There’s a saying in baseball that clubhouse personnel are taught on Day 1: What you hear here, what you see here, when you leave here, let it stay here. That rule was violated Friday when someone leaked what Lou Piniella said to Milton Bradley in the visiting clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field. Piniella had followed Bradley into the clubhouse after telling him to go home, and made a derogatory comment that he apologized for on Saturday. Piniella could’ve handled that behind closed doors if the comments weren’t made public.
“Things get a little heated in the clubhouse at times,” Piniella said Sunday. “I don’t think what happened is right. I mentioned it in a nice way to the Chicago people. Look, it happened. What can you say? A lot of things happen.”
The writer who had the quote from an unnamed source brought some of the visiting clubhouse staff into Piniella’s office Sunday morning to tell the Cubs manager they weren’t the ones who had violated the code. It was a bizarre scene.
Should someone be disciplined?
“I don’t know where it came from,” Piniella said. “I’m not going to accuse anybody because I just don’t know. If I don’t know, why should I start accusing? If I knew who it was, then I would take care of that. I can’t accuse somebody, because I don’t know who to accuse.”
The Cubs players were upset about the leak. Someone from the Cubs did talk to the visiting clubhouse personnel at U.S. Cellular Field about the matter.
“They’re good at it and they’re very professional,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said of the visiting clubhouse staff. “They grew up in baseball. With all the respect to whoever made the comment, that’s stupid.”
— Carrie Muskat