Around and Around We'll Go

By Chris Rewers on Friday, July 23, 2010

The news that Lou Piniella will step down as Cubs manager following the season wasn't earth-shaking news.

The facts that he is in the final year of a four-year contract and will turn 67 on Aug. 28 made us suspect long ago that the end of the 2010 season would conclude the Piniella era at Wrigley Field. But the timing of the announcement, which was caused by Piniella's chatty agent, could not have been worse.

Uncle Lou wants the focus to remain on the team and Jim Hendry seemed surprised to be asked questions about who will be the Cubs' next manager, but like it or not, the breathless speculation will be the story on the North Side for the next three months.

We haven't participated in the speculation frenzy because we already covered that ground weeks ago and frankly, little has changed in regard to who the candidates are. The story will not move forward until Hendry starts the interview process at the conclusion of the season.

The stories we will be reading regarding the managerial vacancy in the coming weeks won't provide us with any news, but many trees will perish as unimaginative editors and reporters play their games. Instead of doing their jobs and telling us what happens, they will attempt to make it happen. Instead of letting events move the story, members of the media will feel it their duty to move the story along themselves. It is contrived and phony.

The news cycle of the managerial opening will spin around and around in a predictable fashion until the end of the season. The tired formula includes speculation or a rumor, reaction to the speculation or the rumor, and reaction to the reaction of the speculation or the rumor. One scenario could play out like this:

1. The Yankees lose 10 in a row and fall out of first place.

2. Hal Steinbrenner criticizes Joe Girardi's management of the Yankees bullpen.

3. The New York Daily News reports that through an anonymous source they have learned that Girardi is interested in the Cubs job.

4. An anonymous source from the Cubs front office tells Bruce Levine that the Cubs would be interested in interviewing Girardi at the end of the season.

5. Paul Sullivan throws a temper tantrum because the information was not leaked to him.

6. Jim Hendry is asked about Girardi, but wonders why he is being asked about the managerial vacancy.

7. Lou Piniella is asked about his opinion of Girardi.

8. Ryne Sandberg is asked about his opinion of Girardi.

9. Bob Brenly is asked about his opinion of Girardi.

10. Cubs players are asked about their opinion of Girardi.

11. Girardi is asked to respond to the opinions of Piniella, Sandberg, Brenly, and Cubs players.

12. The Sun-Times reports that a source has confirmed that Brenly will get an interview after the season.

13. The cycle repeats.

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