Cubs manager Lou Piniella surprised insiders by announcing he would return from retirement to manage the 2010 Cubs through the end of the season. Many close to the Cubs believed Piniella was finished coaching more than a year ago.

“When I heard Lou was stepping down at the end of this season, I couldn’t believe it because that meant he was going to start managing again,” said Derrek Lee, who has been motivated by Piniella’s decision and will unretire himself. “I figured he had checked out for good after the 2008 season.”

Other former Cubs standouts are following Piniella’s lead to come out of retirement, including Ryan Theriot, who last competed at a Major League level in late-2009.

“To see Lou go from completely hanging it up nearly two years ago to deciding to go back out there and earn a paycheck has me thinking I should do the same,” said Theriot. “I really didn’t have anything going on the rest of the summer so playing one last half-season for Lou should be a lot of fun.”