Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Taking Things for Ranted

The media had a predictable feeding frenzy after Lou Piniella vented his displeasure after yesterday’s game. The Trib even posted it last night as Lou’s “rant” (although they have changed the description for this morning’s readership). Listen carefully – it might be the shortest rant on record.

Here’s how Dave van Dyck described it:

Already chafing about his pitching during Friday's 6-5 loss, Piniella lost his patience briefly when asked what's not working after an 0-3 start at Wrigley Field.

"What the hell do you think isn't working?" he roared, his eyes flashing. "You see the damn game."

“His eyes flashing?” I don’t know if that’s what they teach in you in j-school nowadays. But it did put me in mind of my undergrad years studying Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Anyway…Piniella’s show of emotion makes for a good sound bite, but that’s about it. We can only hope it inspires the players to actually, you know, play good baseball.

We didn’t play too bad in Cincinnati or Milwaukee. But the last three games at Wrigley have been brutal – not as brutal as last year, but still poor enough to feel comfortable enough to not make any concrete plans for big games in September.

But after years of Dusty, who was laid back to the point of somnambulism in the face of crappy play, it’s nice to have a manager who acts like he expects players on the Major League roster to actually play like Major Leaguers. If Lou can pull that off, it certainly would be (to borrow a phrase from Coleridge) a miracle of rare device.

One more thing…I’ve been saying for the last six or seven years now that the biggest problem we have isn’t lack of power hitting or too much power hitting – it’s the fact that we don’t have a leadoff hitter.

Heading into today’s game, leadoff guy Alfonso Soriano has a .595 OPS. Our number two hitters (mostly Jacque Jones and Ryan “The Riot” Theriot) are marginally better at .649. The technical term for that kind of production is “terrible.” Until those guys can step it up, we’re going to have issues scoring runs…



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