As Chicago Cubs fans, it seemed clear to us all that former manager Lou Piniella had lost his fire – indeed, he’d lost it as many as two years ago.
But of course, how much do we really know about that kind of stuff? Sure, we see Lou during the games and in post-game press conferences, but maybe behind closed doors he was as spitfire as ever?
Small news, maybe, but nah.
Even veteran Carlos Zambrano, tonight’s starting pitcher, is embracing Quade and the idea of a fresh start.
”It is,” Zambrano said. ”I think Q is more hyper than Lou. He has more energy. But we need to do our job anyway, whether with Lou or Q or [Alan] Trammell. We need to play for our team, we need to play for us and whatever we need to do we have to do it.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.
Does a manager’s energy translate to player performance on the field? Ask 10 people and you’ll get 10 answers. But the fact that a player is noting Quade’s energy specifically as higher than Piniella’s suggests that Lou was checked out and the players knew it.
EDIT: To clarify – I read Z’s quote as saying Piniella was not particularly fiery or enthusiastic in recent weeks/months, because, to suggest that the new guy has more energy than Piniella is to say that Piniella is no longer the top dog when it comes to his hallmark. Combined with what we all saw in Piniella’s press conferences, it sounds to me like managing the Cubs simply didn’t hold the same excitement for Lou as it once did – that’s what I mean by checked out, and I don’t think it’s a particularly shocking conclusion.