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Piniella is cute when he talks about Cubs, World Series

Jan 13, 2010, 10:24 PM EDT

You’ve got to love baseball’s offseason. In addition to the non-stop carousel of rumors, free-agent signings and blockbuster trades, you’ve got the sense of eternal optimism heading into the upcoming season (unless you’re a Royals fan). No one is in last place. No one is cursed, and no one is worried about Milton Bradley.

Which brings me to Lou Piniella’s statements on his Cubs, as told by Carrie Muskat of

“I’m looking forward to a team that will win this division again and give itself another chance to go on and get a World Series win,” the Cubs’ manager said Wednesday at Harry Caray’s Restaurant, a stop on the winter caravan. “That’s what I’m hoping for, and that’s what we’re striving for.”

Piniella points out that the Cubs won 83 games and finished second in the NL Central despite having 10 players miss at least 20 games, and also hints that the removal of Bradley from their delicate clubhouse will help.

… if we can win 83 games with all those problems and all those injuries and we stay relatively healthy this year, we can add another eight, 10 wins and get to the postseason and win in the postseason.”

He’s so adorable when he’s optimistic. I hate to rain on his parade, but here’s why the Cubs won’t win the World Series:

  • The Cubs are 0-6 in the postseason under Piniella, and those teams were relatively healthy and sans-Bradley. Though I don’t believe in curses, those previous playoff teams folded as soon as they ran into any adversity, almost as if they expected to lose.
  • The Cubs are already battling injury problems, with left-handed starter Ted Lilly, their only All-Star in 2009, expected to miss at least the first month of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery.
  • Carlos Silva, the man Chicago acquired in the Bradley trade, is expected to improve clubhouse chemistry and possibly take Lilly’s spot in the rotation. The problem is, Silva sucks. Also, he was not a particularly good clubhouse presence in Seattle, calling out teammates publicly despite carrying no leadership weight because, well, he sucks. Did I mention he sucks?
  • And finally: Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and the St. Louis Cardinals.

A championship for the Cubs? Go ahead and dream about it while you can, Lou.

  1. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 10:51 PM

    And of course there’s that prion-vectored neurological wasting disease first identified among the brain-eating natives of New Guinea identified in The Journal of Irreproducible Results as De vloek van de Geitebok. It is thought to be caused by a prion closely related to Kuru, which also causes its victims to grin idiotically as the end approaches. Clearly, it has infected the home clubhouse at Wrigley Field and remains a problem a century after the initial infection. I’d rather have my laboratory contaminated with HeLa cells.

  2. Jonny5 - Jan 13, 2010 at 11:01 PM

    Wasn’t Pinella like the only player to be thrown out at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and home, all in the same game??? Just saying…………….
    Now maybe some extra goat carcasses hanging from the Harry Caray statue will help them get there this season?????? Naaaaa, or is that Baaaaa?

  3. G - Jan 13, 2010 at 11:23 PM

    Well this IS a good sign…predicting the Cubs will suck…
    You give me hope, Bob

  4. Bob Harkins - Jan 13, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    I didn’t predict the Cubs would suck, only that they won’t win the World Series. I did, however, predict that Carlos Silva will suck. Next, week I’m predicting that it will rain in Seattle.

  5. willmose - Jan 14, 2010 at 8:40 AM

    Bob, can you find out where Lou gets that stuff he’s smoking? It must be good to let him drift away from reality like that. My prediction? Gravity will once again be suspend on the north side of Chicago. There is not reason for it as the Cubs sucking will keep everything attached to the earth.

  6. Kevin - Jan 14, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    I am not sure what I am missing, but why… why… is Milton Bradley such a hot item ? Go back to the 2008 off-season. You had two players available… we will call them Player A and Player B.
    Player A was 31 and had ONE season of over 75 RBI (and only 4 of 10 yrs over 50 !), with a lifetime ave of .280 and never over 20 stolen bases. Player B was 34 and had 12 seasons of 74 or more RBI, with a lifetime ave of .300 and 12 yrs over 20 stolen. Player A gets $10 mil a yr for 3 yrs; Player B gets $5 mil, for 1 yr. Oh… and Player A is a cancer while Player B is a strong clubhouse presence.
    Why, oh why, is Player A believed to have SO much potential ? He is going to be 32 this year and yet all anyone says about him is his “potential” and how, if healthy and if he does not blow up, that he might… might….. be a force in their lineup.
    And, yes… A is Bradley… B is Abreu.

  7. smokehouse - Jan 14, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    You don’t know if he “dreams” until the 1010 season is over. OK?

