50-Game Mark TCR Reader Survey: Question 2

How satisfied are you with the performance of Lou Piniella?

Comments

I went with very unsatisifed and tonight's game is a mircocomism of the vote.

- How do you not make it clear to Gregg/Soto, that in no uncertain terms do not throw a fastball to Francouer, who will almost swing at anything off-speed. Even if you walk him I will take my chances with Blanco. Instead you throw a belt-high fastball on 3-1 to a free swinger who has the most power of anyone in the Braves lineup.

- Why waste a postion player to PH for Soto if you are going to have them SAC bunt? If he would have used Demp or Lilly instead of Scales, they likely put it down as that is there job on offense.

-why dont you just walk Chipper when the count went to 3-2 agnaist a pitcher he has had success with?

- It was 2-1 on Francouer, and Soto called a fastball on the inside corner and it missed by about 10 inches. You can't just go an entire at-bat without throwing a fastball because the hitter likes them - almost everyone does - but you can't miss by a foot out over the plate at this level and not get hammered. So I am not upset with Soto or Lou on this one, Gregg simply has to hit his spot or miss off the plate in.

- Agreed, send Dempster up.

- Brenly pointed out that with a young guy like Guzman they would have put Jones on, but with a veteran like Heilmann they let him pitch with the idea that you pitch around and don't give him anything to hit. Obviously they confused Heilmann with a major league pitcher. But it should be pointed out that McCann on deck is 3-6 off of Heilmann for his career with a HR and two doubles, so in that case do you pick Jones with 2-strikes or a new count with McCann?

I kid you not, but the Atlanta broadcast it seemed to show Larry Rothschild calling that pitch. There was certainly some gesturing and Soto looking over. Soto was set-up outside though and Gregg obviously missed over the plate.

I've watched almost all the games this year on Gameday (instead of on TV), so I actually voted "uncertain" on Piniella, though after sleeping on it I'd probably vote "somewhat unsatisfied".

Besides some of the weird strategic moves Lou has made, something I REALLY didn't like was what he was talking about in the FOX game this weekend. During the in-game interview with Buck and McCarver, Piniella was talking about "treading water" until the team gets healthy. I fucking hate that kind of talk from a leader. It reminds me of Dusty Baker, for one ("gimme my horses and I'll win!"). But more importantly, it's telling the team that:

A: It's acceptable to just tread water.

B: He only expects them to tread water.

(I realize A and B are the same thing.)

I wish Lou would have said "We have good players, and we will win with whoever I put on the fucking field."

Because if Lou said that and believed it, maybe they'd play like winners instead of that crap that happened last night.

I agree with this. When teams are decimated by injury that is the time to play with some urgency. When you tell a bunch of back-ups to tread water and play .500-ball, they typically play less than .500 ball.

I can only think that Lou's rationale is that the team out there now is inexperienced so he wants there to be less pressure on them. Think about the roster now - Scales, Blanco, Hoffpauir, Fox, Wells, Waddell, Ascanio, Patton all basically rookies. Hill, Fontenot, Soto, Fukudome, Marshall, Marmol, Guzman, all have very little ML experience. When 3/5ths of your roster is like that maybe you handle things a bit differently. I don't know.

"I fucking hate that kind of talk from a leader. It reminds me of Dusty Baker, for one..."

AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY!

I heard "Holly" on his usual bit with the ESPN Chicago 1000 guys yesterday afternoon. HE said basically the same thing. The players, RIGHT NOW, have to take it upon themselves - without worrying about trades, who is injured, when X player is getting back - etc.! It is plainly obvious that with only a few exceptions, this philosophy is not heeded.

Re SOTO - Holly said in his experience (remember at one time he was highly-touted in the Dodgers system), Lou has a tricky situation on his hands as the player, potentially, could have some "head" issues if he is not "handled properly". These can last into a young player's career. So, what do you do with last year's ROY? Bench him? AAA him? Let him play out of it? Put him on a fucking diet? I should talk, personally. I have been trying to lose 5 lbs for like a year and a half.

Hollandsworth wasn't just highly touted, he was NL Rookie of the Year just like Geo! That's where he was coming from.

I went with Somewhat Unsatisfied because although I think most of Lou's in game work is good, he still has faults that have affected the outcome of some games. Questionable pinch hit choices, leaning on too few pitchers too much of the time and the lengthy auditions for the replacement 3B all bother me. I did like how he seemed to be using the running game a little more the last part of the homestand, that's how this team is going to have to score for the foreseeable future.

Personally, I think managerial meltdowns on the field and at the press table are sorely overrated, but I do remember Lou calling the team to task about June, 2007. That was when they were about 9 under, DeRosa was kicking the ball around, Soriano was swinging at the pitch outs and Barrett was ending rallies at 3B. He went before the press and said he needed players who could "run the bases and catch the damn ball", and if his guys couldn't do that, he'd get someone who could. Now a statement like THAT I'd like to hear.

I think Soto will just have to catch 2 out of every 3 games and try to work out of his funk. Whether he takes the route of Rick Wilkens or Pudge Rodriguez, he probably deserves to prove himself. Good or bad. I can't see making the post season with Koyie Hill getting 400 abs as your catcher.

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  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 13 hours 3 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 13 hours 46 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 13 hours 57 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 14 hours 7 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 14 hours 18 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 14 hours 24 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 14 hours 39 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 14 hours 40 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 17 hours 31 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 20 hours 4 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 20 hours 37 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 20 hours 38 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 22 hours 35 min ago view