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Cubs Fire Jimmy Piersall

Jimmy Piersall, known for outrageous behavior in a career in baseball that's spanned more than four decades, says he was fired as a Chicago Cubs minor league instructor because of critical remarks he made about the team's management.

Piersall was fired Friday for "issues relating to his performance in player development," said Cubs general manager Ed Lynch. "We've always viewed his public comments separately from that as employee."

But Piersall says he thinks he was fired because of a remark he made on a radio program after Jim Riggleman was fired as manager of the Cubs.

Piersall said "two other guys" should have been fired instead of Riggleman leaving little doubt he was talking about Lynch and Cubs president Andy MacPhail.

Piersall, 69, was told of the Cubs' decision by Jim Hendry, the team's director of player development and scouting. Piersall told the Chicago Tribune he didn't ask the reason.

"Let me put it this way," Piersall said, "I've been doing it for 14 years with the Cubs and eight years on 'The Score,' (WSCR-AM 1160) and no one said anything. Now I'm having problems."

Piersall has long been one of the true characters of baseball. To celebrate his 100th home run, he circled the bases running backward. He once threw a baseball and an orange at the exploding scoreboard at Comiskey Park. His nervous breakdown in 1952 was the basis for the film, "Fear Strikes Out."

Piersall also worked with the late Harry Caray as a broadcaster for the White Sox.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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