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Frustrated Piniella makes drastic lineup changes
By Bruce Miles | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 6/1/2010 9:57 PM | Updated: 6/1/2010 9:58 PM

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PITTSBURGH - Cubs manager Lou Piniella made wholesale lineup changes Tuesday, putting five of his opening-day starting position players on the bench.

Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Marlon Byrd, Ryan Theriot and Geovany Soto all sat.

Maybe it had something to do with the Cubs having scored 1 run in four of their previous five games.

"I want to play the regulars," Piniella said before the game. "I want to stay as constant as I possibly can. I think we've shown remarkable patience here, not changing things, staying constant, assuming that the hitting is right around the corner.

"Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case. So what do you do? What do you do? Patience is a virtue. Right? Too much patience is stupidity."

Piniella was only getting warmed up. With the Cubs entering the game at 24-28 and the calendar reading June, it's no longer early.

"I still cling to the fact that our guys are going to hit, but at the same time, it's already June," Piniella said. "We're not here in April. We're not in May. We're about, what, a third into the season.

"We're just resting a few people. The weather is hot. We've played a lot of games. But I would love to stay constant. I think every manager would like to do that. I've got confidence in my guys. But at the same time, you know, it's time. It's time."

The players getting much of the blame for the Cubs' poor offense are first baseman Lee and third baseman Ramirez. Piniella, however, said he wasn't singling anybody out.

"You cling to the fact that, yeah, if your 3-4 guys are going it, it's easier for everybody else," Piniella said. "But look, we got nine guys in the lineup every day. We don't have two. Everybody can contribute on their own way. The same thing if your No. 1 pitcher isn't pitching well - listen, it's a five-man rotation.

"The same thing with your bullpen. It goes on and on. There are reasons people make a lot of money, and it's because they've had really great careers and good numbers.

"But at the same time, you've got to keep doing it. As I've said before, you can't live on the past. You've got to stay in the present. I don't know what else to say, but it's the truth.

"You've got to have individual pride. You've to have team pride. You've got to go out there and earn the wins, no matter who you play, whether it's a team above .500 or a team below .500. Period. If not, you're going to get your butts beat. It's the truth."