Former major leaguer Kevin Millar ripped former Wee Bears skipper Lou Piniella yesterday on Chicago radio station ESPN 1000 with claims that the manager alienated players with his disorganization and his seat of the pants management style.
Millar said the apparent lack of interest caused Cubs players to be irritated at the boss and to lose interest in playing games that it didn't seem Piniella cared about either.
“Nothing against Lou Piniella, he managed a lot of years and you get to the point where you don’t think about those things, but it was a little frustrating from the player’s side — period. There were no lineups, Lou didn’t know who was playing and who was going in, and it gets old. So then what happens … you get guys in bad moods, and then what happens is you’re kind of like, ‘Whatever.’ That’s the way the Cubs kind of played to an extent.”
Before anyone jumps in and writes off Millar's comments as sour grapes because he was cut by Piniella in spring training, a current Cubs player has jumped on the pile. ESPN reports that the Cubs held a meeting last season to ask Piniella to post the lineups sooner. But it didn't make any difference.
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"We like to know when we play," Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano said Monday. "We asked him in Atlanta, 'Let us know when we play, and when we have a day off.' And he said, 'Yes,' but he never did it. That doesn't make everybody comfortable.
"[Current Cubs manager Mike Quade] is different. If you're off on Friday, he told me like two or three days before. So that makes me play more hard for him, because he has a lot of respect for me. And he knows what he wants, and he knows how to treat the players."
I always thought Not So Sweet Lou was a bad choice when he was hired to manage the Cubs. Piniella seemed like a guy that the game had passed by. Take away his dirt kicking bluster and the guy isn't exactly a great strategist. He was an old school my way or the highway type of manager who lost control of the clubhouse and, while Chicago had a pretty talented team when he took over, he seemed to be one of the main culprits in their under achieving.
The front office seems to agree. By hiring Quade they seemed to be doing everything they can to hire the anti-Piniella.