Food for thought

Lou Piniella walked through the interview room munching on a slice of Connie’s cheese pizza he grabbed from the media’s spread.

It was one of those classic arresting moments Lou seems to have every other game or so. Mike suggested it’s from a confidence he’s developed over the years. Whatever it’s from, it never fails to crack smiles around the writers and from Lou himself.

It’s funny, too: In two of the sit-down Q&A’s I did with Lou — for Vine Line’s monthly In the Dugout segment — he was chowing down on some breakfast. I just happened to catch him in his office at the times when he was having eggs and toast, but it also had the interesting effect of giving him a few extra moments to pause and think about the question I had posed.

Confidence, comfort or an opportunity to collect himself, it’s always interesting to catch the man in charge in thought.

— Sean Ahmed

More from Lou

How hard is it to keep Mike Fontenot out of the lineup as well as he’s swung the bat lately?: That’s a good question. He has swung the bat well lately. You know, we need a bat coming off the bench, too. He’s been our best bat coming off the bench. At the same time, with as cool a weather we’ve been a little hesitant with DeRosa putting him in the outfield and running bigger distances.

But it’s a good, legitimate question. I can inject him in the lineup just as easily as not, believe me.

On Game 2 being do-or-die for the Cubs: “Oh, I don’t look at that. I really don’t. I think that it would be a huge advantage for the Dodgers, but do-or-die? If we lose tonight, well, might as well just stay home and go home and forfeit the game in Los Angeles. I don’t see us doing that.

You’ve got to win three ballgames in these things. Obviously you go down 2-0 the advantage really swings, but not do-or-die. No, that I don’t buy.”

On the other hand, DeRo

Mark DeRosa was asked just before Lou whether he saw tonight as a do-or-die. His comment was interesting from a player’s point of view:

“Yeah, I think it’s pretty do-or-die. I do. You don’t want to get on that four-and-a-half-hour plane flight down 0-2. That being said, you can’t go out and put undue pressure on yourself. There’s enough pressure involved in being in the postseason to begin with, and if you’re trying to hit a three-run homer with nobody on base, you’re not going to come through too many times.

“I felt like that’s what we did last night. We fell behind 4-2, and we’ve come from behind a lot this year, so there was never a doubt that we could score runs. But at the same time, you felt like everyone was trying to do it by themselves. I just think we need to relax a little bit and let our offense flow.”

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