Baseball wagering fans have learned that Cubs manager Lou Piniella will retire at the end of the season, which may alter their approach with the baseball odds.
Just two years ago the Cubs were the toast of the town as the top team in the National League and the overwhelming favorite to make the World Series. But Chicago came up flat in their playoff series against the Los Angeles Dodgers and finished out of the money in the wild card round in an epic upset that reinforced their reputation as losers.
Piniella and the Cubs never recovered and slumped badly last year with the hangover continuing in the 2010 season.
Chicago had a record of 43-52 at the time of the announcement and was 10 games behind the first place St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central division.
The Cubs were struggling in all aspects of the game as they ranked 23rd in run production and 16th for staff earned run average.
“I said when I came here, one of my first statements, I wasn’t going to be a lifer,” said Piniella. “I did say that. I also said this was going to be my last job. I wouldn’t manage anywhere else. And I’m holding true to those.”
Piniella is 66 years of age and has been in the game for almost 50 years. He began his major league career as the 1969 American League rookie of the year with the Kansas City Royals.
While Piniella doesn’t want to be called a lifer, Cubs general manager Jim Hendry disagrees.
“He’s a lifer,” said Hendry. “He’s been in the game all his life. I’m sure he’ll want to be back in some capacity.”
Piniella admitted he would consider a consulting job. But his days as a bench manager and the daily MLB gambling grind that comes with it may be over.
“I enjoy this game, I really do,” said Sweet Lou. “So that would be a good way to stay involved, but not in an everyday basis.”
The Cubs hired Piniella as a big name power manager to help them end their 100 year World Series drought. Although they made the playoffs in Piniella’s first two seasons on the job they have also caused considerable baseball wagering frustration as a team that has failed to live up to its potential and with increasingly sloppy play.