For whatever reason, Lou Piniella has received a lot of public criticism through way of the national media. First, it was Ken Rosenthal who suggested that Lou should be fired if the Cubs continue their disappointing trend. But now in the days leading up to the crosstown-series, White Sox television broadcaster Steve Stone deemed it the right time to join on the bashing of Cubs manager Lou Piniella.
"“I think that means that Lou doesn’t have a great grasp on what to do with young players,” Stone said in an interview on Comcast Sports Net. “Because with Tyler Colvin, if you take a look at what he has accomplished in a short period of time, with limited play, you realize that he very well could be the one thing the Cubs have been looking for for six years. That’s a left-handed run producer. Colvin could be that one guy. But he can’t do it on the bench, so you make a decision that you play the guy.” ESPN CHICAGO"
Stone Continued to rip Piniella on the way he handles the outfield rotation…
"“You have to stop this idea of being fair to your players,” he said in the interview, which was reported by the Chicago Tribune. “The object is to win. Winning is the key. If you win as a baseball team, everybody’s going to be happy. If you’re fair to the guys and lose, people are going to stop coming to the ballpark, which they already have to a certain extent. They’re going to stop watching, which they certainly have if you look at the [ratings], and they’re going to stop listening, and with that the revenues are lower.” ESPN CHICAGO"
In is pre-game press conference today, Cubs manager decided it fit to publicly respond to Stone’s rants…
"“And Steve Stone, he’s got enough problems doing what he does with the White Sox,” Piniella said in the home dugout, his voice raising. “What job has he had in baseball besides talking on television or radio? What has he done? Why isn’t he a farm director and bring some kids around? Why isn’t he a general manager? Why hasn’t he ever put the uniform on and be a pitching coach? Why hasn’t he been a field manager? There are 30 teams out there that could use a guy’s expertise like that.“I’m tired of some of these guys, I really am. That’s it. Let’s go to baseball.” ESPN CHICAGO"
As much as I liked Steve Stone when he was commentator for the Chicago Cubs, his comments about Lou Piniella were way off base. Because, as Bruce Levine points out, the Cubs success in 2007 was due in large part of the young players that Lou Piniella inserted into the lineup and pitching staff. Piniella made a young Ryan Theriot the starter at shortstop over Cesar Izturis, and chose to start then rookie Geovany Soto over Jason Kendall. Also, Lou implemented rookie Carlos Marmol as his set-up man.
Instead of bashing the team who he no longer covers, how about Stone keep to the White Sox, who might I add, are more pathetic than the Cubs right now.