Piniella's status had been a matter of public speculation since June, when he declined to give direct answers to repeated media questions about his 2010 intentions. He had left his two most recent managing jobs, in Seattle and Tampa Bay, on his own terms with time left on those contracts.
Piniella ended the speculation Friday: "I'm planning to come back next year," he said before the Cubs lost to the Dodgers 2-1 in Los Angeles.
Now. I was not a Lou fan before he was hired. He did an outstanding job in 2007 and 2008, but has seemed somnolent and distracted this year. If he's going to return in 2010, he'd better start getting off his butt and managing the Cubs the way he did the last two years.
Also, just because Lou says he's "planning" on coming back does not preclude management from buying out his extension and making a change. I'm not quite sure how I feel right now. Do we get the 2007-08 Lou next year? If so, keep him. If we get the 2009 version, I could do without him.