Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella vented his frustration on Sunday by saying that team needs to start winning games and earning their big salaries. He couldn’t be more right. The Cubs have some pretty big names on their roster like Carlos Zambrano, Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez. Zambrano used to be praised by Cubs fans and considered to be the team’s ace. That all changed when Zambrano struggled and was sent to the bullpen to make room for Ted Lilly. Zambrano was not living up to his pricey contract and even though setup men are not usually worth the type of money he makes, so far the move has worked out pretty well. As far as Lee and Ramirez go, they each have struggled mightily at the plate. Piniella wants his guys to play like the players they were when they earned their big contracts:
“They’ve had great seasons, and they’re rewarded for that financially. But at the same time, you’ve got to continue to do it if you want to win. You can’t stop the production.”
I agree with the skipper. When he arrived in Chicago, he was percieved as the one who would lead the Cubs to a place they haven’t been in over a century — the World Series. Now in his fourth year with the club, Lou’s failed to bring them past the NLDS. He’s right to be angry with his players; they were swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates just a week ago and lost two of three to Pittsburgh this past weekend. With the third highest payroll in MLB, they should be much better than 17-22. At least the Cubs have some hope in young shortstop Starlin Castroand other players like Marlon Byrd who have really stepped up. I don’t know how to fix the players’ production problems, but I’m never against sending them to Triple-A to humble them a bit.
Piniella Addresses Cubs Struggles [AP/ESPN]