The Piniella Aftermath: Cubs vs. Astros Preview, Wednesday 7/21, 1:20 CT

Tomorrow, I'm going to post about the possible successors to Lou Piniella; most of them are names that have been mentioned here before, either by me or others (Joe Girardi, Ryne Sandberg, Bob Brenly, Joe Torre, Joey Cora, Jose Oquendo, Pat Listach). If you think I've left anyone off that list who should be covered in the post, mention his name in the comments here. I'm going to try to look at these men objectively, although my own preferences are well known.

And, a few more comments about Lou:
  • Jeff Passan at Yahoo apparently misses Lou's tirades. He misses the point, too.
  • Rob Neyer at says Lou has Cooperstown credentials, and makes this comparison to another former Yankee manager, Ralph Houk (the "15th place" comment is a reference to Lou's position on the all-time manager wins list, 14th place):
    On the other hand, the manager in 15th place is Ralph Houk. Like Piniella, Houk played for and managed the Yankees. Like Piniella, Houk managed a number of teams. Piniella's and Houk's career winning percentages are practically identical. Where Piniella won one World Series, Houk won two.

    But I think Piniella gets (and will continue to get) more credit for his team's successes than Houk has for his. Houk's first team was the '61 Yankees, coming off 10 American League championships in 12 years. There was definitely a sense then -- or is now, anyway -- that Houk was simply fortunate enough to take the helm of a powerhouse team that essentially couldn't be beat. Houk managed the Yankees to three straight pennants, was kicked upstairs so Yogi Berra could manage, returned to the dugout after two seasons ... and managed for most of the next 20 years without a single first-place finish.

    There's one more difference between Piniella and Houk. Ralph Houk was a backup catcher for the Yankees in the 1940's and 1950's who, I was surprised to learn, is still living, nearly 91 years old. He had 158 career at-bats. Lou was a pretty good player who was a significant contributor to two Yankee World Series winners. Had Lou won with the Cubs, I think he'd be a lock for Hall of Fame induction. Without that ring... it's a tossup. We'll see.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
Ted Lilly
vs. Brett Myers
Brett Myers
3-8 W-L 7-6
4.07 ERA 3.35
75 SO 93
25 BB 39
18 HR 11
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

2010 - Ted Lilly 3-8 16 16 0 0 0 0 104.0 92 52 47 18 25 75 4.07 1.13

2010 - Brett Myers 7-6 19 19 1 0 0 0 129.0 126 56 48 11 39 93 3.35 1.28

Brett Myers is having a pretty good year and, like Ted Lilly, has been featured in trade rumors recently. He defeated the Cubs on June 6 in Houston and is 8-3 lifetime with a 2.63 ERA vs. the Cubs in 14 appearances (10 starts). Current Cubs, though, are hitting .318 against him (48-for-151) with 10 HR. Four of those have been hit by Derrek Lee (15-for-32, .469 career vs. Myers).

Ted Lilly has not faced the Astros this year, but he has won his last five starts against them, including going 4-0 against them in 2009 with a 2.45 ERA. He has held current Astros to a .213 average (32-for-150) and even noted Cub-killer Carlos Lee is only 8-for-35 vs. Ted.

Today's game is on WGN and FSN Houston. Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Astros site The Crawfish Boxes.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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