I’m glad I didn’t watch today’s Cubs game — the North Siders lost 12-0 to the Angels after pitchers Jered Weaver and Scot Shields combined to throw a two-hitter. The Cubs are now a season-low eight games under .500 (30-38).
To make matters worse, Cubs manager Lou Piniella sounded defeated after the game. Here’s one of his quotes, courtesy of the Chicago Tribune:
“I talked to them a little bit today,” Piniella said. “What am I supposed to do — yell and scream? Criticize people? That doesn’t do any good. You have to play on the field. That’s all you can do. … And if not, you’re going to get embarrassed like we did today.”
Here’s another quote from Piniella:
“We’ve tried everything we have here. We’ve pitched everybody, we’ve played everybody, we’ve changed lineups, we’ve done everything I can humanly do to get this thing turned around. That’s all I can do.”
Before today, I didn’t think Piniella was a problem, though I felt he wasn’t putting forth his best effort this season (likely his last before he hangs up his spikes for the last time in what has been a Hall of Fame-worthy career, in my opinion). But now I’ve jumped onto the “Fire Lou” bandwagon.
Will firing Piniella make the Cubs a decent team? No, they have to start hitting as well as their starting pitching usually has been in order to be a decent team. But if Lou is just going to mail in the last few months of the season, then I would rather Jim Hendry fire him and either promote bench coach Alan Trammell to manager or move Class AAA manager Ryne Sandberg up to helm the big-league club.
Maybe such a move would light a fire under the Cubs’ collective asses. It’s at least worth a shot, because the team’s season is looking worse by the day.