Cubs manager Lou Piniella responded to recent criticism on the part of White Sox announcer Steve Stone by saying, “We™ve got a lot of people here that haven™t managed and won any games in the big leagues, but they know everything.”
If Stone’s managerial resume seems a bit thin to offer advise, Lou might be slightly more impressed with the professional background of WGN commentator Bob Brenly (above), who guided the Diamondbacks to a World Series title in 2001. “Does this read like Brenly is lobbying for the manager’s position to anyone else?” asks Kevin Rys of Brenly blasting the Cubs’ poor fundamentals during a recent radio interview. Well, yeah. But if you’re gonna lobby for a job, what’s the point of doing it without being heard? (Gary Carter, unavailable for comment.
“Ever since I’ve been here in Chicago, even going back to the Dusty Baker days, these teams — and you hate to lump them all together because obviously there’s different personnel every year — but the same problems keep coming up, poor baserunning, poor defense,” Brenly said Wednesday on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000. “The lack of timely hitting affects every team in the major leagues at one point or another, but it’s the lack of solid fundamentals on a daily basis that really gets to me, and I think gets to a lot of fans.
Brenly took exception Piniella batting pitcher Carlos Zambrano in the bottom of the sixth during Wednesday’s 9-5 loss to Oakland. There were two outs with a runner on second and the Cubs trailing 5-4. Zambrano popped to second, and then was relieved at the top of the seventh.
“I would much rather have the worst pinch hitter I have available off the bench up at the plate rather than any pitcher. I just don’t think there’s anybody in the major leagues right now — and that includes Micah Owings, who may be the best hitting pitcher to come down the pike in a long time — I would rather have a hitter up there. Even if it means you have to burn one of your players.”