After yet another tough loss, it’s no surprise that Lou is completely confounded in the post game interview. Night after night he is bombarded with defensive lapses, lack of run support to the point of total stagnancy, and bullpen implosions. No doubt, he will sit there hunched over the podium and reel out the same responses:
“Lou, what do you think went wrong tonight?”
“I don’t know.”
“Will so-and-so see less/more playing time?”
“I don’t know”
“Lou, blah blah blah yadda yadda?”
“They need to swing the bat.”
“How do you feel about the melting of major glaciers in Greenland?”
“We need to score more runs.”
Poor Lou keeps his eyes fixed on the mic, his cap down low, and his answers short and consistently inconclusive. But amidst the strong inclination that Lou is toward the end of managing, at least for the Cubs, it helps to remember that he has to face the Chicago media, an industry that operates night and day for a sports-crazed, immensely passionate city. Reporters lob contrived questions at Lou on a daily basis, and he has to find the words to explain why the Cubs aren’t winning. Did defense hurt us tonight? Yes, of course. You didn’t need to ask, just watch the Cubs lose. They happen to be doing that very well lately.
Yet I still think Lou should be grilled with questions- he is, after all, largely responsible for his team’s performance. But it’s time to look at the bigger picture. For example:
-How does the result of this home stand effect the organization’s stance as either buyers or sellers?
-What internal solutions are on the horizon to upgrade the team?
-What managerial adjustments have been made to promote better performance, and how has your coaching strategy changed over the season?
-What is the overall plan to improve in the short term and long term scope of the season?
Anyone can tell you that Lou’s no rain man. He’s supposedly not fond of dealing with the media in the first place, let alone under these circumstances. But he should be able to create a coherent response as to how he, as manager, plans to improve this team. No more clichéd “I put nine guys out there every night and hope to win.” To get back into contention, the Cubs need a plan. In addition to that, they need to upgrade as a team. So there should be answers, however indefinite they may sound from night to night, regarding who will play more, who is needed at what position, and who best fits into each role. I agree with the whole “whoever produces, plays” mantra as of late, but by the time it was employed, everyone saw what a knee jerk, crowd pleasing reaction it was. Everyone knows Colvin needs more playing time, someone just had to wake Lou out of his slumber and tell him to make it happen.
The fans are just as frustrated and just as displeased as Lou must be after each game. But he should be leading the charge out of these dark times, not sleeping through it.