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.

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