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

About time Lou erupts

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Now that's the Lou Piniella I know. For most of two seasons in Chicago, the Cubs manager has held his tongue more often than showing the more volatile side of his emotions, but the old Cincinnati-Seattle Lou finally came out tonight in a two-minute rant/message aimed at the dull play of a team that has pissed away almost one-third of September.

This is the kind of fire his managerial reputation was built on -- and the kind of fire Tribune big shots told him they wanted to see two months into last season, a couple of days before his calculated dirt-kicking ejection June 2.

The ejection that coincided with the team starting to win.

No guarantees on the results of this one. The Cubs' road is much tougher the rest of the way, with this weekend's Houston series suddenly looking as tough as any series in the final stretch.

Maybe that's why he went off now. If this slide continues into Houston, then all the goats, black cats and Bartmans might really start playing a psychological role on things around here.

And if either Harden or Zambrano don't come back as strong as the team keeps saying it expects?

At that point, it might be time to duck. Because if that's the case, and the rest of them aren't playing any better, another eruption of Mount Lou isn't going to make a difference.

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In one of the continued series of misplays by Cubs 3B Coach M.Quaude, he stopped G.Soto on a 2-out 1B by R.Dempster on the top of the 4th inning; sure enough, the Cards LF R.Ankiel misplayed the ball and Soto would've scored easily, and a 4-0 Cubs lead would've been totally different. You say R.Ankeil had a 50/50 chance of throwing out Soto, had he fielded the ball cleanly AND made a perfect throw to the plate? How about having A.Soriano come up with a base hit with 2-outs (eg. a .250 proposition). In other words, it was TWICE as likely to score that run, even under the worst of circumstances, had Soto been sent in! How about being a little less conservative, given that the Cubs ALREADY had a 3-0 lead!!

Lou gets his share of the blame for this one. Soriano needs to be benched until he figures out how to make contact when the situation calls for it. 0/5 with 6 LOB is not acceptable. Soto shoudn't have been bunting with nobody out. The Cubs needed a rally, and he already had two hits for the game. Izturis should have been walked to load the bases. If he had, DeRosa's throw gets the force at home.

Quades not the problem, layers need to get their collective heads out of their collective a--ses

OK, panic mode in full swing, and we are playing poorly no doubt. Glad to see Lou erupt however he is part of the problem. We need to stay aggressive, 3 run lead, Dempster up with bags loaded and 1 out, best bunter on the team, wheres the squeeze? Even if it don't work Soriano comes up with two guys on and 2 outs. Lets talk D. Lee, man on 3rd, 1 out, 2-0 count, reaches for an outside (most likly ball three) and grounds to the pitcher. I mean whats with this guy for better part of two months? Anyway, there you have two chances to build on the lead and even if Pujuols hits a 3 run dinger your still up by 2 runs. Hopefully the eruption works, if not will be a long 2 1/2 weeks and an even longer off season.

What the heck is goin on with these CUBS!!!! Whatever happened to manufacturing runs??? Laying down a bunt,stealing a base once in a while???? It seems like the CUBS are always trying to win every game with one swing of the bat!! They're leaving way way to many runners on base(c'mon,bases loaded w/one out & can't get one RUN!!!). They need to start playing like Carlos Zambrano on offense.He seems like the only hitter that actually hustles down the basepath on every single play!! With the playoffs around the corner,And being 28 games over 500 doen't mean they could just sit back and relax,this is crunch time!!! p.s. Am I the only one who cringes when Soriano is up w/less than two outs w/runners in scoring position!!! One PEED OFF fan,Jim "GO CUBS"

I fully agree with PC24570. Time and time again Quade will hold people at third base the past few weeks and wait for another hit.

Here's the one has been hitting in the clutch. It doesn't matter if there are zero outs even. The next hitter strikes out and then low and behold a double play and the runner is stranded at third.

