|Players hold meeting; Piniella huddles with management|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 30 May 2007 15:01|
Piniella and team executives held a long meeting of their own before Wednesday night's game against Florida.
``Everybody's on the same page,'' Piniella said. ``It has been a little bit frustrating. But everybody's on the same page and we just go forward.''
Going forward may mean settling on a lineup. The Cubs have platoons in center and right field and at shortstop.
``I've tried my darnedest to play everybody,'' Piniella said. ``It's getting to the point where we're going to have to get really set. I can't do it at every position. ... But just play the people who are getting the job done the best.''
The Cubs had lost seven of nine and were third in the NL Central at 22-28 after Tuesday's 9-4 defeat - certainly not the start they expected after hiring Piniella and committing about $300 million to lure and retain players in the offseason.
They're showing the same fundamental breakdowns that plagued them the past few years under former manager Dusty Baker, and there were several on Tuesday.
Piniella bemoaned mistakes on the bases during his pregame session with reporters, then watched Mark DeRosa and Michael Barrett commit two in the second inning.
DeRosa got thrown out at third trying to advance from second on a grounder to short, and Barrett got picked off second.
On Wednesday, reporters were not allowed into the clubhouse until about 4:15 p.m. - about 45 minutes later than normal - as players tried to figure out how to escape this funk.
``We have too good a team to be in the situation we are,'' first baseman Derrek Lee said.
Outfielder Cliff Floyd said they're pressing - himself and Lee included.
``We've got to go out there and believe,'' Floyd said. ``If you put pressure on yourself, nothing's going to (go) right.''
Piniella said the idea for the players meeting was Lee's and that the session with management was just something they hold ``about once a month.''