Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lou To Retire

Lou Piniella made offical yesterday what most Cubs fans already figured, that he will retire at the end of the season. So Lou's run in Chicago will consist of four years, two division titles, and two post-season flops.

When he came to Chicago, he talked about wanting teams to be afraid of the Cubs, to put some swagger in the team. And he was able to do that, at the beginning. But for the last two years, I don't think too many teams have been afraid of the Cubs.

Part of it is not Lou's fault. He's got to use the players he's been given and several of them got old in a hurry. But it still seems like there isn't the intensity any more, with both Lou and the team. And that is something that falls on Piniella's shoulders.

He'll end his time in Chicago with a record above .500. That is something that not many recent Cubs managers can claim. But the expectations have been raised too, and .500 isn't good enough. Winning the division isn't good enough.

With Lou now lame-duck Lou, it's time to officially start speculating on who the next manager will be. The top two in-house contenders are

Bench coach Alan Trammel

and AAA Iowa manager Ryne Sandberg.

Will the team stay in-house? Will they look elsewhere? My hope was that GM Jim Hendry would get the ax, which would allow for a complete management overhaul, but it doesn't look like that will happen.

Stay tuned. With the team going poorly, it looks like the hot-stove season will start early in Chicago.

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