50-Game Mark TCR Reader Survey: Question 2

How satisfied are you with the performance of Lou Piniella?


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..."


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.

Recent comments

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  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.


    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:


    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.