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So Long Sweet Lou

By bullpenbrian - July 21, 2010 - 1:00 am 2 comments.

Lou was the right man for the job in 2007.
Now he’s leaving at the right time, too.

Of course, we didn’t get the championship or the explosive Lou
of years past, but who won’t miss those classic post-game
press conferences?

The long pauses, the play-by-play of the game and those
all too familiar Lou-isms!

My personal favorites:
–”winning is like a massage, it’s very relaxing.”
–”he’s stroking the ball well, he really is.”
–”I don’t care about feelings.”
–”what can I do?”


Should Cubs Fire Lou?

By bullpenbrian - May 18, 2010 - 12:30 am 4 comments.

I’d hate to see the Cubs fire Lou, but it’s worth consideration.

Look no further than the visiting Rockies who fell 10-games below .500 last May before firing Clint Hurdle in favor of Jim Tracy.

The Rocks thrived under Tracy going 74-42…set a franchise-record for wins, 92, and captured the NL Wild Card. Tracy earned Manager of the Year honors, as well.

But could the same hold true for our Cubbies this season? Perhaps, if Lou’s likely replacement, Alan Trammell, garners the same response Tracy received from Colorado.


Lou 14th All Time With 1,800 Wins

By bullpenbrian - May 17, 2010 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

Congrats to Sweet Lou for becoming the 14th manger to reach the 1, 800 win milestone!

It’s a notably achievement…and a rather impressive resume for the Cubs’ skipper overall: one world championship (Cincinnati) and three Manager of the Year Awards (1995, 2001, 2008).

Lou’s collected 281 of those wins on the North Side…surpassing his win totals with Cincy (255), New York (224) and Tampa Bay (200). Obviously, however, the bulk of his victories came during his 10-year stay in Seattle (840).

Rank Name Wins Losses Pct.
1 Connie Mack 3,731 3,948 .486
2 John McGraw 2,763 1,948 .586
3 Tony La Russa 2,552 2,217 .535
4 Bobby Cox 2,413 1,930 .556
5 Joe Torre 2,246 1,915 .540
6 Sparky Anderson 2,194 1,870 .544
7 Bucky Harris 2,157 2,218 .493
8 Joe McCarthy 2,125 1,333 .615
9 Walter Alston 2,040 1,613 .558
10 Leo Durocher 2,009 1,709 .540
11 Casey Stengel 1,905 1,842 .508
12 Gene Mauch 1,902 2,037 .483
13 Bill McKechnie 1,896 1,723 .524
14 Lou Piniella 1,800 1,639 .521
15 Ralph Houk 1,619 1,531 .514

A Cubs Easter

By bullpenbrian - April 4, 2010 - 11:47 pm Leave a comment.

Getting up early Sunday morning…in time to grab some hotcakes from McDonald’s.

Then heading to church in Wrigleyville…Father Lou Piniella –known throughout the congregation as ‘skipper’–is saying mass in Spanish.

Maybe do a little Easter Egg hunting after that…not sure though.

At one o’clock it’s the theater on Western Ave…Clash of the Titans is playing…my first movie in 3D.

Eatin’ time after that…the Burrito House on Addison or a holiday Hot Pocket filled with ham…could go either way.

Then it’s Sunday Night Baseball…ESPN…Red Sox vs. Yankees.

My god, at long last…it’s finally here!

Happy Easter Cubs fans!


Cubs’ Pen Needs Andrew Cashner

By bullpenbrian - March 3, 2010 - 2:23 am Leave a comment.

Lou says the bullpen is an open competition this spring, which is a bit unusual.

Most clubs reserve bullpen spots for veterans only, but I like the competition.

Not only will spring games be more meaningful, but it appears the Cubs are committed to taking the best arms north for Opening Day–regardless of seniority.

One odds on favorite to make the staff is the Cubs’ first-round pick from 2008, right-hander Andrew Cashner–a Jonathan Papelbon like talent.


Cubs Bullpen Session

By bullpenbrian - January 14, 2010 - 1:15 am Leave a comment.

–I wonder what Mark McGwire didn’t like about Sammy Sosa?

