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Posts Tagged ‘Lou Piniella’

If you were watching the telecast of the Yankees-Red Sox game yesterday on the YES Network, you could hear Lou Piniella use the word ‘raped’ to describe the trade between the Blue Jays and Marlins (which included Buehrle, Johnson, Reyes, etc.). He said, “I don’t want to use the word ‘raped,’ but they (Toronto) basically took a lot of talent from the Miami Marlins.” According to Bob Raissman of the NY Daily News, Sweet Lou apologized and stated, “A Yankee official said the organization stood behind Piniella while recognizing he made a mistake.”

We all know how seriously this word is taken, but their was something humorous in the fact that he said he didn’t want to use the word and then actually said it. It was a  weird moment. Ken Singleton didn’t respond and just continued calling the game. You got the feeling that it was just a slip of the tongue moment for Lou, and not grounds for firing. It was odd, that’s for sure.

Al Bello/Getty Images

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Walking down memory lane: The Yankees and Red Sox meet tonight in sport’s most heated rivalry. Sometimes, things get a little overheated…

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It’s not heaven, it’s Iowa.

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With Lou Piniella’s retirement from baseball this past Sunday, the Chicago Cubs have an opening at manager for the 2011 season. They’re rumored to favor hiring Joe Girardi as the new man for the north side of Chicago. While I think Girardi would be crazy to want that job over a return to the Yankees, I strongly suspect he will. After all, Joe grew up in Chicagoland, went to Northwestern and had two stints as a player with the Cubbies. He knows he’d be venerated for generations if he happened to guide them to their first World Championship in over 100 years.

So, let’s play the game and assume that Girardi is gone after this season. Who should be the next manager for the Yankees? There’s an intriguing list of possibilities. Here are five to ponder:

  1. Willie Randolph: Randolph certainly has a Yankee pedigree. The former captain also served as base coach and bench coach under Joe Torre. All told, Willie owns 6 World Series rings – more than anyone alive, except Yogi Berra. He certainly understands what it takes to win in New York and he understands the type of scrutiny a Yankees manager is under. But he did preside over one of the greatest collapses in major league history (ok, it was the Mets) and hasn’t landed a ML managing job since. Still, he is my number one choice to run the club next year.
  2. Don Mattingly: “Donnie Baseball” has much the same pedigree as Randolph, although not quite as many championship rings. Few players are more beloved in the Bronx, despite the fact that Mattingly’s teams in the 80’s never quite made it to the playoffs. But he’s never managed – at any level – and he might still be bitter after getting yanked around by the Yankee brass before they settled on Girardi.
  3. Joe Torre: I think I just heard a collective gasp go up in the crowd. If George were still running the show, this might be more of a possibility. (Heck, we might be talking about Joe III or Joe IV by this point). There can’t be much doubt that Torre knows how to do the job and I doubt the payday he’ll command this off-season would deter the Yanks. At the same time, bringing him back would be tantamount to the front office admitting they made a mistake in letting him go 3 years ago. And Torre still harbors A LOT of dislike for Brian Cashman.
  4. Dave Miley: Miley is the manager at AAA Scranton-Wilkes Barre (I know you were wondering). Although he seems like a long shot – Buck Showalter was the last MiLB manager the Yankees hired, 20 years ago – with the impending youth movement in the Bronx, he might be a good fit. Next year’s roster is likely to have a slew of “Baby Bombers”, perhaps as many as 7 or 8 players with less than 3 years of major league experience. And he has demonstrated the ability to win in the minors, despite constant roster uncertainty, with a career 1991 – 1092 record at AAA. Miley also has three seasons of ML experience, with a really atrocious Reds team in the early 2000’s.
  5. Bobby Valentine: Valentine brings two things the Yankees traditionally crave in a manager – name recognition and a proven ability to win. You also have to think Valentine’s ego would love a shot at managing the Yankees. The biggest obstacle I see to making this work is that ego: Valentine is a control freak. I don’t see Cashman or anyone else in the front office ceding any control over player decisions to him.

Well, there are five names to mull over. There are no shortage of managerial candidates this offseason and I’m sure we’ll hear plenty more before next April. Who do you think should be at the helm next season – Girardi, one of the 5 mentioned here, or someone else?

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Lou Piniella spent 18 years in the major leagues as a player (NYY, KCR, CLE, BAL), 23 years as a manager (Yankees, Reds, Mariners, Rays, Cubs), won three World Series rings and ranks 14th on the all-time managerial wins list (1,835 Wins).

From ESPN.com:

CHICAGO — Lou Piniella’s long and colorful career has spanned 48 years, from an aggressive outfielder with a sharp batting eye to a successful manager whose highlight-reel base-throwing tantrums sometimes overshadowed his baseball acumen.His family, from his relatives to his teammates and players, always has come first. And that’s why the leader of the Chicago Cubs decided to step down after Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves — he wants to spend more time with his ailing mother.

“My mom needs me home and that’s where I’m going,” Piniella said before one last game in the dugout.Chicago quickly named third base coach Mike Quade manager for the remaining 38 games of the season, starting Monday at Washington.

I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of “Sweet Lou.”

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Could C.C. reach 300 wins? He’s got 149 career wins and he just turned 30 last month. I don’t think it’s out of the question. If he really wants it, a few extra years in the major leagues should do the trick. If he plays until he’s 40, he’s going to have to average about 15 wins a year for the next 10 years.   

Is Monument Park big enough? When the new Yankee Stadium was built, you heard many complaints about how you couldn’t see Monument Park from your seat in the stadium. The old stadium’s park was wide open and was visible from basically any seat in the house. The new one is more closed in. Nobody is arguing whether it’s good looking or not, but is it big enough to house all the Yankees greats?

