8/27 Chemistry class
Lou Piniella did not want to comment on Milton Bradley’s statement that he prays the games only go nine innings so he can spend the least amount of time possible on the field and then go home. However, Piniella did say this year’s Cubs team has not been one of the better mixes chemistry-wise that he’s had.
First, any reaction to Bradley’s comments?
“I can’t speak for Milton,” Piniella said Thursday.
A reporter said it seems as if Bradley doesn’t want to be with the Cubs.
“He’s getting paid to play,” Piniella said. “I’m getting to paid to put out a lineup and that’s exactly what I’m doing.”
Was Piniella upset to read those comments?
“We’ve had enough problems here with injuries and so forth that we don’t really need any more controversy of any sorts,” Piniella said. “That speaks for itself.”
Back to the issue of chemistry, does winning breed that or do players need to take charge in the clubhouse?
“Winning has a lot to do with chemistry,” Piniella said. “It makes a team come together a lot quicker. I told you all this spring, we had a big turnover. Sometimes it takes a while. It doesn’t necessarily fall in your lap, you know? This hasn’t been one of my better chemistry teams. Look, is that the reason, we’re winning or losing baseball games? No, I don’t think so. You can go beyond that.”
Piniella said the Yankees teams he played on in the late ’70s didn’t have great chemistry off the field, but on the field, they played as a team.
“When you start looking at chemistry, on the field chemistry is the best chemistry you can have,” Piniella said.
Earlier this season, Piniella, who turns 66 on Friday, was criticized by some in the media for losing the fire to manage. He said on Thursday that he’s learned to look the other way over the years.
“I’ve addressed everything that needs to be addressed here,” he said. “I don’t know what else I could do. Look, invariably when things don’t go right it’s always the manager’s fault. You want to blame me? Take your shots. It doesn’t bother me one bit. I’m the same manager I was this year that I was last year that I was the year before. Same manager. No different. When you don’t win, somebody’s got to stand up and be the scapegoat. If you all want to say it’s the manager, say it’s the manager. Fine with me.”
— Carrie Muskat