Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

They’re Not Booing…

They’re cheering, “Lou! Lou!”

The votes have been tallied, and the experts at the Tribune all agree: Lou’s dreamy!

Forgive me if I’m not nearly as sanguine in my feelings. I know the punditocracy has proclaimed Piniella to be the best candidate available, and Cub Fans are pumped because he’s the anti-Dusty as far as personality goes…but how do these kudos make the team any better?

Unless Piniella can magically poop out a leadoff hitter, or can browbeat Marshall, Guzman, O’Malley, et al, into throwing a sprocking strike every once in a while, I don’t see how much of an immediate impact he will have.

And for all the gab that Piniella will stress solid, fundamental baseball…what good will that do if the team isn’t as talented as the competition? I guess instead of losing 9-2, we’ll lose 5-3 – and look darned good in the process!

As far as Piniella being a Proven Winner™, consider this, which I will shamelessly steal from something Jim wrote before:

He didn’t win jack in New York, despite having guys like Rickey Henderson, Don Mattingly, Dave Winfield, Ron Guidry, and Dave Righetti on his roster.

He won a World Series in Cincinnati. As well he should have with a roster that included Barry Larkin, Eric Davis, Jose Rijo, Rob Dibble, Paul O’Neill, and Randy Myers.

He won 116 games one year in Seattle – when he had Ken Griffey Jr., Ichiro, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, and Jaimie Moyer at his beck and call.

He then went to Tampa Bay…and didn’t do a damned thing. Not that he was expected to win another 116 games, but there was little (if any) proof of improvement.In other words, Piniella’s a Proven Winner™ – as long as he has good players to work with. Unless Jim Hendry can upgrade the lineup at several positions, it won’t matter if we have Lou Piniella, Lou Grant, or Lou Rawls at the helm.

Oh, with Piniella we might win 72 games instead of 67. But we’ll still be 20-odd games out of first place, so who cares?

Ironically, Dr. Phil offered a similar take in his column today. Of course, he never mentioned that we might need better players for the last week, when he was carping that Jim Hendry would be a foolish fool if he didn’t hire Piniella. But now that Piniella is on board, he has to shift his script slightly so that Hendry will still be a foolish fool if the Cubs don’t win 162 games next year. After all, Lou can’t be blamed for anything. At least until he does something to tick off the press corps.

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