"I've had conversations with these guys," the manager said Saturday. "Words -- what counts is how you play out there. I've talked to the guys as individuals on the things we need to do. If it was as simple as having a team meeting, I'd have a team meeting every day."
Of course, if Piniella did that, the players would probably grow weary of it.
"Team meetings are overdone," he said. "You've got to play. You've got to compete. When the umpires say, 'Play ball,' you've got to go out there and compete every day and not give in.
"All the words and so forth, they sound good. You've got to get it done on the field. I don't remember -- when I played -- that many team meetings from good managers I played for."
And Piniella isn't the only one talking to the Cubs' players. The coaches have cornered them, as well.
"We just have to get it done on the field more consistently," Piniella said. "You talk about our hitting; we've hit the ball. We just haven't hit at opportune times."
The Cubs rank fourth in the National League in batting entering Saturday, but they're 15th in runners left on base.
"We've fallen short when it comes to delivering the key blow, and that's when you have to compete more," Piniella said. "The consistency factor is the thing."