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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  • heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.

    he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.

    crunch 24 min 51 sec ago view
  • stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.

    that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.

    crunch 1 hour 30 min ago view
  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 6 hours 50 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 22 hours 1 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 22 hours 6 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 22 hours 11 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 22 hours 23 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 22 hours 34 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 22 hours 59 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 23 hours 39 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 1 day 51 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 1 day 1 hour ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 6 hours ago view