Lou Piniella Has Eyes for Curt Schilling

Playoff-concerned manager would love Schilling's intangibles

It's no secret the Chicago Cubs have had their fair share of playoff disappointments, not least of which came in 2008. The Cubs' otherwise magical year -- punctuated by a slogan of "It's Gonna Happen" -- was ended abruptly in the first round of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Naturally, this set off an annual time of angst in Cubdom. Suddenly, a team that won 93 games wasn't good enough anymore. They weren't "built for the playoffs." They needed to change. They did.

The latest in these proposed changes is, maybe, Curt Schilling, who wondered aloud on his blog Saturday about coming back to baseball for one more year. He said he was interested in playing for either the Tampa Bay Rays or the Chicago Cubs, and as Tom Fornelli wrote yesterday, he'd make a pretty decent fifth starter on a Cubs team that is currently holding an open audition for the spot.

The next step is to find what Lou Piniella thinks. And guess what? Lou seems to be interested:

Though some suggest Schilling is out of shape and over the hill, manager Lou Piniella appears intrigued. "This guy, he's a pro," Piniella said. "I don't know how accurate [the reports] are, but if you get a pitcher with his credentials and his winning habits, it would be something to explore."

It's obvious why Lou is interested. He has a team that faltered in the playoffs last year. The explanation for that collapse usually has something to do with players putting too much pressure on themselves, or something. Lou probably believes that he needs someone like Schilling, someone who has won before, someone to show the younger guys what winning a World Series really takes.

The problem is that for anything less than a really cheap contract, all Schilling would offer is intangibles. He can't pitch anymore. If intangibles are worth whatever money Schilling wants, great. Go for it. If not, the Cubs ought to stay away. It's really as simple as that.

Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.

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