The world of Major League Baseball is afire with another Lou Piniella outburst. This time, he sounded off about White Sox TV color commentator Steve Stone and WGN radio and TV personality David Kaplan.
Apparently, he thought that Kaplan had called Piniella “ridiculous” when in reality, Kaplan merely said about Tyler Colvin, “If he is not in the lineup tomorrow (Wednesday), that is ridiculous. He is the only one consistently performing.”
As for Stone, his comments related to Colvin as well:
“I think that means that Lou doesn’t have a great grasp on what to do with young players,” Stone said in an interview on Comcast Sports Net. “Because with Tyler Colvin, if you take a look at what he has accomplished in a short period of time, with limited play, you realize that he very well could be the one thing the Cubs have been looking for for six years. That’s a left-handed run producer. Colvin could be that one guy. But he can’t do it on the bench, so you make a decision that you play the guy.”
“You have to stop this idea of being fair to your players. The object is to win. Winning is the key. If you win as a baseball team, everybody’s going to be happy. If you’re fair to the guys and lose, people are going to stop coming to the ballpark, which they already have to a certain extent. They’re going to stop watching, which they certainly have if you look at the [ratings], and they’re going to stop listening, and with that the revenues are lower.”
Piniella fired back in an angry tirade on Friday:
“I think they should try to put the uniform on and try this job and see how they like it when they get criticized unjustly.”
“But I get tired of being nitpicked and tired of being criticized unjustly . . . The same way that I get called ridiculous, they’re ridiculous in the same way they report things, too.”
“And another thing I’m going to say: I won over 1,800 games as a manager and I’m not a damn dummy, that I can tell you. There are only 13 other (managers) that have won more games than me. I guess I think I know what the hell I’m doing.”
“And Steve Stone? 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?”
Stone then responded:
“It was an observance and when you need to have a front-office job to make an observance about baseball, there’s going to be nobody working in baseball. None of you media guys are going to be working in baseball . . . That might be one of the dumber things he’s said.”
I agree with Stone. As a member of the media, he is absolutely entitled to his opinions. He said nothing offensive about Piniella. Part of Stone’s job description is to make judgments on managerial decisions in baseball, including Piniella’s.
Piniella’s MLB history is colored with memorable outbursts and meltdowns. His most recent one was in 1997 when he was suspended four games for insanely screaming at an umpire, kicking dirt at him, and then kicking his own cap around.
Piniella is clearly crazy but ESPN’s Bruce Levine disagrees with me. Levine loves Piniella for being a “no-BS type of guy.”
Levine is entitled to his opinions and he certainly knows Piniella personally, but let’s not confuse no-BS type of guy with head case.
In 2007, Suite101.com stated that Piniella had been ejected 68 times in his career and suspended six times.
Lou Piniella, ladies and gentleman, is officially a head case.