This is a bit of a rant. I know some people don't like 'em, so I am warning you in advance. You have every right to stop reading now.
Paul Sullivan, in today's Trib., wrote a story about whether or not Lou Piniella would be fired for the Cubs recent struggles. It's a fair question, in my opinion, with new ownership and given how the game of baseball works these days. It didn't call for his firing, nor make it sound imminent.
Meanwhile, perhaps as a counterpunch, Gordon Wittenmyer reminds us that Lou is just playing the hand he was dealt.
Then this morning, on Yahoo, I see the following: Cubs getting ready to can Lou Piniella? The only cited source for these rumors? The story in the Trib.
It's sad that it has come to this. The Cubs swoon, a couple of local beat writers throw out blatant speculation that the manager could get booted after the year is out, and suddenly Yahoo is blurting out rumors to a nation-wide audience that Cubs are going to fire him, when the article that it cites doesn't even infer that it is imminent.
The thing that bothers me most is that Piniella deserves better. He deserves better luck with injuries. He deserves players hustling more for him. He deserves "superstars" playing like superstars. And when it doesn't happen, it is his fault? these guys need to motivate themselves, to have the desire and mental toughness to be champions.
Perhaps they don't have it in them. When I look at the Cubs, I see a team full of complimentary players. Guys who aren't the stars, but excel when they are a compliment to a star. But the Cubs don't seem to have that one guy that they can build around. In theory, it should be that 18-million dollar guy in LF, but that seems to have been a Rex Grossman-like misread of his personality and ability.
The thing is that changing the manager isn't likely to change anything on the field. Even if the Cubs go to the other extreme and bring in a touchy-feely, hug-it-out manager, it's not going to stop the 18-million dollar man from trying to pull outside sliders into the bleachers, get Soto into shape, heal Aramis' shoulder, make Fukudome into Ichiro, fix the problem with Marmol, make Gregg a better closer, straighten Zambrano out, or repair any of the other problems that this team has.