Lou Piniella said he is retiring following today's game against the Braves, rather than staying for the rest of the season, as originally planned. He reportedly changed his mind because of his mom's ailing health, so we wish for his sake the circumstances were far different, but this is probably also the best thing for the Cubs.
The team is in a nose-dive, having backed up the truck to unload big-contract vets and re-load with young guns from the minors. Best to get into the full wait 'til next year rebuilding mode, which includes trying out new management candidates and getting the young guys used to the fact that Lou will no longer be running the show.
Mike Quade is perhaps a surprise choice to take over as interim manager the rest of the season. I would have figure on Alan Trammell, who many of us though was a candidate to replace Piniella next year. But, it looks like GM Jim Hendry informed Trammell he will not be the next manager, so that makes things interesing for next year. If Quade does well, could he become manager full-time and perhaps include Ryne Sandberg on his coaching staff, or is Quade merely keep the seat warm for the next guy--whether he thinks so or not? And what will come of Trammell?