According to former Cub Steve Trachsel, who served up McGwire’s record-setting 62nd home run in 1998, cheater Mac was never a fan of cheater Sammy.

–Lou Piniella, however, feels bad for McGwire saying:

“It was difficult doing what he did. It was probably something that needed to be done. America forgives and forgets. I don’t think there is anybody out there that hasn’t done something that they don’t feel sorry for.”

“I would probably think that down the road he will be a Hall of Famer. Maybe not in the first few ballots, but people tend to forget, and rightfully so.”


Piniella Teaching His Cubs

By bullpenbrian - July 4, 2009 - 2:39 am Leave a comment.


Ryan Theriot says Lou is teaching the game more than in seasons past.

Letting players learn the game from peers is effective, but takes much longer than simply teaching a player how to improve.

I give Piniella credit for taking a larger role in developing his players, both younger guys and veterans alike.

Regardless of the profession, those who continue to learn always rise to the top in his or her field.

Speaking of which, is Carlos Zambrano finally learning how to pitch?


Piniella Calling Out Cubs

By bullpenbrian - June 29, 2009 - 12:01 am Leave a comment.

cubsWhite Sox

Lou is finally taking a hard stand.

The skipper was quick to point out the in the post game press conference that his team is playing poorly, period.

Despite the Cubs sub .500 record this season, we haven’t heard Lou get this critical publicly about his players all year.

I think the tough love is long overdue, but at least Lou is saying something other than “what can I do?”

Obviously, Chicago needs a fire lit under their rear ends, and it’s Lou’s responsibility to light the torch.


Mt. Sweet Lou Explodes!

By bullpenbrian - May 23, 2009 - 1:12 am Leave a comment.

cubsSan Diego

It’s time for Mt. Sweet Lou to erupt.

I’m talking classic blowup–kick some dirt, toss the cap, and throw first base for good measure.

The Cubs need a kick in the rear reminding them they’re indeed the best team in the NL Central.

Nothing else seems to be working. Getting too cute with the lineup and the defense isn’t the answer in the long term, either–there’s still four months of baseball left to play.

If Lou goes wild maybe the Cubs respond with some runs. It worked nearly two years ago when Piniella went berserk on third base umpire Mark Wegner–the Cubs won five of their next six games.


Derek Lee No.2 Soriano No.3

By bullpenbrian - February 20, 2009 - 12:30 am Leave a comment.

I can’t figure out why Lou is leaving the leadoff spot open for debate?

It’s not as if the manager is without options at No. 1.

In fact, Lou has plenty of legitimate options for a leadoff hitter, so why not take advantage now?

Tell Soriano he’s moving down and stick with it.

After all, Alfonso has been open-minded about such a move since meeting with Lou in January.

Plus, a decisive decision now leaves Alfonso all of Spring Training, which is two weeks longer due to the Classic, to prepare himself mentally for a change in the order.

Soriano says his legs feel great after the off season, but that’s not the point.

What’s significant is the guy has suffered multiply leg injuries during the past two seasons; and most importantly it’s imperative that his legs are strong come September.

Better, the Cubs’ 0-6 stretch in October with Soriano leading off warrants a change – along with many other factors, of course.

Another lineup change I’d make is moving Derek Lee from the three to the two-hole.

Lee does well taking pitches and making contact, but this team can do better than 20 HRs from the three-spot.

Throw in the 27 double-plays he hit into last season and there’s another reason to believe he’s more suited at the two.

And while Derek briefly regained his power early last year he managed just five home runs after the All Star break, and that doesn’t cut it down the stretch against the NL’s elite pitching staffs.

We keep hearing Lee has regained his power form, but the numbers have yet to show it.

So let the guy earn his spot in the order…if the power numbers go up and the DPs down, then by all means take a look with him as the No. 3.

Also, let’s not get too cute about the lefty vs. righty business either…let the players earn where they hit.

1. Theriot/Miles/Fontenot/Gathright

2. Lee (R)

3. Soriano (R)

4. Aramis (R)

5. Bradley (L)

6. Soto (R)

7. Fukudome (L)

8. Whoever is out at leadoff?

9. Zambrano, who else!


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