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Lou unbeliever when it comes to curses

Piniella not affected by curse talk

CHICAGO -- The Cubs don't need to have the dugout blessed by a priest or bring a goat back in the ballpark.

"There's no curses here," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said Thursday. "I don't know how many times I have to answer about curses."

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He's had to deal with questions about such things quite a bit this year, the 100th anniversary since the Cubs last won a World Series.

"The amazing thing is the fans take it to a little bit of an extreme here," Piniella said. "You can see them being loyal and wanting the Cubs to win, but look, the economy, people's jobs, the bankruptcies that are going on, there are important issues going on in this country that people should be paying attention to and not what the Cubs do or not do.

"I want to win as much as anybody, but at the same time, if you can't be loose and have some fun and enjoy the moment, you don't belong in it."

Piniella did not actually see the priest sprinkle some holy water on the dugout before Game 1 on Wednesday but did see the event on television. He laughed.

"I've said it many times, good pitching, good defense and timely hitting, those are the ingredients that win baseball games," he said.

He didn't get a souvenir vial of holy water to take on the road.

"I'm a Christian guy and I believe," he said, "and you can pray, but the other guy's praying, too. God doesn't care about a baseball game."

Piniella was doing his part, though, for a Florida neighbor's youth who has brain cancer. He was wearing a white bracelet that said, "Pray Strong." That's different from curses.

However, he is concerned about the players getting their rest. Instead of flying to the West Coast after Game 2, the Cubs will take off Friday afternoon. Piniella said he consulted a sleep doctor.

"We'll get a good night's sleep tonight as opposed to flying all night and getting in at 4, 4:30 in the morning and going to bed in the hotel room, sleeping until 2 or 3 [in the afternoon] and then you don't sleep the next night," he said. "It was recommended very strongly, so that's what we're going to do."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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