Apparently this has become a weekly feature of Wrigley Wax, saying good-bye to a high-profile member of the Cubs.
Lou's last game with the Cubs and his last game as an MLB manager was yesterday. In typical Cubbie fashion, he was sent off with a 16-5 thrashing by the Braves. His retirement at the end of the season had already been announced weeks ago. But yesterday he said that due to family reasons, he would be stepping immediately.
The team was going nowhere, and if the choice is either spend time with your mom before she passes away or play out the string with a lousy team, then Lou made the right choice.
Third base coach Mike Quade will take over for the rest of the season. GM Jim Hendry also said that Quade would be considered for the job permanently, while current bench coach Alan Trammell would not.
So Lou leaves after almost four years as Cubs manager. His record was 316-293, good for a .519 winning percentage. That was the best percentage a Cubs manager has put up since Charlie Grimm led the team in the thirties and forties. Lou also brought the Cubs to back-to-back post season appearances for the first time in 100 years.
The knock on Lou's time with the Cubs would be the lack of post-season wins. The team was swept in both appearances and looked bad doing so. It was especially painful in 2008 when the Cubs had the best regular season record in the NL. The team was remade to make up for the perceived deficiencies of the '07 team but was still swept by the Dodgers.
I liked Lou and wish things had turned out better. He brought an intensity to the Cub's dugout that hadn't been seen in a while. But he, like the Cubs last 46 managers, failed to achieve the ultimate goal of a World Series title.
Manager cards seem to have become less popular, so I've only got five to show from Piniella's tenure with the Cubs.
Allen and Ginter, 2007
Topps 2007, the same picture as Heritage