Manager Lee Elia was booed again today, but suffered gladly the wrath of Wrigley Field fandom for removing pitcher Chuck Rainey late in a 7-2 victory over Fernando Valenzuela and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Elia apologized anew for his outburst at Cubs fans after Friday's loss to the Dodgers--and so did Keith Moreland, mostly with his bat.
With 26,069 in the stands, the Cubs' largest crowd of the season, Moreland delivered a three-run triple in the first inning and singled in a fourth run, ahead of Jody Davis' three-run home run that finished Valenzuela (3-2) in the sixth.
If that wasn't enough, Moreland said he was sorry, "if that's what's called for," over the Friday incident when he leaned out of the dugout to get a teammate's glove and a fan poured beer over him, precipitating a confrontation.
"It was mostly a verbal-type thing," Moreland said. "But then they said some things about my family. Whatever it was, I apologize for it. The fans here are great. After all, they come to the ballpark. They pay my salary."
The crowd reacted angrily when Elia went to the mound in the eighth inning to get Rainey, who won his first game as a Cub after three losses; he had allowed only three hits but walked seven. Reliever Bill Campbell struck out the side that inning before giving up a harmless run in the ninth.
"I dreaded the moment Elia would have to come on the field," Rainey said. "I wished to God that I did not walk that guy because I knew what the fans' reaction would be."
Elia criticized the fans Friday for lack of support and implied that some attended games because they had no jobs. The Cubs play all their home games in the daytime.