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Lou Not Sweet on ESPN's Phillips

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Mar 3, 2009 5:20PM

2008_11_12_lou.jpgHe may be known as "Sweet Lou" to Cubs fans, but Lou Piniella sure doesn't feel that way towards EPSN's baseball analyst Steve Phillips after his recent comments on Chet Coppack's radio show. Appearing on ESPN 1000 with Coppack, Phillips accused the Cubs skipper of lacking patience with Japanese import Kosuke Fukudome last season.

"My view is Lou doesn't have a great deal of patience for assimilation into culture, assimilation into the team," Phillips said. "He is just not the most patient guy around, and he tends to verbalize his frustrations in an angry way. I think that may have affected Fukudome a little bit."

So was Piniella the cause for the high priced outfielder's disappointing rookie campaign? While playing in 150 games and getting 501 at bats, Fukudome hit just .257 with 10 home runs and 58 RBIs. Given that he was a lifetime .300 hitter in Japan, the Cubs were hoping for more. Lou sat Fukudome for much of September and in the Cubs final playoff game of the season. And what was Lou's take on Phillips' comments? "I don't have much respect for Steve Phillips...Let him be around a little more and see what transpires before he makes assumptions. I've lost total respect for this guy. If he had something to say, let him say it to me."

A little thin skinned there, aren't we? Steve Phillips is a baseball analyst for ESPN [Ed's Note - Though a pretty horrible one. - M.G.] and not a management consultant, Lou. He's paid to talk about players and teams on-air for the benefit of baseball fans. You don't like his comments? Prove him wrong with your actions. And see if you can't help Fukudome rediscover the stroke that made the Cubs spend to get him in the first place.

AP Photo/M. Spencer Green