It is much more likely that the runner would score from third on the hit that just happened than getting another Cub to get another hit. In the best case scenarios, you can only expect about a 30% chance of the next batter getting a hit to score the run. What are the chances that the fielder fields it cleaning, throws a strike to home plate, the catcher catches it and applies the tag without the runner knocking the ball out of the glove in a collision at home plate if necessary? I'm going to say it is less than 30%.

Quade isn't the sole reason that the Cubs have fallen apart but when a team isn't scoring runs and you have a coward as a third base coach afraid to send just doubles the recipe for disaster.

Ron Santo, Ernie Banks and Billy Williams need to talk to these boneheads and pronto to let them know that while they would appreciate being replaced as the biggest collapse in Cubs history, these current Cubs definitely shouldn't want that albatross around their necks. There is still time to right the ship and get back on track.

Lou, oh me, you need to put fukudome back in the lineup and the cubs will turn around their need to give him another crack at it because when he's good the cubs are great...when he's average the cubs are still good...this lineup misses his defense, his speed when on base and his ability to make pitchers pitch...he usually has at least one at bat per game that goes from 7-9 pitches...insert fukudome and the cubs will take off

All the math and probabilities are flying around everywhere, and enough already from the so-called experts that say the Cubs are in. The way they’re playing right now, anyone that says this team is even a lock for the playoffs isn’t looking at the big picture, despite the Brewers choking on their own. This team has quit playing and look like they expect to lose – it’s more than just a little slump, this is a complete collapse, again. Forget about how completely different the teams are, this looks more like 2004 every day, and a more recent example, last year’s Mets. It’s on the players and Lou to turn it around immediately, or they’re in certain jeopardy of going down as the biggest Cubs choke job of all time, no small feat. They’ve squandered game after game, chance after chance to drive in big runs, since late August. If they want to now start acting like complacent quitters, then just go home. People have been saying for almost 2 weeks now – “just win tonight and we’ll be OK” – but the wins aren’t happening. If they blow it this time, under Piniella’s veteran guidance, with this supposedly solid team, then there’s no reason to hope or believe this organization will win anything this year or ever in any of our lifetimes, and will have no one to blame but themselves. It’s incredible that with the pathetic history of collapses this organization has, it’s happening yet again. Unless you enjoy bitter disappointment, why in the world would anyone want to put themselves through this mind-numbing experience ever again if they choke it away this time?

Does Soriano know the "bunt sign" in english? Even a drag bunt in the 8th would have been effective when you have a man on 1st and no out. Pinella needs to learn how to win the close games - the 11-2 games are easy to manage.

Lou Piniella can pull all the Leo Durocher rants all he wants, that is if that's what Cub fans are looking for. But if the team does not smarten up and start playing better soon, all the rants in the world would not make one bit of difference.

Pinella erupts!! Whoop-ti-do.........this team is short in the bullpen (having Howry and Cotts down there makes the team 2 pitchers short), Fukodome, though he has had an okay year, has been a bust for what the Cubs paid to get him (what else is new?), choking is an art-form for the "Choke"-ago Cubs, they haven't had a true clutch hitter since Mark Grace, their 3rd base coach is woefully short on guts and the ability to read the play, even if this team does limp into the playoffs they will be dispatched very quickly and there are changes that need to be made.....yes, the only untouchable players on this team are Soto, Ramirez and Zambrano. Go out and get Orlando Hudson to play 2nd and Nate McClouth to play center and put somebody in the 'pen that can get people out. If you can get value for the rest of the stiffs on the roster(getting value in a trade is a foreign term to Jim Hendry), then move 'em all!! If they don't want to play hard and play smart, get rid of 'em. You don't have to have an exhorbitant payroll to win (ask the Rays, Angels and Twins)....just players that approach the game with intensity, heart, desire and pride. Those 4 words are not all indicative of this current Cubs' team. Yes, I think Pinella is responsible for some of that, but these guys are supposed to be professionals and should be self-motivated. Don't be surprised, Cubs' fans, if they do not make it to the playoffs this year at all.....if you are surprised then you haven't been a Cubs fan for very long.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on September 9, 2008 11:15 PM.

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