Furture uncertain for Cub boss Lou
Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010 5:18 pm
By: By GREG BELL,
SEATTLE (AP) — Lou Piniella heard the roar from the Seattle crowd. He smiled and raised his right arm to wave to the people he helped thrill during the city’s baseball heyday in the 1990s.
It was quite the day for the Chicago Cubs manager.
Piniella got a warm ovation when he presented the lineup card before Chicago opened a rare series at the Mariners on Tuesday night. Hours earlier, Piniella went to lunch with the top executives who first brought him to Seattle almost 20 years ago.
“We laughed a lot, and talked about the old times,” he said.
Then, Piniella visited the same Mariners staffers who were working for the team when he was in the Seattle dugout, across the street at the since-demolished Kingdome.
“Yeah, it’s wonderful. A wonderful, wonderful city. I spent 10 really, really good years here. I enjoyed it,” the 66-year-old Piniella said before the Cubs began their first series in Seattle since 2002. “I have a lot of pleasant memories here. And not just baseball-wise. I have a lot of good friends here.”
One of those just drove out of town. Piniella said he regrets Ken Griffey Jr. abruptly retired weeks ago before he could reunite with him in this series.
Piniella said he thinks Griffey was the best in the game in the ’90s, calling him a more complete player at the time than Barry Bonds.
Piniella was 840-711 (.542) from 1993-2002 in Seattle, including the first three division titles in Mariners history. Tuesday was his first time in uniform in Seattle since 2005.
Will it be his last, since he is in the final season of his Cubs contract?
“We’ll make that decision at the end of the year,” he said. “There’s no hurry to make any decisions today. I said that coming into the season that I didn’t want my situation to become any kind of a distraction to the team. My decision about managing further will be decided after the season, and let’s leave it at that.”