Road to Opening Day: #41

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Pitchers and catchers have reported, and now everyone else will report today with the first full squad workout tomorrow.  You can follow our countdown to Opening Day in Pittsburgh here.

Managers Come and Managers Go…

The Cubs have had more managers in their history than I care to keep track of, but in my time as a Cubs fan, I think I miss Lou Piniella the most.  Of course we’ve had the College of Coaches, Dusty Baker allegedly breaking pitchers, Mike Quade‘s goofy player nicknames and Dale Sveum‘s defensive shifts.  But Sweet Lou was one of the most memorable, winning a Manager of the Year award in 2008 when the Cubs went wire-to-wire before sputtering in the playoffs.

Lou Piniella, Rob Drake

One of my favorite plays was when Lou put Sean Marshall in left field to save his only LOOGY.  It’s too bad I never saved the video, but Lou also had Jeff Baker and Alfonso Soriano do a dos-a-dos between second and third base at the end of a game when he had no more bench players and needed to get the last few outs.

Speaking of shifts, I really enjoyed this one with TOOTBLAN master Ryan Theriot, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee:

After Lou had to retire due to his mother’s declining health, Mike Quade took over and started making up some weird nicknames for all the Cubs players.  Quade wasn’t a terrible manager really…he was just dealt a bad hand and happened to be the scapegoat (along with former GM Jim Hendry) when the Ricketts family decided to change the guard and bring in Theo Epstein.  But Quade did some good of his own off the field:

Dale Sveum had his fair share of ejections and eventually became the fall guy when players like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro took a step back, while Brett Jackson completely forgot how to make contact. However, his use of defensive shifts was very noticeable, both when they worked (most of the time) and when they didn’t.

It remains to be seen what Rick Renteria will do, but one thing is for sure…the manager will always show you something that will entertain and/or surprise you.

41 more sleeps…

About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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