Monday, June 13, 2005Piniella Rips Owners...
Since I live in central Florida this is close to my heart. But the Tampa Bay area was very excited to get Lou Piniella in town (and rightfully so), unfortunately the ownership hasn't invested in the team they way they invested in the manager and Sweet Lou is finally sick of it.
"When I came here three years ago, we were talking about a situation where we wanted to win now, and we were interested in winning now," Piniella said before Sunday's 7-5, 13-inning win over the Pirates. "With a small payroll, we improved it from 55 (wins) to 63, and from 63 to 70. This was supposed to be the breakout year.
"The problem is we've got a new ownership group here that's changed the direction of where we're headed. They're not interested about the present. They're interested about the future. And that's their right. But when other teams are getting better presently and we're not, you're going to get your butts beat, and that's exactly what's happening.
"I'm not going to take responsibility for this. If I had been given a $40- or $45-million payroll and was getting beat like that, I'd stand up like a man and say it's my fault. Well, I'm not going to do it."
Now why is Piniella angry? Well the Rays are coming off of a BRUTAL 2-10 road trip in which they gave up double digit runs in seven games. Carl Crawford is the only real talent on the roster since Rocco Baldelli is out for the season with an injury. The pitching is downright brutal and its safe to say that none of their starters would be above Triple-A on any other rosters.
New Owner Draws Piniella's Ire [St. Pete Times]