Results tagged ‘ In the Dugout ’
Click image to play “In the Dugout with Mike Quade.”
No other publication boasts as much in-depth coverage of the Cubs as Vine Line, and our long-running In the Dugout feature is back for 2011 with new manager Mike Quade. And now you can watch Quade talk about everything from his first Opening Day at the helm, to the the team’s leaders, to his picks as a gourmet. Vine Line subscribers can look forward to the second installment of In the Dugout in the June issue, arriving in mailboxes in a couple weeks.
Keep coming back this week for more exclusive video from the Vine Line team.
I just sat down with Lou Piniella for our “In the Dugout” Q&A, a first-half wrap-up to appear in the next issue of Vine Line. With one game remaining here before the All-Star break, Lou talked about the whole gamut: the Cubs’ injuries, depth, hitting struggles, success in the rotation, training staff and more.
One interesting note from our sit-down is Lou’s self-identification as a managerial “pragmatist.” He brought that up when discussing the recent success of Alfonso Soriano batting third, fifth and sixth in the order. Lou has seen a difference in Soriano’s at-bats — a patience and selectivity that wasn’t there before — and it sounds like Lou will go with what works. He didn’t necessarily expect the change to affect Soriano’s plate discipline, but Lou has been encouraged by the result.
Certainly it’s been a season that has demanded pragmatism, considering the litany of injuries that have struck the Cubs. It’s a situation Lou calls “almost comical” in a half-joking, half-disbelieving sense. He pointed out the really impressive work by Jake Fox as one of the things he looks forward to seeing continue in the second half.
For more, I’d encourage you to pick up the August issue of Vine Line. You can subscribe online or by calling 1-800-248-9467.
Fox won’t be starting tonight — at third base or behind the plate — as regulars Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez man the corners.
Right-hander Adam Wainwright (9-5, 3.09 ERA) pitches for the Cardinals.
And we have a late addition to the lineup: Punk rock band Green Day will be singing the seventh-inning stretch.
– Sean Ahmed
Our cover this month was the subject of a lot of discussion — After all the off-season work done by general manager Jim Hendry and his staff, what is left on Lou Piniella’s plate now that games are starting? What best represents some of the open opportunities on this year’s team?
These are the decisions that Lou will be batting around through the spring and into the season, and we tried to convey some of the lineup’s open questions on our March cover. Writing out the lineup is something I specifically got to talk to Lou about last season, in our “In the Dugout” one-on-one sessions. Last September, he spoke about his thought process as he was filling out his card … the combinations (think 2-3-4 instead of 1 through 9), anticipating late-inning switches and how to counter the opponents.
The last one reflects Lou’s willingness to play with his lineup — he said he considers how quick the pitcher is to the plate and how the catcher is throwing, how the wind might affect the game and the typical platoon advantages. The best lineup on a given day isn’t always the fastest, most powerful, most balanced lineup the team could possibly trot out. After this winter, it sounds like Lou is excited to have even more flexibility and balance this season. Check out Vine Line for more on the specific battles going on this spring.
– Sean Ahmed
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