It seemed as if every time Piniella's name was mentioned in rumors or when he eventually was hired, local television stations ran the same video clips of Piniella going ballistic with umpires or throwing bases.
Needless to say, Cubs fans were pumped up.
But Piniella, 63, might not live up to that hyperactive hype. He's almost embarrassed by his past outbursts and is not sure how much ranting he is going to do in his Cubs tenure.
"Look, I'm not proud of those things -- I'm really not," Piniella said. "I hope the people in Chicago don't expect those things from me. I take pride in the fact that I won over 1,500 games as a major league manager and that we get our teams to play and our players to enjoy playing.
"But those other things -- hopefully at 63 I won't have that kind of 'fun' on the field anymore."
If Piniella can turn things around right away, Cubs fans won't care if he falls asleep in the dugout.
But if things aren't going so well, they'll hope he tosses out a well-timed tantrum or two, or he will fall into the same disfavor as many past Cubs skippers.
BY THE NUMBERS: .378 -- Batting average for the Cubs with the bases loaded in 2006, second best in the major leagues.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We have gamesmanship on our side, too." -- New Cubs skipper Lou Piniella on hooking up many times with St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who has a reputation for gamesmanship.