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Time is Up: Lou Piniella Must Go

Pat De Marco @@patdemarco01Correspondent IJuly 11, 2009

CHICAGO - JULY 08: Manager Lou Piniella #41 of the Chicago Cubs paces in the dugout during a game against the Atlanta Braves on July 8, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Braves defeated the Cubs 4-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Before I go any further, let me say that Lou Piniella is not the main reason why the Cubs are 41-42. 

That said, at some point a manager must be held accountable for his teams struggles. 

Coming into the season the Cubs were once again heavy favorites to win the National League Central, and many saw them as the favorite to represent the National League in the World Series. While the Cubs have endured plenty of injuries, they still find themselves in almost every game. 

Despite leading the National League in quality starts, the Cubs are fading quickly in the National League Central. Coming into Saturday's game, the Cubs are 4.5 games behind the front running St Louis Cardinals.

That's unacceptable for a team that has the third highest payroll in all of baseball.  

It would be one thing if the Cubs starters were the ones struggling. After all, a manager plays little to no role in what a starter does.He gives the starting pitcher the ball, and hopes for a quality start. That's exactly what he's getting. 

Where a manager does play a role is with his offense.

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He sets the everyday lineup, and he makes the decision if he wants to be aggressive on the bases or play it conservative. 

Despite the Cubs offensive struggles Piniella plays it extremely conservative. Regardless of what the third year Cubs skipper tells you, the Cubs do have speed. Piniella chooses to not use it. 

While the Cubs struggle scoring runs, they don't struggle getting on base. For the most part, Piniella chooses to play station to station baseball and you can't win a championship doing that. 

What frustrates me more than anything is watching players who have thrived with other organizations. I find myself getting upset with Bradley, Soriano, Miles, Fukudome, etc.

Then it dawns on me, many of these guys were very successful under previous managers. As much as I don't like Miles, the reality is this guy is a career .286 hitter with a World Series ring. 

Soriano was a 40/40 guy and Fukudome was an MVP in Japan. 

I personally don't believe that today’s player's like playing for Lou.

For example, we all know that Jason Marquis didn't like Piniella. Marquis has certainly answered the call in Colorado and is on pace to win 20 games.  

It's all about getting the most out of your player's and the 2008 NL manager of the year is not getting the most out of his players.

Putting aside a 0-6 postseason that certainly would've gotten Piniella fired in New York or Boston, Piniella is failing with the 2009 Cubs.

Many have debated if Lou has lost the fire, but it has nothing to do with the fire. It has everything to do with wins and losses.  

The Cubs are losing, and someone must be held accountable. Like it or not, the player's on this roster are not going anywhere. It's time to bring in a new voice, if nothing else they might be able to relate to today's baseball player.

For those of you who know me, I don't blame managers.

I was furious when the Cubs let Don Baylor go less than a year after he did a great job with an overachieving 2001 Chicago Cubs team. I also felt that Dusty Baker took a lot of heat because his GM decided to take over two years off. 

The 2005 and 2006 teams lacked talent and were very bad baseball teams. 

The 2009 Cubs certainly doesn't lack talent but the skipper lacks answers.

Without solutions, there will likely be no postseason baseball for this Chicago Cubs baseball team. 

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