CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Lou Piniella asked the players for feedback on his performance during a 15-minute closed door meeting on Saturday and they gave him some.
Piniella called a meeting to follow up after Carlos Zambrano's tantrum on Friday, which resulted in the pitcher being suspended indefinitely.
"Part of [the meeting] was to get their input," Piniella said. "I told them if they wanted to criticize me as a manager, so be it and that's the truth. I want what's best for the organization."
The only suggestion Piniella revealed was that the players would like to have the lineups posted a little earlier.
"It's just to see who's playing the next day," Piniella said. "That's basically the crux of it and I told them we could work on that and do that. The whole thing here is to stick together and play hard and be aggressive and take it to the other team."
Dealing with outbursts in the dugout like Piniella did on Friday is difficult.
"A Major League manager has to handle different situations," Piniella said. "That's part of the job. The losing has been tough on me. Something like this [with Zambrano] shouldn't happen, it shouldn't happen. There's really no excuse for it. These guys are trying. I know we've struggled, but they're trying, believe me."
Lilly: Disagreements should be kept private
CHICAGO -- Can Carlos Zambrano play for the Cubs again?
"He's certainly physically capable of pitching for the Cubs again," Chicago pitcher Ted Lilly said of Zambrano, who was suspended indefinitely after throwing a tantrum in the dugout and charging his teammates with not supporting him.
"That's a question beyond my decision making," Lilly said. "Is it a relationship that can be repaired with the team? I definitely believe so. I think I, personally, know that I've done things I wish I had not done and have been forgiven for them. We'll see what happens. It's not our call, really."
There were more questions than answers on Saturday, the day after Zambrano's meltdown. Cubs manager Lou Piniella said the least Zambrano could do was apologize to his teammates.
"What he needs to do, I don't think that's my call as to what the requirements are," Lilly said. "You certainly wish a situation like that wouldn't have come up. From past experiences, I would prefer stuff that goes on through the course of the season is inside the clubhouse and we keep private matters private."
Lilly said there are going to be disagreements between players over the course of a long season. This was extreme.
"I don't think he meant it to be offensive," Lilly said of Zambrano's comments in the dugout. "I think he was angry. He probably could've handled it in a different situation to get his point across."
Zambrano was not happy about how the team played behind him in the first inning Friday against the White Sox, who opened a 4-0 lead, getting three of those runs on Carlos Quentin's homer off an 0-2 pitch from the right-hander.
If Zambrano had just been blowing off steam after the bad inning, it would be a different situation.
"Yes, but it wasn't," Piniella said. "It's something that can't happen on a baseball team."
The Cubs wore "20,000th Game" patches on their uniforms to commemmorate becoming the first Major League franchise to reach 20,000 regular-season games. The game-used jerseys will be auctioned off to benefit Cubs charities on Cubs.com at a later date. ... If Brian Schlitter gets into Saturday's game, he will be the 1,874th player to wear a Cubs uniform in the 20,000 games. ... Outfielder Brett Jackson, named to the All-Star Futures Game, was hit on the elbow by a pitch Friday and taken for X-rays. Jackson has a seven-game hitting streak with Class A Daytona. ... Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of Ron Santo's Major League debut. Santo now is the analyst on WGN Radio.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.