Memo to Marquis - Don't cross Lou Piniella
Jason Marquis is in trouble, not because he's mediocre, not because he tried to cost the Cubs a playoff appearance with a 6.21 ERA in six September starts, but because he had the audacity to express dissent against Lou Piniella barely two weeks into Spring Training. And why is Marquis pissed? Is it because Lou cut him off of the playoff roster? Well, maybe, but he's really crying about how his role on the 2008 team is uncertain. And whose fault is that?
Jason Marquis is responsible.
If Marquis performed, this wouldn't be a problem. But he didn't. He, well, he kind of sucked for a good part of last season. Consequently, Lou Piniella - the anti Dusty Baker - has made it clear that his interests are in his team winning as many games as possible. He's not going to start Marquis because of his contract. As Dusty used to say, this is an earn it game, not a give it, but unlike Dusty, Lou is actually going to make Jason Marquis earn his spot in the rotation this season.
The idiot he is, Marquis went to the media and announced that if he isn't a starter, he wants a trade. I dunno, he couldn't have just made it clear to Piniella and Hendry, and left it at that?
We guess not. We guess that Marquis has not his team's best interest in mind, but his own. Can't really say we blame him, but maybe Marquis should have considered that it might not be best to air his grievances with the press. Instead, maybe he should be focusing on earning his way into the rotation. Should Lou ball-gag and butcher Marquis? Nah, but Jason is making it hard on himself.
I still think it'll blow over and he'll enter the season as our #4 or #5 pitcher. But I'm not so sure that he will be there for very long.