Thursday, September 4, 2008

Harden: Handle With Care

I'm sensing a bit of frustration, and perhaps a philosophical disagreement, between Sweet Lou and Jim Hendry regarding Rich Harden.

Harden, you see, is going to miss what amounts to two turns in the Cubs rotation, although Harden insists that he's not hurt.

This makes sense, I guess, seeing as the Cubs are a virtual lock for the playoffs and it has been a virtual lock that Harden gets hurt every year. The timing does seem a bit odd, given that Zambrano also appears to be hurt right now. And Lou doesn't seem happy.


"He needed the time, obviously," manager Lou Piniella said. "If he could pitch, we would have kept him in the rotation."

Pressed about Harden's long down time, Piniella said: "He needed the time, we'll just leave it at that."


"We talked about making sure we did this six weeks ago [after the trade from Oakland], that sooner or later we would [have to skip one start]," said Hendry, who noted Harden has been given extra days of rest between starts twice.

"We would skip one if we were five [games] behind [in the Central]. He has [22] starts for the year. He hasn't done that since '04."

When Harden was on the trading block, you heard rumblings that Billy Beane didn't care much for Harden's makeup or willingness to take the ball every fifth game.

Maybe that is what Lou is irritated about.

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