5/17 Hendry backs Piniella

GM Jim Hendry said Monday he has complete confidence in Lou Piniella and has not thought about changing managers despite the team’s slow start.

“Obviously, we’re not playing up to our capabilities,” Hendry said. “I’ve learned over time you hire good people and let them do their jobs. I don’t think there’s any doubt we have enough good players to win more games than we have been. We’re not here to play the blame game.

“Collectively, we’ve all seen the games, we all know we should’ve won more games,” Hendry said. “We’ve contributed to a lot of different ways to lose and we’re looking to fight out way out of it for the 75 percent of the season that’s left and that’s how we’re going to go about it.”

The line of questioning was sparked not just by the fact that the Cubs have three wins in their last 12 games or that they’re 16-22 overall. Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal wrote a column Monday suggesting the Cubs should consider firing Piniella.

“Thank God, the guy likes me,” said Piniella, who read the article. “If he didn’t like me, he’d want me to be put in jail.”

Is Piniella blameless?

“Nobody’s blameless about anything,” Piniella said. “Everybody has a share and the manager’s not immune from anything. … When I was hired by the Chicago Cubs, I was hired because they thought I would be the manager who could get them to win. We’ve had three winning seasons here. This year, we’ve gotten off to a slow start for whatever the reasons. Do I have to share in the responsibility and the blame? Yeah, I do. I’ve never shunned that.”

— Carrie Muskat

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