Cubs manager Lou Piniella has had enough and is going to step down from his post as the team’s manager after Sunday’s series finale against the Braves. This according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Third base coach Mike Quade will take over on an interim basis for the rest of 2010.
Piniella announced last month that he planned to retire at the conclusion of this season. The Cubs have been nothing short of awful since he made that decision public, though, and ‘Sweet Lou’ no longer wants to handle the pain. That, and his mother is in bad health and checking in on her would require travel days that Lou figured might distract the team.
There is going to be a big hunt for a new skipper this winter in Chicago and plenty of big names will be thrown around. Sure, the Cubbies haven’t won a World Series in close to 102 years, but the glory of being the man that carries that fan base to the promised land is attractive beyond the multi-million dollar salary. Ryne Sandberg, currently managing the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Iowa, is expected to be a candidate. Quade will also be considered, according to MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat.
Pineilla hoped to lead the Cubs and their massive following to the Fall Classic but did not succeed. He currently stands 316-292 as manager of the Cubs with one game to play. Lou led ’em to first place finishes in his first two seasons but never past the NLDS.
The Braves have signed former football player and current outfielder Sanders Commings, an Augusta, Georgia native, to a minor league contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports.
Commings, 26, was a defensive back who played for the University of Georgia before being selected by the Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2013 draft. He appeared in two games in the 2013 season.
Commings also played baseball for Westside High School and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 37th round of the 2008 draft. He chose to attend the University of Georgia instead. When football didn’t pan out, Commings started training with Jerry Hairston, Jr. Hairston said he was “blown away” when he saw Commings hit for the first time.
Obviously, Commings’ path to success as a professional baseball player will be long, but it’s a no-risk flier for the Braves. The club has past experience with football players, including Deion Sanders and Brian Jordan.
The next task for the Braves will be to acquire Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays. That way, players will look at the lineup card each day to see if it’s Commings or Goins.
On Thursday afternoon, Rays pitcher Chris Archer asked his Twitter followers, “Lots swirling around what needs to be changed about the game of baseball. What do y’all want to see changed, if anything, & why?”
Tigers ace Justin Verlander responded:
To that, Archer said:
For what it’s worth, Verlander hasn’t been much of a hitter. In 47 career plate appearances, he has three singles and no extra-base hits. And if the AL did get rid of the DH rule, the Tigers would have nowhere to put Victor Martinez. Verlander, though, would have an easier time pitching to opposing pitchers rather than their DH’s.