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Sunday, August 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Piniella’s plans unclear

Cubs manager Lou Piniella is not interested in addressing rumors about leaving the team after this season.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Cubs manager Lou Piniella is not interested in addressing rumors about leaving the team after this season. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella said his job status is a “non-issue” despite comments he made that have prompted questions about his future.

“I’m signed through next year and that’s it,” he said in a Chicago Tribune interview published Friday. “I’m signed.”

Asked point-blank if he expected to return next year, Piniella didn’t give a direct answer.

“I’m signed through next year. What do you want me to say? What if the organization doesn’t want me back?” the manager said before the Cubs and White Sox began their second interleague series.

The Cubs picked up the $4 million option on Piniella’s contract for 2010 last September, right before the team was swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs.

With the two-time defending N.L. Central champions at .500 after beating the White Sox 5-4 on Friday, some Cubs fans say their team is flat and one reason is because the once fiery Piniella is too mellow.

Also Friday, Piniella told mercurial slugger Milton Bradley to go home after Bradley threw his helmet and went after a water cooler following a fly out in the top of the sixth inning of the game against the White Sox.

Clearing the bases

A man fell headfirst from the upper deck at Busch Stadium on to the concourse below before the Cardinals played the Minnesota Twins in St. Louis. The man was conscious as he was taken to a hospital for observation. … Kansas City Royals pitcher Sidney Ponson tested positive for a stimulant during the World Baseball Classic and has been banned from international competition for two years. Major League Baseball will not suspend Ponson. Under the drug rules, he will be treated as a first-time offender and is subject to a medical review and fine. … Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay, out since June 12 with a mild groin strain declared himself ready to start Monday against Tampa Bay. … New York Mets minor league pitcher Johan Romero has been suspended for 50 games after a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol. … Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand, a day after being hit by a pitch from Texas’ Scott Feldman.

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