Friday, March 29, 2013

For Sweet Lou, Life's a Pitch

Lou  Piniella, the fiery former Major League baseball player, manager, and general manager is enjoying his retirement these days. He's providing color commentary on a handful of Yankees games on the YES Network and will be throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day (4/1) when the Yankees start their season against the Boston Red Sox.

Sweet Lou spent parts of 18 years in the big leagues, the final 11 with the Yankees (1974-1984). In a steal of a deal, Piniella came to the Yankees from Kansas City with pitcher Ken Wright for reliever Lindy McDaniel. He split time between the corner outfields and DH, hit .295 as a Yankee and won two World Series titles.

He managed the Yankees in 1986 and 1987 (179-145) and was then moved up to general manager so George Steinbrenner could bring Billy Martin back as manager yet again. Of course, Martin didn't make it to the end of the season (fired on 6/23) and Piniella finished out the season as manager with a 45-49 record. Steinbrenner fired Piniella in favor of Dallas Green (still shaking my head at that move, but Syd Thrift's hire as Senior VP of baseball operation was an even worse replacement for Piniella).

Piniella went on to manage the Cincinnati Reds (World Series title in 1990), Seattle Mariners (AL record 116 wins), Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Chicago Cubs.  Piniella was going to step down after the 2010 season, but left after 125 games to be with his critically ill mother.

No comments:

Post a Comment