The Litany Against Lou Piniella
April 23rd, 2009
To: Lou Piniella
From: the Cub Fan Nation (in gen.) and The Goat Riders of the Apocalypse (in part.)
Mr. Piniella, it has come to our attention at this, the 11th hour of April the 23rd in the Year of Our Lord 2009 that you are failing in your duties to guide the Chicago Cubs toward the World Series. The litany of crimes follows.
- You insist on batting a man capable of hitting 30-40 homeruns leadoff. This same individual, while displaying prodigious amounts of speed, is not known for his plate discipline.
- You have placed yourself in an indefensible position with Neal Cotts in the bullpen. By now he presents no surprises, yet you chose to turn your only other Major League-capable lefty into a starter despite having at least one other qualified option to pitch in the rotation (Aaron Heilman). Since the start of the season Cotts has displayed no ability to pitch well in any given situation. But rather than force him to work his way through the situations he causes, you elect to immediately pull him and turn to some other schmuck (usually Carlos Marmol) to save the day.
- In order to compensate for the Cotts abortion, you have chosen to release a relief pitcher with a 0.00 ERA and a sub-1 WHIP in order to replace him with another reliever who got beaten like a pinata by major league hitters in Spring Training.
- You insist on using Derrek Lee as your 3-hitter despite the fact that even when productive his numbers are better suited for somebody batting 5th or 6th.
Understand, Mr. Piniella, that none of us wish to contest your superiority to the team's former manager Dusty Baker. You're like cake to his turpentine. But while you have given the Cubs what they needed back in 2007 - structure, discipline, a fairly-constructed starting lineup - you have failed to take the next step: manage the team in a strategic way which improves their chances of winning.
We understand that there are reasons - dare we call them excuses? - for your decisions. They're just really, really bad ones. And while I would never claim to know how to manage a baseball team better than you, the issues I presently am voicing are written from common sense.
Therefore, Mr. Piniella, the Goat Riders of the Apocalypse can no longer endorse you as the manager of the Chicago Cubs. We will question your every move, scrutinize your every mistake, and shout loudly to the heavens your every idiotic blunder.
But I most say, sir, that it is not yet too late. We do not hate you, nor do we wish to see you fired. We believe that - like Saddam in the South Park movie - you can change. We may still choose to support you at a later date. Or we may take the next step and demand that you be let out to pasture before your senior moments cost the Cubs a pennant.
The Goat Riders of the Apocalypse