Grim Finish

lou piniella 8 23 Grim Finish

The efforts to find something warm and happy at the end of Lou Piniella’s tenure are admirable, I guess, but ultimately fail to hide the truth.

Writers and broadcasters feel the need to sidestep the darker undercurrent, because this is sports, after all, and too few are willing to trust the ability of their readers, listeners and viewers to confront reality.

But this story is about death.

Piniella is leaving because his elderly mother is dying.  He was reportedly shaken by the recent passing of a close uncle — his mother’s brother — three weeks ago.

His comments have become more philosophical, emotional and introspective of late, as he confronts his own mortality as well as the end of his days in uniform.  And there was nothing sweet about his tears yesterday.

A tired, old man sat in a dank room, deep within a creaky building, as afternoon shadows lengthened outside.  He was thinking about the ends of things:  careers and baseball seasons only two of them.

* * *

I’ll say it again, as I do every football season.  A bad offensive line means a bad offensive coordinator.  No amount of chalkboard wizardry or repolished reputation can overcome plays unblocked.  Real smart gets real dumb real fast.

The safety position could ruin the Bears again, too.  If they are continually late, spun around and taking bad angles they’ll need the best pass-rush in league history to compete.

Ozzie Guillen’s team is, to use his words, “very horse—-.”  Just excruciating to experience all weekend until a gray numbness settles in.  And now Matt Thornton is hurt.  Wonderful.

Jay Mariotti was arrested in LA over the weekend on a felony domestic disturbance charge, so at least Guillen has something to smile about today.

  • 2nd Half Adjustments

    I think the comments on Pinella, though essentially correct, are too harsh.

    • Jim Bowman

      If they’re correct, how can they be harsh?

      • Jim Bowman

        I mean, they may not be correct, but if they are . . . etc.

  • meesohawnee

    Eddie Munster has a girlfriend? Well even a blind squirrel finds a nut here and there. I could here Lou yellin “Bedford Falls, i love ya”


    I got tricked last year into believing that Olin Kreutz was, in fact, pretty good. That he was, in fact, overcompensating for the problems around him.
    Can this be possible? The players change around him so fast there is no point in learning their names. (Didn’t someone else wear than number last year?)
    He “doesn’t like the shotgun.” But, I’ll bet he’ll still cut off the sleaves of someone’s sportcoat if they dare wear long sleeves in cold weather.
    Even the special teams have caught “bad.”


    Jason Kendall.

    You know what you do when the Royals score? You make sure you score one more run then they do.
    That Minnesota thing looks as good as the ’08 Cubs, though.

  • Mike in davenport

    Confronting one’s own mortality is part of life. He knows that his mother is soon to pass away, and he has to know that there are far fewer years ahead of him than behind.

    This process is absolutely necessary, as it causes us to reflect on the real value of the things we did in our lives. The fear of death never truly leaves us, but the reality of it becomes manageable.

    Enough philosophical psychology. Who is the next manager for the Cubs? I heard this morning that Alan Trammel was ruled out. Why, and why so soon? Was there any due diligence done there?

  • Marv

    The Sox were horrrifically bad this wekend and Ken Harrelson simply aggrevated my complete disgust with the season.

    • AT3374

      I agree , stop whinning about the ump and focus on the game . Joe West wasn’t the reason they lost . Poor play +pitching and hitting not being good = another bad loss . Get over yourself Hawk

  • Denver Smeghead

    I don’t wish ill upon Piniella, but he should’ve walked away earlier this summer when he announced his retirement, period. Things have only gone from worse to worst, and he has it brought upon himself.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Leave it to Bernstein to put a happy face on things!

    Wow- now that was a bad weekend for Chicago sports fans. The Bears look positively bad. Aside from 1 drive, 1 pick and 1 long run, they got their arses handed to them by a team that is HOPING to go 8 and 8. REAL REAL BAD!!!

  • JohnFromCedarTucky

    I thought Lou Pinella had been retired for over a year now? At this rate Jay Cutler could get sacked 160 times year if he doesn’t get injured. I wish Hawk Harrelson would retire from broadcasting. The way the Bears look they might end up being 2 and 14 this year.

  • merklesboner

    Like Hawk, I blame Joe West. For everything. White Sox losing, Piniella crying, Bear OL. It’s all the fault of Joe West and it just isn’t right!

    • Beverly Brewmaster

      You know what they say about Hawk Harrelson: A noun, a verb, and “Joe West.”


    Forget about the Twins and whatever beef TV voice Ken Harrelson has against Joe West yesterday in Kansas City! Besides an overworked, unsettled bullpen, the White Sox inability to beat three teams that are worse than them in the standings, the Royals, Indians & Orioles, will keep them from playing postseason baseball in October. The Sox have nobody to blame but themselves if they don’t circle the wagons and get back on track.

  • Southside keno

    dont stop now boys!!!

  • IWas2Late

    I like merklesboner’s name, even though I still get extremely confused every time I read what exactly happened (best description is Bill James’ Baseball Abstract [2001]).

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