Lou Goes Off – On the Media

What has a bee in Lou Piniella's bonnet? It's what he terms "unjust" criticism from some in the Chicago media.

In particular, Piniella singled out White Sox mouthpiece/TV analyst Steve Stone, who until a little more than five years ago held the same position with the Cubs, and who also appears on radio and TV shows in the city as a ‘‘baseball expert.''

Recently, Stone bellyached that Piniella was not playing rookie outfielder Tyler Colvin enough, saying Piniella doesn't have a great grasp on handling young players.

That sent Piniella into a tantrum Friday.

"And Steve Stone?" Piniella asked, unsolicited. "He's got enough problems doing what he does with the White Sox. What job has he had in baseball besides talking on television or radio? What has he done? Why isn't he a farm director and bring some kids around? Why isn't he a general manager? Why hasn't he ever put the uniform on and been a pitching coach? Why hasn't he been a field manager?

"There's 30 teams out there that could use a guy's expertise like that. You know? I'm tired of some of these guys, I really am."

Stone shot back that he never said Piniella was a bad manager, only that Colvin needs to get "30 at-bats a week." Piniella has found it hard to find playing time for Colvin because he says he has five major league outfielders and that he wants to be fair to all.

As far as the rest of his so-called critics go, Piniella said they should talk with him before they "unjustly" criticize him.

"I get tired of being nitpicked, and I get tired of being criticized unjustly," he said. "Why don't they talk to me first before they do it, OK, and get my viewpoints and my feelings and then make a determination? You know? The same way that I get called 'ridiculous,' they're ridiculous in the way they report things, too."

With Friday's 10-5 loss to the equally dreadful Sox, the Cubs are 27-34, and they've lost seven of 10 to fall 7 1/2 games behind first-place St. Louis.

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