Tag:Lou Piniella
Posted on: June 25, 2010 8:08 pm

Cubs suspend Zambrano

Carlos Zambrano has been suspended indefinitely by the Cubs following his meltdown on the Southside of Chicago earlier on Friday.

General manager Jim Hendry made the announcement after the gamma, saying Zambrano's behavior in the team's dugout was "not acceptable."

"His actions toward his teammates and staff were not acceptable," Hendry said. "He will not be at the ballpark tomorrow. We'll play with 24. We'll play with 24 before we tolerate that kind of behavior."

Hendry said he "wouldn't rule it out" that Zambrano would pitch for the Cubs again. As previously discussed, his contract is an albatross. He is owned more than $40 million through the 2012 season.

Manager Lou Piniella said Zambrano's actions were "unacceptable" and Derrek Lee, who also shouted at Zambrano during the incident, declined comment after the game.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters after the game he could manager Zambrano.

"Yes I can, yes I can, why not?" Guillen said. "This is not tampering either. He asked me a question and I answered it. I can manage anybody. I can. Why not? You go about your stuff, you believe in yourself, you believe in respect. I'm not afraid [to manage] any player in baseball because I'm going to give them all the respect I can to perform for me."

The problem, though, is Zambrano has repeatedly shown little respect for his teammates. Guillen and Zambrano have become fans and were scheduled to have dinner together Friday night, the Chicago Sun-Times ' Joe Cowley reported .-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: June 25, 2010 5:34 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2010 6:26 pm

Zambrano blows up again

Carlos Zambrano The Cubs were able to unload Milton Bradley this offseason, but they may have a bigger, more expensive problem on their hands in Carlos Zambrano, and it's beyond his ineffectiveness on the mound.

Friday, Zambrano blew up once again after allowing four runs in the first inning. Zambrano got A.J. Pierzynski to ground out to first to end the inning, and after Derrek Lee tossed the ball to a covering Zambrano, Big Z stomped on the bag.

Zambrano, a known head-case, began a temper-tantrum when he got into the dugout. At some point Lou Piniella said something to Zambrano and then so did Lee. At that point, Zambrano started coming at Lee and yelling at him. Lee could be seen telling Zambrano his actions were "B.S." but he didn't use initials. After Zambrano threw down a water cooler, Lou Piniella got involved again and Zambrano went to the clubhouse. As Tom Gorzelanny warmed up in the bullpen, Zambrano came back into the dugout.

Whether the conflict was between the two players or just Lee sticking up for the other 23 men on the team was unclear. Juan Pierre did lead off the game with a grounder down the line by Lee, but it appeared to be a tough play as Lee was playing in to defend against the bunt. Zambrano was lifted after one inning, four hits and the four runs -- three off a home run by Carlos Quentin. Gorzelanny threw 3 1/3 innings, not allowing a hit until Gordon Beckham's solo homer in the fifth.

Lee was the first batter of the inning and struck out. After coming back to the dugout, he sat near Zambrano. In the several TV shots of the dugout, the two were not looking at each other.

Cubs announcer Bob Brenly unexplainably said it was "good to see some emotion" and that the Cubs have been a "dead-ass team."

The difference was who was showing emotion and what that emotion was. Zambrano has had several of these types of blow-ups in the past -- plunking White Sox players a year ago on the Southside, a fight in the dugout with Michael Barrett, a destroyed Gatorade machine and too many tantrums to count. Brenly's partner rightfully called him on it, as Len Casper noted emotion can be good, but with Zambrano it's a tired act.

It's no secret that opposing clubs like to get to Zambrano early because they all know he can be rattled and taken out of his game, leading to big innings and ineffectiveness. He's got a reputation in opposing clubhouses as a big, immature baby.

What's worse for the Cubs, who have already demoted Zambrano to the bullpen once this season, is that they're stuck with him. He signed a five-year, $91.5 million extension with the Cubs in August of 2007. Zambrano makes $17.875 million this season and next, $18 million in 2012 and there is a vesting player option for 2013, but he must finish first or second in the Cy Young vote in 2011 or in the top four in 2012 for that option to take effect.

