Tuesday, August 11, 2009 Updated: August 12, 11:10 AM ET
Lou shows frustration
Lou Piniella is out of answers about his bullpen.
Lou Piniella is frustrated.
He's angry. He's upset. He's exasperated. His team is losing and he has tried everything he possibly can throughout the season to get it back on track. But as the season rolls to the end, each loss becomes a little more painful as evidenced by Sweet Lou's mood after the Cubs 4-3, 12-inning loss to the Phillies on Tuesday night.
Obviously, the story after this particular loss was the bullpen -- it's been terrible lately, and has struggled throughout most of the season. Kevin Gregg gives up too many home runs and has proven that he does not have the type of stuff you'd like to see from a dominant closer.
Thanks to the ESPN stats and analysis team, we know that Gregg has given up 11 homers this year and five have either tied the game or given the opponent the lead. He only gave up three last year. What makes Tuesday's loss harder to swallow is that he hadn't allowed a home run in his last 16 2/3 innings pitched at Wrigley Field, before he served one up to Ben Francisco in the 12th.
To make matters worse, Carlos Marmol has no control. Angel Guzman can't stay healthy, and there is not a single pitcher right now who Piniella could have complete faith in.
Piniella usually doesn't say much after night games, especially ones in which his team loses late. Since his bullpen's performance makes most fans want to pull their hair out, I figured it would make sense to ask Piniella if he shares the fans' frustration.
"I'm not frustrated with anything." Piniella snapped back. "You always have the same question. Your question is always one of frustration. You want to manage and lose five out of six? And see how you feel? You come up here and you sit here and let me ask you the question and then let me see what your emotions are."
I don't blame Lou for being upset. I wasn't really sure if he wanted a response or not. The whole 30-second episode seemed a bit surreal. I have watched Piniella's press conferences for years, and all of a sudden I was in the middle of one of his outbursts.
I wouldn't feel good if I had to answer reporters' questions after my team lost either, but I'm not the one who is getting paid millions of dollars to guide the team. I've never understood that defense from any manager -- say the question was stupid, say you're very frustrated and move on, explain why you aren't, but don't ask media members how they would feel if they were the manager.
They're not managing, Lou. You are.