  8. Sven-Erik - Jan 14, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    But of course the Cubs will make it to the World Series this year, against the Mariners…

  9. shely - Jan 14, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Now we are out for Lou. I personally don’t think much of Lou as a level headed calm articulate person, but I do know that he is one of the best b aseball stratigists in the country. Yes, he is one of the best managers we have had in Cinti., and as long as the Cubs keep him, they can dream. They only reason we don’t still have him here, is that nutcase owner Marge Schott who promised the team to an untested; no manager experience guy; who was her friend. Case closed. But give Lou credit for having a plan to win. He may suceed, but then again it is the Cubs. Lets get off Lou’s back though.

  10. Pete Pugliese - Jan 14, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    The Cubs will win the Central and the World Series. Bounce back Years for Zambrano, Soriano, Marmol 50 saves and the McGuire fiasco brings down the Cards as Pujols fails his drug test!

  11. Tim - Jan 14, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    What do you want Piniella to say, “We’re aiming for 2nd again this year.” What a crock of CRAP! I realize I will never regain the 60 seconds of my life I wasted reading this “editorial”. I would LOVE to see what Bob Harkins will write in his annual review:
    “My plan for this fiscal year is to be just as mediocre as I was the last. There’s no plan on improvement, because I suck. When it comes to a raise, did I mention that I SUCK?”

  12. Bob Harkins - Jan 14, 2010 at 5:48 PM

    Piniella can say whatever he wants, Tim, and guess what? I get to make fun of him when he comes across as delusional. And then you get to make fun of me in the comments section. See, aren’t blogs fun? So lets have some fun out there ok? This game is fun dammit! And thanks for the tip on my review, I’ll redo it now and follow your advice. Can’t have the bosses having high expectations.

  13. Brian - Jan 14, 2010 at 7:17 PM

    I have to somewhat agree with Bob on the Bradley/Silva trade. We traded a piece of crap for another piece of crap. Numbers don’t lie. I still think the Cubs should take a look at Ben Sheets and give him a contract, albeit incentive laden.

  14. MVD - Jan 15, 2010 at 5:24 AM

    The Cardinals could put Carpenter at First, Wainwright in LF, and have Pujols and Holliday start every 5 days and still be better than the Cubs.

  15. arow900 - Jan 15, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Here in the Chicago area we don’t take the Cubs as a contender until September. We shall see , but again we will wait till September and decide if they are worth the breath.

  16. Ctre - Jan 15, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    This just in, Cubs have been mathimaticly eliminated from the 2010 baseball playoffs.

  17. DIVINEMSM - Jan 15, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    I am a die-hard cub fan and have been for over 55 years. Yes, the Cubs will win the World series with Lou Pinella. He is the best manager in baseball. After the drugs are taken away from Pujols, he will be nothing but a washed up has been. He is a sorry example for baseball and should be kicked out of the league. I do agree that the Cubs organization should take a good look at Ben Sheets. GO CUBBIES GO – YOU CAN WIN IT AND YOU WILL WIN IT IN 2010.

  18. Florida727 - Jan 15, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    Bob, I think you’re the first column writer I’ve actually seen respond to the blog on his own columns. Hope that’s common for you. If it is, I’ll definitely make it a point to seek out your comments, whether I agree with them or not. That’s what sports is for anyway. Thanks for your work, and no, you can’t use this message for your meeting with your bosses :) By the way, HOPING for a Cubs World Series win is, in and of itself, a sporting event. Go Northsiders!

  19. Ken - Jan 15, 2010 at 4:18 PM

    I lived on the South side and we didnt have a choice what to watch on WGN. We would listen to Jack Brickhouse’s excitement about the Cubs game and season. One thing was certain, the Cubs always found a way to lose. I dont know who was funnier the 3 stooges or the 9 stooges on the field.

  20. arow900 - Jan 18, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    dream on !!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. JayT - Feb 10, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    I don’t understand why everyone thinks it’s such a foregone conclusion that the Cards will win the Central. Last year the Cubs had a better team ERA then the Cardinals, and I really don’t see that changing this year. Yeah, the Cardinals 1-2 punch is better then the Cubs, but it falls off quick after that. Also, I think Wainwright has peaked, and I think Carpenter spending the whole year on DL is just as likely as him being Cy Young quality again. Franklin was a fluke in the bullpen. There’s no way he repeats those numbers with how poor his periferals are.
    Hitting-wise, the Cardinals have huge holes at short, third, and right. The Cubs have a lot of question marks too, but I think last year was pretty much a worst-case Scenario. I just don’t see Soriano and Soto have that bad of years again, and Aramis should be healthier.
    I think that the Cardinals are the team to beat, but I also think they are an 85 win team. If the Cubs can manage to be healthy, I can see them walking away with the division like they did in 08.

  22. Rowan Campbell - Feb 22, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    I have been and avid Cubs fan going on 18 years now.
    Iam optimistic about this year.
    They can compete in 2010.
    They have a new cf who plays solid defense and hits for some power.
    I can’t wait for the season to start.
    lou Piniella knows what it takes to win .
    Go Cubs!

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