The Cubs can't afford to release him and nobody will touch him on waivers, so they're stuck with him, cursing the team more than any goat.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

UPDATE: According to a Chicago Tribune tweet, Zambrano was filmed screaming obscenities at local cameramen on his way out of the ballpark. The Cubs are going to love seeing that on TV ad nauseum.

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Posted on: June 25, 2010 4:32 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2010 5:48 pm

Piniella, Stone make nice

Unfortunately for those of us who were enjoying the feud, Cubs manager Lou Piniella and White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone are back on friendly terms.

On June 11, Piniella went ballistic after hearing that Stone had criticized his handling of rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin (never mind that a few days later, Piniella would end up doing exactly what Stone had suggested and making Colvin an everyday player). Stone replied with a few barbs of his own, but the men apparently managed to avoid each other during the first Cubs-White Sox series.

Friday the teams began another series, and Stone went to the Cubs' clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field and sought out Piniella to hash out their issues.

"I felt because this is our ballpark, I should go down into his locker room," Stone told radio station WSCR, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. "He facetiously said, 'Do you think we should fight?' I said, "Nah, I think we're too old to do that.' And he said, 'Look, it was over when I was done with it,' and I said I felt the same way.

"We shook hands a number of different times. He wound up actually thanking me for coming down and putting this thing to bed, which it where it belongs."

"We closed the door and threw a few jabs ... verbally," Piniella told reporters.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 23, 2010 1:07 am

Piniella on Bradley: 'I wish him the best'

Lou Piniella They probably didn't go out to dinner after the game, but Cubs manager Lou Piniella was at least diplomatic when talking about Milton Bradley.

The Cubs on Tuesday opened a three-game series in Seattle, where Piniella managed for 10 years. Bradley is with the Mariners this year after a disastrous season in Chicago and an even more disastrous (from the Mariners' perspective) trade between the Mariners and Cubs (who got the resurgent Carlos Silva and a load of cash in the deal).

Piniella and Bradley clashed repeatedly last season, including an incident in which Piniella sent the outfielder home in the middle of the game. Bradley left a Mariners game in May by his own choice, then took a two-week leave of absence. He said he went for counseling after his on-field struggles caused him to have thoughts of suicide.

"I'm glad that he's gotten some good help," Piniella told reporters Tuesday afternoon, as reported by the Chicago Tribune . "I'd like to see Milton do well. He was with us a year in Chicago and he did what he could. He came here to Seattle, and we like to see our ex-players do well, and Milton is no exception."

Did Piniella plan on speaking with Bradley?

"If I see him," he replied. "But I'm sure he's doing the best that he can and I wish him the best."

The same could not be said of the large contingent of Cubs fans at Safeco Field, who loudly booed Bradley when he came to the plate.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: June 11, 2010 12:51 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2010 1:17 pm

Angry Piniella rips broadcaster

As someone who has been present for more than a few Lou Piniella tirades, I can tell you it is one of the more entertaining experiences a baseball writer can have. So I would love to have been in the room today when the Cubs' manager unloaded after being criticized by White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone.

Stone recently took issue with Piniella's handling of rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin. Piniella did not take kindly, as chronicled by the Chicago Tribune .

"We've got a lot of people here that haven't managed and won any games in the big leagues, but they know everything. You know? They really do," Piniella said in a pregame session with Cubs writers. "I think they should try to put the uniform and try this job and see how they like it when they get criticized unjustly. That's all I've got to say about that issue.

"But you get tired of it. I'm trying to do the best job I possibly can and the only people I need to listen to are the people in my organization, that's it. But I get tired of being nitpicked and tired of being criticized unjustly."

Piniella wasn't done.

"Steve Stone? He's got enough problems doing what he does with the White Sox. 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, and put the uniform on and been a pitching coach? Why hasn't he been a field manager? There's 30 teams out there that could use a guy's expertise like that. I'm tired of some of these guys, I really am."

Best of all, the White Sox and Cubs begin a series today at Wrigley Field, so Piniella and Stone are sure to cross paths this weekend.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
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