Piniella hints of changes on the horizon for club

Published5/7/2008 12:06 AM

CINCINNATI -- Calling himself a "bottom-line" guy, Cubs manager Lou Piniella expressed dismay Tuesday over the red ink the Cubs have been spilling on the win-loss column. They entered Tuesday 3-8 in their last 11 games.

Furthermore, Piniella said unspecified changes may be coming.


"The state of the Cubs?" he said before Tuesday night's game with the Reds. "We've got to get better. That's really the state. We got off to a really good start, and we've given some of that back. We need to improve defensively, I can tell you that.

"That's an area, definitely, that needs improvement, and it's going to be my job to put people out there who can catch the ball. I can't do it in every, every position, but I'm going to do it in as many positions as I can."

With a .982 fielding percentage entering Tuesday, the Cubs led only five other teams. Errors by Mark DeRosa and Mike Fontenot proved costly in Monday's 5-3 loss, and both were out of the lineup Tuesday.

The Cubs won the National League Central last year and were picked by many to do it again. That seems to mean nothing to Piniella.

"Look, I maintain we're going to play better," he said. "But I also maintain two things: that the division has gotten better, and, two, teams enjoy beating the Cubs a lot more than they did last year. I see it. I see how excited St. Louis was when they beat us. I saw how excited Milwaukee was when they beat us.

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"So that's going to make it more difficult on us, and if these guys think that because we have talent here and because quote, quote, quote we were picked to do things, that doesn't make it any easier. That's going to make it tougher."

And about those changes?

"We might have to make some changes, yeah," he said. "I hope not. I really hope not. I hope that we can stay just the way we are. We're going through a little bit of a rough spell and that we can work our way through it.

"I've been giving some thought about doing some things with the baseball team. There's no rush. But at the same time, there's some food for thought."


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