It's not that any of this would make a difference in the Cubs' season -- yelling and screaming doesn't help players heal faster or hit better -- but it does seem weird. Where's the Lou we know and love?
If Buster Olney's sources are correct (subscription required), we may have our answer. Piniella just doesn't really feel like managing all that much anymore:
Lou Piniella has told others that one way or the other, 2010 will be his last season managing. Now, keep in mind that Piniella is at the end of what has been an enormously disappointing season for the Cubs; Piniella saying he doesn't want to manage past 2010 to friends is a little like an exhausted parent saying he/she doesn't want to have any more kids after putting a rowdy toddler to bed at 9 p.m. Consider the context.
Even with context, it'd be pretty hard to blame Lou for wanting to call it a career after 2010. The man is 66 years old. He's been in baseball for his entire life. He probably, and this is just a hunch given Piniella's usual vacation preferences, wouldn't mind going full-time on the beach trips. Who would?
When you add to that the combination that in 2009, the Cubs were hard for even their own fans to watch -- they weren't bad enough to be compelling, even; they were just monochromatically mediocre -- and all the various day-to-day nonsense the manager of the Cubs has to put up with, Piniella's lack of enthusiasm for managing in Wrigley beyond 2010 makes perfect sense. Frankly, we'd probably feel the same way, and we're one-third Piniella's age.
If it's true, hopefully 2010 will be the proper send-off. And then someone who actually cares about managing baseball on a daily basis can take over. Great idea, right?
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.