I missed this yesterday, but Buster Olney heard a rumor (Insider only, alas):
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.
Beyond the shouting match he had with Milton Bradley back in June, we haven’t really seen the Lou Piniella we’ve come to know and love this season. With the kind of year the Cubs have had, a fully-invested Piniella would have acted more like, well, Lou Piniella.
Olney’s note of context caution notwithstanding, I’m inclined to think that Piniella is done with managing, and all that is left is to determine whether the Cubs want him back for the final year of his contract or if, alternatively, they want to begin the Ryne Sandberg era in 2010 instead of 2011.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.