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Who Will Succeed Lou Piniella?

Gordon Wittenmyer at the Sun-Times runs down some of the candidates, in addition to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who played for the Cubs and is a native of Peoria:

Other than Class AAA manager Ryne Sandberg, who has spent four seasons rising through the club’s minor-league managerial ranks since interviewing for the job Piniella got, Hendry says he doesn’t have a firm start to his list of candidates.

Hendry said he’ll consider members of the coaching staff, which means bench coach Alan Trammell is certain to get an interview and probably also third-base coach Mike Quade, who interviewed in 2006.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre and even Cardinals manager Tony La Russa have been popular names for early speculation, but those celebrity managers don’t fit the Cubs’ stated mission of a long-term hire even close to as well as Girardi does.

Also, Cubs owner Tom Ricketts made it clear that GM Jim Hendry would be staying and would make the choice:

The bigger issue, and I put it to Tom Ricketts directly, is the future of Jim Hendry. Tom was as direct in return, saying that Jim would lead the charge for new manager of the Cubs and would be the GM going into 2011. All indications were pointing that way, what with Ricketts being very pleased with Hendry hires Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita, who have worked with the scouts to rebuild the minor-league system.

And one of the reasons that Sandberg or Girardi might be a good choice, knowing what it’s like to be a Cub, is, as Rick Morrissey writes, that Lou didn’t know what he was getting into when he came to Chicago:

’’It’s a bigger job than what you think coming in,‘’ Piniella said Tuesday during an exclusive interview with the Sun-Times. ’’It’s a more demanding job than what you think coming in. It really is. … Here, it’s a big challenge.’’

This from a man who cut his teeth as a manager working for George Steinbrenner and the New York Yankees.

‘’They won,’’ Piniella said of the Yankees. ‘’They had a winning history to bank on. That’s the big thing.’’