The Cubs magic number is at four, and considering they have a nine-game lead with only thirteen games left on the schedule, it's pretty safe to say they're going to win the NL Central and going to the playoffs for the second straight season. It would be the first time they've accomplished that since 1907.
The Cubs appear poised to offer manager Lou Piniella a contract extension at the end of the season. The team already has had preliminary talks with him, but the issue has been tabled until the offseason, Cubs chairman Crane Kenney said.
''Lou's done a great job here,'' Kenney said. ''We look around the league, and there isn't anybody else I'd rather have in the dugout right now than Lou. And I think he feels good about what's happening.
''But it's a grind. Making decisions with two weeks to go, I don't think it's a smart thing to do, and I think they would agree with me. Let's get the job done, and then we'll address it.''
The Cubs are also looking to give general manager Jim Hendry an extension as well.
Keeping Piniella in pinstripes a bit longer would be a smart move for the Cubs, as he's shown an ability to handle the position and spotlight that comes with the gig pretty well. Right now the only question is at the age of 65, will Lou want to stick around any longer.