It’s not quite David Wells misquoting himself, or perhaps it’s far, far worse coming from an alleged broadcaster/journalist. Earlier this year, Cubs skipper Lou Piniella took exception to ESPN’s Steve Phillips making comments critical of Piniella’s handling of OF Kosuske Fukodome. With the WWL working last night’s Cubs/Brewers meeting at Miller Park, Phillips sought out Piniella and attempted to mend fences…by lying? From the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan :
Phillips (above) told Piniella not to believe what had been written or said, although the tapes suggest otherwise.
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.”
The comment upset Piniella, who later told the Tribune: “I don’t have much respect for Steve Phillips. Let him be around and see what transpires before he makes assumptions. I’ve lost total respect for this guy. If he had something to say, say it to me.”
But Phillips was not the only ESPN voice critiquing Piniella. The manager was watching “Baseball Tonight” in the clubhouse with several players after Saturday’s game when he heard 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.