Friday, June 26, 2009

Heading Out

If you think we fans are sick of the slow process of the sale of the Chicago Cubs (not to mention their on-field play), take a wild guess how Lou Piniella feels:

"One thing that has made it a little difficult is the fact that there hasn't been any ownership for the three years I've been here. The team has been for sale for a long time, and that's not the easiest of circumstances for any organization.

"But my job is to manage the team. My job is to do the best that I can with the talent I have, and that's what I try to do. I try to stay in my area as much as possible."

So with everything that has gone on, will Piniella be back with the Cubs next year?

"I'm signed through next year, and that's it," he said. "I'm signed."

That answer could be interpreted in many ways. Just because he's signed doesn't mean he'll be back. Nevertheless, Piniella refused to confirm his return.

"I am [signed]," he repeated. "The club picked up my option at the end of last season, and I'm signed through next year."

There's almost no way Lou returns next year. If the team doesn't make the playoffs, there will be a pressured resignation. If they make the playoffs and fail again, there will be some combo of the pressured resignation and the "take the job and shove it" approach from Lou.

And if they somehow win the World Series? Lou exits as the conquering hero.

So, is Ryne Sandberg the manager in waiting? Assuming the sale is not complete, just how much money will Jim Hendry have to hire someone?

While 2009 is not even half over, there are a ton of questions already being asked about 2010.

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