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Saturday, July 21st, 2018



So it looks as if Unca Lou is packing up his microphone and coming to Chicago. We’re seeing this year in Detroit what kind of impact a manager can make. Whether or not Piniella will make a big impact is anyone’s guess. But I am happy the Cubs got him.

Someone asked me about his stint in Tampa Bay and if I think he’ll be the fiery sort he was before his stay there. I think he went into that knowing he was in for a rebuilding program. There was no urgency. Here, he knows what the goal is. To win now. Right now. So we will see that fiery Lou. This is likely his last chance to dance. He wants to win and it’s expected of him.

You can also bet–for better or for worse–the Cubs will be huge players in free agency. You pick the top free agent–Schmidt, Zito, Carlos Lee, Soriano, even Moises Alou, Maddux or Randy Wolf–the Cubs are going to go after them. Nothing hurts like all the empty seats at Wrigley last year. They will nip it in the bud. Hope springs eternal.

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Update: fireloupiniella.com has already been bought by someone. Rats.

  • http://brotonysblog.blogspot.com Tony Foeller

    I agree with you that the Cubs will be major players in this year’s free-agent market. The hiring of Piniella is more than window-dressing. Your assessment is right on the money, Z. Good fit for the North Siders. I’m anxious to see if they back it up with a major signing shortly. Go Cardinals!

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Maybe Unca Lou and Mullet LaRussa can have a good throwdown at Wrigley!!!

  • PV

    Lou still showed some fire in TB – I seem to remember him dressing down a couple kids in the dugout.

    Anyway, you hit upon what what is my biggest concern with this hiring: because it is obviously a win now move, I’m worried the Cubs will then make a series of dumb moves because of this urgency.

    Don’t get me wrong – I want them to be aggressive, and not settle for coming in 2nd with Free Agents. But I also want them to be smart – ’cause frankly, on that list you gave, the only I guy I would indiscriminately throw big years and money at is Zito. As your recent post about not buying championships would attest, it’s about how you spend it, not how much. And I’m afraid that there’s going to be this feeling of obligation to spend for Lou that will lead to spending for spending’s sake.

    But otherwise, I like Lou.

  • http://www.knockoutzone.com Jason Gatties

    I’m cool with Lou. Maybe he can set an all time distance record with base tossing. If the wind is blowing out he just may launch one into the ivy.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    “And I’m afraid that there’s going to be this feeling of obligation to spend for Lou that will lead to spending for spending’s sake.”

    That was my point and we all know how that works out. It doesn’t. I can just see Carlos Lee and his massive contract now…oh boy

  • http://www.timellsworth.com Tim Ellsworth

    Interesting. I still think Girardi would have been a better choice, but we’ll see how it works out for the Cubbies.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    Now that Macha is cashed, I don’t doubt Girardi will get a long look for that gig. They have a ton of kids there and more on the way. Much like Steve Garvey, the father of our nation.

  • Big D

    I was really pumped about the idea of Girardi getting the job, but the more I thought about, the more I liked Pinella. He had the fire in Tampa, you just didn’t hear about it.

    As for the team…where do you start? This is “my team”, and I always have had some thoughts on what moves to make. Not now, though. Need pitching, but is Zito the answer? Need runs, but A-Rod will never happen.

    What this team really needs is to learn how to take a couple of pitches, learn how to run the bases, and learn how to throw strikes. Can a new manager teach that? If it can be done, I like Pinella over Girardi.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    A-Rod will never happen because the Cubs have nothing to offer the Yanks. They might take Aramis Ramirez but they would surely want more than that.

    Therein lies the rub. The Cubs have not developed a decent position player since…I can’t remember.

    We’ve been forced into the free-agent or die category. And it’s not just runs; we need a closer and at least one if not 2 top-level starters.

  • http://www.timellsworth.com Tim Ellsworth

    I’ll bet Ramirez, Murton or Pie and Hill could get you A-Rod. Now whether you want to give up that much is another story.

  • PV

    There are questions and holes – certainly rotation depth sticks out – but my main concern is reversing the most damaging trend on the Cubs: walk differential. They need to take more and issue fewer. That’s the quickest way to improve the team, to preach this and improve the guys we have, and acquire guys that fit these criteria.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see how retaining Rothschild or signing Soriano or (gulp) Carlos Lee really addresses these things.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    There is a source claiming that Piniella wants the Cubs to get ARod. Despite what has transpired in NY, I’ll take ARod on my club.

    They can have Pie and Ramirez. Hill is another story as I don’t think Hendry is willing to deal him.

    But PV nails it. The Cubs waste more plate appearances than any other team in MLB.

  • http://courtjester.livejournal.com Mike O’Donnell

    I think AROD would be a good fit back with his poppa. The Cubs can dump Ramirez, Pie, and Prior, and perhaps another arm that has potential. They must keep Z and Hill if they are hoping to contend at all in the next three years.
    Pinella would not have signed had the Cubs not promised some serious free-agent money. AROD will go back to being himself out of NY and out of Jeterland.

  • http://zonersports.com The Zoner

    I’d be all for it. He’d be back at short, Texas is till footing a lot of the bill and Pie hasn’t really shown anything special in the minors. Plus it would be fun.

    Read my post today about Prior; doesn’t look as if he’s going anywhere.

  • http://courtjester.livejournal.com Mike O’Donnell

    I read that article, too, after I posted my comment. Wow what a crock.

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