Reports on Sunday morning are that Sunday's game against the Atlanta Braves will be Lou Piniella's final contest as manager of the Chicago Cubs.
Multiple media outlets are reporting that Piniella will step down as manager because of family reasons, endind his tenure as manager with a little over a month early. Piniella announced he was going to retire earlier this season, and has missed a number of games to deal with family concerns.
It's a shame, too.
Across the diamond on Sunday, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox is also retiring after this year and has dealt with a number of major injuries as well. Indeed, the rock of the Braves for almost all of Cox's reign, Chipper Jones, was lost for the rest of the season earlier in August to a knee injury.
And yet the Braves continue to overachieve, and are in first place.
Piniella will be replaced by Mike Quade for the rest of the season. And the questions can begin early regarding who will replace Piniella full-time in 2011.
The Chicago Tribune's David Kaplan has long maintained that, if he wants it, Joe Girardi is the man. Considering Kaplan's track record, it's hard to argue with anything he believes in so strongly.
Personally, I hope it goes to Ryne Sandberg. If he can be as successful as another former middle infield star has been on the South Side, the home town hero could grow his legend as the manager next year. He's worked his way up through the minors, so he knows a lot of the players that will make an impact in the coming years at Wrigley.
Either way, I hope the Ricketts Family brings back a former player to run the show. Cubs fans, and Piniella, deserved better this year. It's time to get things right.