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It has long been assumed, and indeed confirmed by the man himself, that Chicago Cubs Manager Lou Piniella would be hanging up his clipboard after 2010, the final year of his deal with the Cubs.

But now, for the first time, Piniella has left open the door to returning in 2011. Somewhere Ryne Sandberg is spitting. Of the possibility of returning after 2010, Piniella was curiously obtuse:

”Let’s just wait and see,” Piniella said during a 1990 Reds team reunion in Cincinnati on his way to the winter meetings this week in Indianapolis. ”Look, I wouldn’t manage this year if I didn’t have the competitiveness and the desire to win. I look forward to this team bouncing back from last year and playing really, really well and giving ourselves a chance in postseason again.

”I don’t know [what it would take to want to return]. I like to talk about our baseball team, our organization. I don’t like to talk about myself. We’ll see what happens. I enjoy what I do, and as long as the organization is pleased — but let’s see. I’m 66 years old. I’m no spring chicken.”

The Cubs have had no talks with Piniella about 2011 or beyond, a team source said. But they haven’t talked about 2010 being his final season with the club, either. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

Piniella did not exactly acquit himself well in 2009 (his reluctance to allow Jake Fox to fill in for Aramis Ramirez being a noted failing), and his pervasive stubbornness – read: penchant for putting guys in the doghouse – can be frustrating.

But more than that, my greatest complaint with respect to Piniella has always been his salary. Lou Piniella makes $4 million per year. I’m sorry, but that’s just crazy. How much more value does he bring to the club than your average, run-of-the-mill $500k manager? Consider this: last year at this time, we were told the Cubs had to deal Mark DeRosa in order to clear enough payroll space to sign Milton Bradley. DeRosa made $5.5 million last year.

Just think about it.

  • KB

    Lou is fine. Pleasant. Decent. OK.

    It’s truly laughable that he and Dusty Baker are 2 of the highest-paid managers.

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