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Piniella has no problem with umpires
04/10/2008 7:21 PM ET
PITTSBURGH -- Lou Piniella says umpires are his friends, and doesn't have a problem with any the way White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen does with Phil Cuzzi.

"Umpires are all my buddies," Piniella said Thursday.

Guillen has said he doesn't like Cuzzi, who ejected the White Sox manager on Monday.

Piniella has been tossed 60 times in his career, but just once since joining the Cubs last season.

Have you seen the Aquafina television commericial in which Piniella argues with an umpire, but instead of complaining about the call, they exchange pleasantries in loud voices? It was filmed last year in Joliet, Ill., and Cubs infielder Mark DeRosa and Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy also took part. It aired during the National League playoffs last year.

Did it take much arm twisting to get Piniella to do the commercial?

"The concern that I had was that, when I got kicked out, the league basically discouraged me from theatrics," Piniella said of his ejection last June 2, which resulted in a four-game suspension, the longest of his managerial career. "Here I was, doing a commercial with theatrics. I made sure it went to the league, and they approved it, and then I did it."

Every manager who gets tossed is usually animated and "theatrical."

"I'm talking about the dirt, cap," Piniella said of items he's tossed. "The cap's OK, I think. I learned in New York from Billy [Martin] and from Mr. [George] Steinbrenner. Mr. Steinbrenner always used to tell me, 'Look, part of your job is to put fannies in the seat -- when you get kicked out of a game, put on a show.'

"I guess the league doesn't like that, so we'll do away with it," Piniella said.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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