At the moment, Yankees security guards need to count fans and send them in certain group numbers. As a person whose been to the new one several times, I can say that it gets pretty crowded in there. Sometimes it’s a struggle to even get a camera shot with all the fans walking all over the place. You have to figure that one day, Monument Park will have to be expanded. But how? There’s the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar overhead, and the bullpens/bleachers on both side of it.

Monuments: Steinbrenner, (Will Jeter get a monument? How about Rivera? They both rank at the top with the greatest players to ever put on the pinstripes)

Retired numbers: Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Pettitte, Rodriguez, Torre, Williams (You might think it’s crazy now, but Sabathia, Teixeira [both thought to be franchise players] and Cano will likely have their numbers retired when it’s all said and done).

Plaques: You have to figure that some of the players who get their number retired, will also get a plaque up on the wall.

Here are a few more photos: Photo 1 – Photo 2 – Photo 3 – Photo 4 

Joe Girardi to the Cubs? Many have debated the topic, with Cubs manager, Lou Piniella, recently stating that he will be retiring at the end of the season. Girardi grew up in the Chicago area, went to college there and was even drafted by the Cubs. As Mike Axisa discussed, this will give him leverage with the Yankees when contract negotiations are brought up. Does it make sense for Joe? He would be leaving a World Series caliber ball club, for a team that hasn’t won a World Series in 102 years and is a total disaster.

If Joe was to leave (he never dismissed the possibility)….who would replace him as manager?

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    I realize that many of the readers of this blog weren’t alive on August 2, 1979. Many of you were much too young understand why a city wept on a hot August afternoon some 31 years ago. For those of us who were around and old enough to comprehend the tragedy of the day, it was seared into our memories like few other events. Quite frankly, other than 9/11, I can’t think of another event in my lifetime that at once defined New York to the rest of the country and caused the nation to cry with us. As Yankee fans, it is a day that should cause all of us to stop and reflect on things that are much bigger than baseball.

    It is the day that Thurman Munson crashed his plane on a small airstrip in Akron, Ohio.

    Munson’s legend has, with time, grown to immortal status. There is the empty locker, the plaque in Monument Park, the retired number 15 on the outfield wall. All of these are fine tributes to the man. But none of them can explain why Thurman is still such a beloved figure in Yankees lore. This is a team that has produced some of the game’s greatest players, after all. Why is it that Yankees fans continue to place him on a higher pedestal than Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle or even Babe Ruth? I think the answer to that, can be summed up in one game that occurred several years before that tragic crash.

    It was a typical New York summer night in May 1976. Hot and humid, with the all the tension of the time (remember, this is the era when Gerald Ford told New York to “drop dead”). The South Bronx was well-known as “Fort Apache” and the atmosphere was rife with the expectation that at any time, a major riot would erupt. The only thing that could possibly raise the figurative temperature would be a visit from the hated (and defending AL champion) Red Sox. And so, of course, the Red Sox arrived that day to play a game that would go down in history.

    The Sox were already reeling by that point in the season, while the Yanks were riding a six game win streak. But nobody could have foreseen what was about to happen when Lou Piniella barreled over Carlton Fisk at home. Piniella, upset that Fisk had tried to spike him, got up and slugged Fisk. The riot everyone in New York had been waiting for had erupted, but it was on the Yankee Stadium field, not on River Avenue. By the time the melee died down, Mickey Rivers had effectively ended Bill “Spaceman” Lee’s career and the “Bronx Zoo” era of Yankees baseball had been born. So, you ask, what does this have to do with Thurman?

    Everything, as it turned out. Although the Yankees wound up losing the game, 8-2, Thurman demonstrated the type of class and fire required to be a Yankee captain. It was Munson who came to Graig Nettles defense when Lee charged him from the Red Sox dugout, after the initial fight had ended (Rivers showed up just in time to body slam Lee – as he was readying a roundhouse for the back of Munson’s head). Munson, appointed the first Yankee captain since the late Lou Gehrig by George Steinbrenner that Spring Training, was the one who restored order on that sultry summer evening. When all hell broke loose it was Munson who somehow managed to get his fellow teammates back into the dugout. And it was Munson who hung up his catching gear and went out to play right field (starting right fielder Otto Velez had been tossed), putting aside his personal rivalry with Fisk. There was no doubt after the game who the Yankees field and clubhouse leader was after the game. He wore number 15 and although the Superman cape was missing, everyone who watched that game swore there were red-and-blue tights under his torn Pinstripes. The following evening, Munson led the Yankees to a critical victory over the same Red Sox, a come from behind 6-5 win in 12 innings. He went two for six, driving in the first two Yankee runs with a booming double to Death Valley.

    Thurman Munson is a Yankees legend, but he is much more than that. So if you see me shedding a few tears today, you’ll know why. When his plane skidded off the runway in 1979, the heart and soul of one of the great Yankee dynasties was what really went up in flames.

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    From the Yankees Official Website:

    NEW YORK — Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain will be honored at this year’s Thurman Munson Awards dinner, acknowledging excellence in competition and philanthropic work within the community.

    Chamberlain was announced on Thursday as part of a group of five sports personalities who will be presented with the Thurman Munson Award on Feb. 2 at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the event.

    Also to be honored are Cubs manager Lou Piniella, former big league outfielder Darryl Strawberry, Knicks point guard Chris Duhon and Yonkers Raceway two-time champion harness driver Jason Bartlett.

    Congratulations to Joba and all the others that will be honored that night. It’s well deserved.

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