We all knew it was coming, but it's a sad day nevertheless: Lou Pinella has been bought out of his contract by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The whole Pinella-in-Tampa deal was a quixotic one from the get-go, and, as we all suspected, it seemed to drive Pinella insane. There was the (pictured) dying-of-hair incident, the blatant screams for help from the bench and, our favorite, the time he threatened to start the game with relievers on the mound, with starters taking over in the third inning.
Pinella's time in Tampa will ultimately be an amusing footnote in both his life and the D-Rays', who, ironically enough, are primed for a breakout with a new manager. Pinella will take a new job — in the Bronx, perhaps? — and his tenure will seem like Pete Rose playing for the Expos, or Joe Gibbs coaching under Daniel Snyder. We'll all just forget that it happened, even though it was often so, so fun.