As soon as Lou Piniella removed his name from the managerial pool with the San Francisco Giants, stating geographical reasons, it was apparent that the rumors would start to fly about Sweet Lou taking over in the dugout for the Chicago Cubs. Piniella, earlier in the week, stated that the Washington Nationals job was not for him and according to an article by Chris De Luca in Saturday morning’s Sun-Times, Piniella is “expected to be named the 48th manager in Cubs history” by the end of the week.
The other favorite, and fan favorite, to land the Cubs job, Joe Girardi, is expected to land the Washington Nationals job “possibly by the end of the weekend” according to De Luca. So what about all of the rumors about Hendry’s affection with Bruce Bochy? Some reports on Friday stated that the Cubs had asked permission to interview Bochy but those reports seem to have been shot down on Saturday.
The next managerial hiring by the Cubs is one of the most important in the history of the organization, a statement reiterated over-and-over again by sites such as this as well as mainstream reports out of the front office at 1060 West Addison. But is the pressure to “win now” clouding Jim Hendry’s judgment about who would be the best fit for years to come, just not the immediate future? The story of the Detroit Tigers’ season is a compelling one considering they are coming off of a 91-loss season. With the Cubs finishing the year with 96 losses could they see themselves just a “good manager” away from the same success?
The Cubs and Piniella have not talked about the terms of a contract as of yet according to an article by Dave van Dyck but Piniella is reportedly seeking a long-term deal in the 4-year range and according to van Dyck worth in the $4 million dollar per year range. But how can Jim Hendry sign a manager to a contract that would out last his current 2-year deal?
Bob Brenly interviewed, along with Mike Quade and Pat Listach, this past week with Jim Hendry and Bruce Bochy could be the wild card in the equation. But all roads seem to be leading to Piniella taking the job and if that happens would the nickname ‘Sweet Lou’ still stand two to three years from now? Only time will tell….