Ignoring perhaps the most important sports maxim ever — that games are decided on the field — Lou Piniella is getting somewhat desperate to turn the Cubs into winners (or at least lovable losers). Sweet Lou is convinced the problems are all in their heads.
Piniella is turning to proven winners like Phil Jackson and John Wooden, and a number of sports psychologists, to settle Chicago’s mental turmoil. The signing of free agent Milton Bradley immediately invalidates any of Piniella’s strategy.
You’ll recall, Lou first sought a spiritual answer, sprinkling the dugout with holy water before the playoffs began. Then he turned to a sleep expert, perhaps to stop his team from sleepwalking through their 0-6 playoff record under him. Now? It’s all about Phil Jackson’s books.
“I’m not a Zen guy,” Piniella said. “But if it helps us win a world championship, I’ll become one.”
He hasn’t managed a title team since the 1990 Reds, a far cry from Jackson’s 9 in 11 years, or John Wooden’s 10 in 12.
“I want to read (former UCLA basketball coach John) Wooden’s book on winning and buy a couple of sports psychologist-type books,” Piniella said. “I have to take it upon myself to do things a little differently when we get to the postseason, and I will.
“I don’t know exactly what, but I’ve been searching. I’ve been talking to my coaches about it since I’ve been here. The fact that this team hasn’t won in so long, it’s going to take a little different approach, as opposed to just letting them play.”
You heard it here first, folks. Lou Piniella says that for the Cubs to do well, they’re going to have to do something different than playing baseball.