The time has come. It pains me to say, but Lou Piniella should not be the manager of the Chicago Cubs next season.
Lou has mentioned himself that this year's club lacked the chemistry of the past few years. I agree. The 2007 and 2008 team's must have had good chemistry, because the team was not extremely talented.
The lack of talent is Jim Hendry's responsibility (see http://bleacherreport.com/articles/258580-wait-til-next-year-2010-cubs-to-look-awfully-familiar) but Lou is not without blame either.
While the manager can have an effect on team chemistry, there is something much more important he must do. He has to demand that his players play baseball the right way.
I am a baseball guy, but I understand that it is not interesting reading to go over the particulars and niches of baseball gameplay. The Cubs, however, are terrible baserunners, situational hitters, and have regulars with very poor fundamentals.
Players are not perfect. They will make mistakes. My only question is- are the players being held responsible for the mistakes they make.
For instance, if Geovony Soto rolls over a groundball with no outs and a runner on 2nd (as he did on Wednesday night), does he hear about it? For a guy who was suppossed to be a no-nonsense type manager, I have NEVER seen him confront a player in the dugout.
I understand that "humiliating" a player in the dugout in front of cameras and fans may not be his style. I am left then to assume that he is taking care of business behind closed doors. Lou, however, has lost that benefit of the doubt because his players continue to do these type of things.
So if Lou is given a pass on team chemistry, which I am willing to grant. He cannot get a pass on the brand of baseball his team plays. I like that he demands they play hard, but I do not think they play smart. This is his No. 1 priority. He has to communicate how to play the game with your head as well as with your athleticism.
Lou's time has passed; Hendry's has too. It is time to move on with this administration and with this roster.
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