Friends, Colleagues, Etc.

So it appears as though some of my colleagues don't think too highly of the Cubs and Jim Hendry's choice of Lou Piniella as manager.

Everywhere we go, it seems someone affiliated with practically every club has something to say about the current state of affairs in the Cubs' organization. Everyone has an opinion. It's the nature of the business.

The same holds true of many of my colleagues here. Take for instance the veteran Dodger reporter Tot Holmes' reaction to the hiring of Piniella.

"Lou Piniella was barely adequate behind the microphone and chose, gulp, the Chicago Cubs over the San Francisco Giants for his managerial return," Tot writes in an article for the website LADugout.com (the Dodgers' equivalent to Inside The Ivy).

"After the Yankee job closed up, Piniella, 63, took the Cubs three year guarantee. In three years, Piniella will be 66, richer, and the Cubs will still not have won," Tot states.

(Speaking of not winning, the Dodgers still can't win in the modern playoff world of the post-1980s. In fact, since 1989, the Cubs have seven post-season victories; the Dodgers have one. I digress.)

Brian Walton, my friend and elder journalist who covers the St. Louis Cardinals for Scout.com, recently took time out of his coverage of the Redbirds' unscripted World Series run to devote his own essay to Piniella.

In Brian's case, his column isn't as hard-hitting -- at first glance. It begins as more of a well-placed, slightly facetious jab at the Cubs' futility with a few "quotes" from Piniella that upon further review are actually attributed to Dusty Baker in a story written four years ago by the Associated Press, introducing Baker as the new Cubs manager at the time.

Yes, the Cubs should only expect to receive their share of jabs from our St. Louis colleagues and others. Many of those same people like to point and laugh, but it's been said that those who laugh now often cry later.

Take the Detroit Tigers for instance. Three years ago, with a "fan's choice" candidate at the helm as manager, the Tigers won only 43 games. Now they look to win the World Series for the first time in their only two playoff appearances following the team's last championship in 1984.

Things some times have a way of turning around rather quickly, and Piniella was quick to reference the Tigers' 2006 success in his first news conference with reporters on Monday.

"You can see what happened in Detroit and how quickly it happened," Piniella said. "That's really what we'd like to emulate here."

He also said, "We're going to win here. That's really the end of the story."

If Piniella does win and win modestly, rest assured the crow will be served to my colleagues. If he doesn't, then keep the laughs coming, old friends.

Only time will tell, but I hope it's the former.


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