04/18/08 2:02 PM ET
Piniella defends Wrigley Field faithful
Reds broadcaster referred to Cubs fans as 'obnoxious'
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
"Marty's a Cincinnati guy, obviously, he's rooting for the Reds," Piniella said Friday. "I don't think our fans are obnoxious. I think they get into the ballgame. They enjoy coming out to a ballgame and that's why they draw here the way they do. It's a fun environment and they get into it.
"As far as winning the division -- hey, I like Marty Brennaman, I really do, I was over there for three years -- but he has nothing to do with the Cubs winning or losing, I can tell you that," Piniella said.
Piniella had not heard a tape of Brennaman's comments.
"Those are his opinions," said the Cubs manager, who managed the Reds from 1990-92. "Everybody's entitled to their opinions and, obviously, everybody's got opinions. I don't think that will have anything to do with us winning or losing this year."
The Cubs players also defended their fans.
"I don't want to get into a war of words with him," Chicago's Mark DeRosa said. "I respect how he handles his profession, but I didn't agree with what he said. I think he could've used different wording.
"They're very passionate people and passionate fans," DeRosa said. "You're torn in situations like that [when they threw balls back] -- you get a chuckle out of it, and at the same time, it wastes 10 minutes of your life. I don't think he needed to go that far with the comments. Obviously, he has some deep-seated hatred for Chicago."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.