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Replacing Dusty Baker

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Looks like Lou Piniella is about to become the new Cubs manager:

Negotiations between the Cubs and their top managerial candidate advanced so quickly Sunday, the team expects to complete talks today and introduce Lou Piniella as their new manager by Tuesday, according to team and industry sources.

..."I think we'll be ready to announce something in the next couple of days," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said Sunday night. "I've been very pleased with how this process has gone."

All that's left, I gather, is sorting out the finances.  Piniella, like Baker, isn't likely to come cheap. Baker made $3.25 million last year, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Piniella at that level or higher. For reference, Tony LaRussa is in the same neighborhood as those guys,  Ned Yost (and most managers of his ilk) makes $1 million per year, and Joe Torre makes $7M.

I'm getting off-topic here, but I wonder if this shouldn't be the next way in which "smart" teams keep payroll down.  True, the difference between a nobody and Piniella/Baker is only $2-$2.5 million, but if there's no real performance difference between a decent manager and a famous one (note I don't say "good") that's money down the drain.  After all, the Devil Rays spent a lot of money paying Piniella to lead them to the cellar.  

Let's hope Sweet Lou can provide the same return on investment in Chicago.