Steve Phillips recently shared a bit of criticism on the Cubs, which Manager Lou Pinella didn’t take kindly to, and the ESPN analyst sought out the coach before last night’s ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game. Phillips had questioned Pinella’s patience when dealing with Kosuke Fukudome, and apologized for his comments yesterday. Via the Chicago Tribune….
In an interview on WMVP-AM 1000 this spring, Phillips told Chet Coppock: “My view is Lou doesn’t have a great deal of patience for assimilation into culture, assimilation into the team. He is just not the most patient guy around, and he also tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way. I think that may have affected Fukudome a little bit.”
That comment upset Piniella, who later told the Tribune: “I don’t have much respect for Steve Phillips. Let him be around a little more and see what transpires before he makes assumptions. I’ve lost total respect for this guy. If he had something to say, let him say it to me.”
Phillips had not spoken to Piniella about the comments until Sunday night. Piniella appeared to accept his explanation.
But Phillips was not the only one on ESPN critiquing Piniella. The manager was watching “Baseball Tonight” in the clubhouse with several players after Saturday’s game when he heard that he was already showing impatience by changing closers one week into the season.
“If that’s the worst thing they say about me on ESPN, I’m happy,” Piniella said.
I think it’s pretty apparent that Lou doesn’t have much patience, so I found it a bit odd when he got that upset about the original comment. I really don’t think Phillips should have apologized, but alls well that ends well I guess.
ESPN’s Steve Phillips apolozies to Lou Piniella (Chicago Tribune)