Piniella meets with Barrett, Zambrano
Brief discussion reveals buried hatchet between players
MILWAUKEE -- Cubs manager Lou Piniella met Tuesday with Michael Barrett and Carlos Zambrano, four days after their skirmish in the dugout, and said everything was fine between the two players.
"We had a nice talk today," Piniella said. "Everybody's on the same page. I think what happened is a thing of the past. It's over with."
Zambrano will make his next start Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers in the series finale, but Barrett will not be behind the plate. Piniella said he's going with Koyie Hill because Wednesday is a day game after a night game, and he wants Barrett to rest.
"In the future, Barrett will catch Zambrano," Piniella said.
The meeting lasted about 10 minutes, which was longer than their shoving match in the dugout Friday at Wrigley Field. Zambrano came out of the game after giving up five runs against Atlanta, including one on a passed ball and throwing error by Barrett. The two argued in the dugout, and had to be separated by teammates. Zambrano was escorted to the clubhouse, and told to go home.
Barrett was supposed to stay in the game, but went into the clubhouse to resolve matters with Zambrano, and the two got into a fight. Barrett needed six stitches in his lip.
All is well, everyone said, except that the two will be reminded by replays of the incident. Piniella said any issues have been settled.
"I was satisfied that things are where they should be," Piniella said.
"It was good," Barrett said of the meeting. "Everything's great. We're on the same page. I said that the day after, and Lou basically reiterated what I said, and we're a team and we put it behind us and play baseball."
Barrett expects to be behind the plate when Zambrano pitches again this year.
"I'll be prepared to catch tomorrow," he said. "Lou, in my opinion, knows what's best and I'll leave those decisions up to him."
Piniella also asked Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee about rumors that players had a gripe session during their players-only meeting last week in Chicago.
"All it was, was that a couple players had expressed that they couldn't hit the way they feel they can not playing every day," Piniella said. "I can empathize with everybody, but I only have eight spots. You notice [Ryan] Theriot swung the bat well and he got a lot of playing time."
Piniella said he was not going to check the clubhouse to see who was bothered by a lack of playing time.
"It's not uncommon," he said. "One thing I have done here, I've gone out of my way to play everybody. I take it in consideration every time I come to the ballpark, probably more so than most managers. I can empathize, but at the same time, there's not much I can do. I have six outfielders, so it makes it a little rough on me.
"If somebody gets hot and swings the bat," he said, "believe me, they stay in."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.