have been Girardi . . . and Murton would be better than the Fonz in left field. Get off my team.

Lou just needs to look at his line-up for April. 17 wins. A record; then say to himself, wow.. that was a great line-up. Sorianno needs to be in the line-up, but just not lead-off for now. Switch him for Johnson or Fontenot until he gets his rhythm back.

"You don't take superstar players out of the lineup," - Lou Piniella...

Huh, I wonder how that makes Carlos Zambrano feel, knowing that he was taken out early in the most important game of the 2007 season, Game 1 of the NLDS?

I guess he's not one of the "superstars" on the Cubs team. Hendry should do the right thing and trade him to give a good guy a shot at winning somewhere they know how to win. Certainly not Chicago with Lou and Jim.


"Sorryano" is a treat to watch! He has everything you would want in a lead off hitter and outfielder. Swings at balls, takes strikes, never gets on base and strikes out 2 of every 3 plate appearances. He does, however, make up for it with his stellar defense in the outfield!

Oh well, at least we're not paying this guy a ton of money or anything -- hehehehe!

I've been watching the CUBS my whole life.I see great improvments since PIN has been the manager.He's not only a leader , He's a teacher.In the past I never seen the manager walk around the dugout talking to players and when something goes wrong in the field you see ALAN go to them and talk about it.This is the way it should be.The manager and coaches gotta instruct the players right out in front where the fans can see it.We never seen this with all the managers we ever had (except may-be DUROCHER)Now even if we lose a game we know the bosses are taken care of things and the next day we will be improved.Marmol and Cedeno were very slugish and careless and they just didn't looked like they cared about anything until PIN sent them down.When they came back up they had great attitudes and are playing great and really contributing to the teams effort to win the World Series.There is a schocking improvment in the CUBS since PIN was hired.

I am almost 80 and now know that I will never see a World Series champion on the North side. The Cubs will finish behind the Cards and the Brewers and maybe edge out the Reds.
I am tired of the same old excuses especially with Sorryano. Bobby Bonds did lead off for a while but when Leyland had him, he moved him to cleanup. The best leadoff man is Fukodome but we will never see it. That guy in Seattle does a pretty good job in that role!!!!
We need another pitcher who can throw a strike once in a while and then someone to catch the batted ball.
Nuf said!!!!

"Peoria Matt" Didn't send that post suggesting Soriano bat in the 9th spot the way,I did,Jon, Just Jon. I also didn't write in asking Fukedome to bat lead off. Bad move and I deserve better than that...*smile*

The 9th spot takes an at bat away from Soriano when he is off.
He can create his own at bats when he is on.
The rest of the teams does take walks and plays better when he is not at the top of the order.

That being said. I question the value of the Cubs "Pitching Coach".
I know he won a World Series with Florida or some other NL. Team.
But I have to suggest that this gentleman is not doing a very good job with the Cubs.

He is on his third term as a Pitching Coach for the Cub Managers.
Inherited by Dusty Baker(Hendry suggested it I think) and Kept on by Lou Piniella.

I'll try to be kind in suggesting that he is not as good as advertised.....at all.

This third term Pitching coach has done nothing in the way of coaching up young talent or sustaining a level of excellence for the older ones. He is Great with Pitchers that are Legends like a Maddox or whomever he won that Series with because they don't need him.....If they do I notice a trend that leads Downward when he has to "Coach Pitching"!!!!

The Cubs "Can Not" afford this Pitching coach any longer.
He has gotten a pass and he doesn't deserve one.

its about time someone benched that whiney Mariotti

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