After leaving the Tampa Bay Rays in 2005, Lou Piniella took a year off from managing baseball and spent his time occasionally working games from the broadcast booth for Fox. It was Lou's first year off of managing since 1989, and from what he said about the job at the time, he enjoyed his time away from the dugout.
Of course, in 2007 Lou got the itch to manage again when the Cubs came calling, and now he's led them to their second straight division title, and even has some people thinking that the Cubs might win the World Series this year. Of course, at the age of 65, you have to wonder how much longer Lou plans on sticking around. It seems he's even wondering himself.
Cubs manager Lou Piniella is only one victory shy of his 1,700th career triumph as manager, but he seems to be weary of the long grind that accompanies the season.
"It has been a tough year," Piniella told the New York Daily News. "And sometimes it can really take a toll on you. I don't know how much longer I want to do this."
If the Cubs do go on to win the World Series, I would fully expect Piniella to retire and walk off into the sunset as a Chicago god. They'll erect statues of him throughout the city, and odds are August 28th (Lou's birthday) will be celebrated as if it were Christmas within the city limits.
If history repeats itself, and the Cubs don't win it all, then the picture gets a bit murkier. Lou is under contract through 2009 with an option for the 2010 season, so he'd probably return for next season, but nobody can be sure. Hank Steinbrenner has already made it clear he'd like to hire Lou for a consulting job with the Yankees the second he retires from managing.