The Anti-Piniella Post
About eight months ago, Jim Hendry was faced with a choice. After giving Chicago four of the worst years imaginable under the ...uh, the "guidance" of Dusty Baker, Jim was given the task of hiring a new manager. He considered a number of options. From Ryne Sandberg to Lou Piniella, the options were numerous and Cub fans were optimistic that he'd make the right choice.
Jim Hendry didn't make the right choice.
I'm not saying I hate Lou Piniella. Far from it, he brings a lot to the table that Dusty Baker didn't. He doesn't take crap from his players, he actually seems angry when they lose, and he talks a lot about fundamentals in a way that Dusty never did.
And yet, there was this other guy available who wanted to manage for the Cubs. This was a guy who, in his first year as a manager, won the Manager of the Year award. He was able to get maximum effort from his team while getting that same team to like him. Joe Girardi wanted to manage for the Cubs.
Instead of Joe, the Cubs got a guy who vocally criticizes his players, who hasn't seemingly done anything to fix his team's mental mistakes, and who is allegedly already losing his team in June. I can't help but wonder if Girardi would've been a better fit, as we'd originally believed back in October.
Anyway. The Cubs won again yesterday, taking two of three from the Brewers. That's great news. It's nice to see that even a dead-to-the-neck-up ballteam can beat a first place squad like the Brew Crew.
They did it behind the arm of Carlos Zambrano (depicted above during his legendary fight with Michael Barrett), who just maybe had a turning point after having hit rock bottom last week when he pummelled his catcher. The Cubs next play the Braves - for the second time in a month - and we'll see how they do. Keep your fingers crossed, and hope that Girardi will still be available once Lou is long gone.