07/21/10 3:50 PM ET
Trammell: Now's not time to ponder Cubs helm
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
"It's been a great four years with Lou," Trammell said Wednesday. "I can't express enough how much I appreciate the opportunity working with Lou and being with him. That being said, we still have over two months to go. There's an appropriate time. There's a time and a place for things. [General manager Jim Hendry] is going to go through the process, and we'll see what happens down the road here."
Trammell managed the Detroit Tigers from 2003-05 and compiled a 186-300 record. It was a challenge.
"I would say so," Trammell said. "You lose 119 games and you're almost part of baseball history in a negative way, that certainly tests you in a lot ways. The three years there, I enjoyed it. And I enjoyed coaching. Looking back, it was good experience."
Wednesday was game No. 96 out of 162, and Trammell still feels there's a lot of work to do.
"At this point, I'm not even thinking about it," he said about possibly replacing Piniella. "Really, I am not. I know [Tuesday] I downplayed it because I thought it was Lou's day, out of respect. That's the way I was brought up, the way I am, the way Sparky [Anderson] taught us. There's a certain way of doing things. I'm really appreciative of the fact that my name was even considered. Down the road is the time to talk about it."
One thing is certain: Trammell wants to stay in the game.
"I'm a baseball guy, to be honest with you," he said. "I love being on the field, whether it's managing, coaching of some sort."
Piniella trying to put focus on team
CHICAGO -- Lou Piniella said he had a good night's rest but may be spending most of his off-day Thursday answering his voice-mail messages.
On Tuesday, the Cubs manager announced he was retiring at the end of this season, ending a run that began as a player in 1962 and as a manager in '86. A three-time Baseball Writers' Association of America Manager of the Year, Piniella has no plans once the season is over but most likely will be sought after as a consultant.
On Wednesday, he tried to make it business as usual.
"Let's talk about the team," Piniella said to reporters during his pregame session. "I think that's the important thing."
He turned his phone off Tuesday morning.
"I turned it on [Wednesday], but I haven't answered it yet this morning," he said. "I will tomorrow. I got some voice mails. I've got a little work to do with it tonight."
The Cubs rallied from a six-run deficit on Tuesday to beat the Astros, 14-6, but find themselves 10 1/2 games back in the National League Central.
"Let's just concern ourselves with our team," Piniella said. "Let's win as often as we can, and that's all we can do."
The Cubs still have trips to Cincinnati, where Piniella led the Reds to the World Series championship in 1990, and he can expect to be asked more about his plans after baseball.
"I think they'll wish me a happy retirement," Piniella said. "I don't see where I need to be the focus. The players here and the team is the focus. If they ask me, I'll answer some questions. I would prefer we talk about the team. If we want to reminisce, we'll do it at the tail end of the season."
Struggling Silva pushed back a day
CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva will start Monday and not Sunday to get an extra day to work on the side with pitching coach Larry Rothschild.
Silva (9-4, 3.86 ERA) has not pitched beyond the second inning in his past two starts, giving up 11 runs on 13 hits and five walks over 2 1/3 innings.
"He's been working with some things with Larry, and it might give him a little time to continue to work, but we'll see," manager Lou Piniella.
Ryan Dempster (8-7, 3.70 ERA) will start on Sunday in the series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals. He'll be pitching on normal rest because of the off-day Thursday.
Left-hander John Grabow, on the disabled list because of a sprained left knee, threw in the bullpen, but he is not close to returning. He has been sidelined since June 29.
Brian Schlitter, a right-hander who impressed Piniella in his brief callup in June, was to throw Wednesday for Triple-A Iowa. He's on the disabled list with a right shoulder impingement.
Cubs' Wells hosting benefit concert for kids
CHICAGO -- Carter Kettner was 6 years old when he died on May 12, but the youngster left a lasting impression on Cubs pitcher Randy Wells.
Wells met the boy last year when he visited Wrigley Field before a Cubs game. Kettner had brain cancer.
"He came in last year out of the blue for a Make A Wish [event]," Wells said. "He got some autographs and we went out in the dugout and I just hung out with him.
"It was unbelievable how his family dealt with it and stayed strong for him," Wells said. "They were probably torn up inside that their child was going to die. I don't want kids to have to go through that. I want to make their time as good as possible."
Wells is teaming up with Cubs second baseman Ryan Theriot to host the first Red Dirt Fest on Aug. 4 to benefit Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. For $30, fans will see some of Wells' favorite bands such as Stoney LaRue, Brandon Jenkins and Randy Rogers performing at Joe's Bar in Chicago.
Wells has a photo of Kettner in his locker and sees that smile every day. It's an inspiration.
"I wanted to do something for him, but I didn't think it was fair just to do something for one person when there are a lot of kids out there dealing with the same stuff," he said. "[The concert] seemed like a good fit."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.