The experts have been saying that something had to give after the Cubs woeful performance this season, and it appears the skipper is taking the fall.
Manager Lou Pinella announced Tuesday that he would be retiring at the end of the season.
In a statement, Pinella thanked the Cubs organization for the opportunity to manage the club.
- "I've had four wonderful years here that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. I've grown to love the city and the fans but at my age (67 at the end of the season) it will be time to enter a new phase in my life. It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family – my wife, my kids and my grandchildren. God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love."
Piniella said he made the decision some time ago, but is announcing it now in order to not "mislead anyone about my intentions when asked in the future," and to give general manager Jim Hendry ample time to find a replacement.
But the skipper also says his work isn't done this season, and that his "sole focus" is to help the Cubs win games and get back into the pennant race.
Piniella led the Cubs to the playoffs in his first two seasons, but the team had disappointing first-round exits both times.
Eyes now turn to who will succeed Piniella. The top of the speculation list includes: bench coach Alan Trammel, Cubs broadcaster and former World Series-winning manager Bob Brenly, Cubs hall of famer and current minor leaguer Ryne Sandberg and former Cubs catcher and current Yankees manager Joe Girardi.