Let me preface this entire article by saying that I have always been a fan of Lou Piniella, and when the Chicago Cubs hired him as their manager in 2006, I was extremely excited.
That being said the most recent collapse and downfall of the goat franchise of Major League Baseball begs the question: is it time to let Lou go and move on?
With the exception of the 2009 season, Piniella has led the Cubs to Central Division Titles in both 2007 and 2008.
Piniella’s first year as the Cubs skipper brought the team 85 wins with 77 loses, which is not extremely impressive, but was enough to give the Cubs the Central Division title. The Cubs seemed to have a lot of young talent, and pitching pitching to be a strength as Carlos Zambrano continued to emerge as what seemed to be a superstar in the making.
Fortune would, however, not smile upon the Cubs as they would be swept out of the 2007 playoffs by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The season of 2008 was a very exciting year for the Cubs and their fans as it was the 100th year anniversary of the Cubs last World Series Championship.
In 2009, the Cubs came out to a fast start, taking as much as a 4-game lead in the NL Central just after the All-Star break.
But once again, bad pitching and poor at-bats would become the demise of the Cubbies, this time in the regular season.
The only exciting news to come out of Cubs’ camp in September was the suspension of “Terrel Owens wannabe” Milton Bradley for his remarks against the Cubs and their fans.
As I write this article, I see on ESPN that the St. Louis Cardinals have just secured the NL Central Title with their win tonight, and the Cubs are 8.5 games behind them.
They aren’t even mentioned in the NL Wild Card race.
So what we must ask ourselves is: how successful have the Cubs really been under the direction of Sweet Lou?
Yes, we have two division titles, but not even one appearance in so much as an NLCS, let alone a World Series.
With his original three-year contract coming to a close in just a couple of weeks, but with the Cubs already having picked up his option for 2010, what should the Cubs do? Should they keep or extend Lou, even though the results we have seen over the last three years have fallen short of the goal?
Or, should the Cubs let him go and move on to greener pastures?
Yes, the occasional “Lou Rant” shows itself. But seemingly, the days of kicking dirt and spitting and stealing second base are over.
This team needs a face lift. They need pitching, badly. Zambrano is a great #2 or #3 guy, but his inconsistency and poor attitude leads me to believe he is not an Ace.
The good news is, there is a lot of young talent on this Cubs team. Jake Fox, Tyler Colvin (who has replaced Bradley and done quite well), Jeff Baker, the list goes on.
It’s time for a new look, and a new era.
Lou, I love ya man, but its time for you pack your bags…and while you’re at it, why don’t you take Fukudome, Zambrano, and Bradley with you?
You can follow BigMB on twitter at www.twitter.com/mylesb3269
* – Lou Piniella sipping champagne photo credit: The Cubs Brickyard
* – Lou Piniella staring photo credit: AP via SI.com
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