Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So Long, Lou

Chicago Cubs manager Lou Pinella has announced he will retire at the end of the season:

After managing 23 seasons, winning one World Series and three Manager of the Year Awards, Lou Piniella has decided to retire after finishing the season with the Cubs.

Piniella, who turns 67 on Aug. 28, issued a statement on Tuesday, saying he wanted to enter a new phase in his life.

"I couldn't be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to manage this ballclub," Piniella said in his statement. "I've had four wonderful years here that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.

"I've grown to love the city and the fans, but at my age, it will be time to enter a new phase in my life," he said. "It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family -- my wife, my kids and my grandchildren. God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love."

Pinella's contract was due to expire at the end of the season and there had been extensive speculation swirling around the Cubs whether he would stay on after this year. No doubt the team's lack of success this year had to be a factor.

Two questions: First, who will be his successor? Ryne Sandberg is the sentimental favorite but if Joe Torre decides not to re-sign with the Dodgers at the end of the season he could be the top candidate. Second, will Lou Pinella be elected to the Hall of Fame? I think the answer is yes, eventually, he will get in but with Bobby Cox retiring this year and Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa both shoe-ins for the Hall as soon as they retire he may be waiting a little while for the call from Cooperstown.

Thanks for the memories, Lou. It's been a great ride.

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