Thursday, July 22, 2010

G'Bye Lou, Hello ?

Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced he's retiring after this season. That's really no surprise. Everyone assumed he would.

I also just assume that current Cubs Tripple-A affiliate manager Ryne Sandberg will get the job, but I forget that people actually want to manage the Cubs these days. Why? Because they're decidedly on the economic "have" side of the "have and have not" spectrum.

Sandberg's biggest competition could come from former team-mate and current Yankees skipper Joe Girardi. The Cubs were his first choice 4 years ago. After Lou beat him out for the job he "settled" for the Yankees. Sure, he won a World Series last year, but he's never been as popular as Joe Torre. He's also in the last year of his contract and might be eager to leave the Bronx Zoo for a shot at bringing the Cubs their first championship since the Teddy Roosevelt administration.

Another intriguing possibility is current Cubs color commentator Bob Brenly. He's done the commentator-to-manager jump successfully before in Arizona, leading the Diamondbacks to the title in 2001.

The Cubs even currently have two former managers on staff, in bench coach Alan Trammell and pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

My sister's dream is of course to hire Girardi as the manager and bring Sandberg in as a coach. While I'm certainly not opposed to that, I don't think Sandberg has been putting in all this time as a minor league manager just to end up a bench coach. He clearly wants to manage. Odds are there will be other big league openings next season.

Four years ago, I wanted Lou Piniella. No offense to Girardi, but I think Lou was the right person at the right time. The Cubs needed a firebrand after the easy-going Dusty Baker, and he paid off with two consecutive play-off appearances. Sure he mismanaged pitchers, but Joe's been accused of that too. I don't think there's a manager out there today who can manage a pitching staff. (Pitch counts are the devil.)

Today, I'm not sure who I'm rooting for. I guess, a winner.

Here's Lou's tirade from June of '07 that started the Cubs on a two year winning streak:

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