Honoring — and desiring — Sweet Lou

Open Thread: Scenes from the New Stadium
A-Rod disabled; Musings on Pena

It’s no coincidence that the Yankees invited the Cubs to stop by Yankee Stadium this weekend. In fact, it appears to be part of a Hal Steinbrenner-inspired masterplan to lure current Cubs manager Lou Piniella into the Yankee fold.

Take a look at how Pull Sulivan of the Chicago Tribune reported the story:

The Yankees could have chosen any team to be their first opponent, but Yankees general partner Hal Steinbrenner wanted Piniella to be part of the opening festivities, so the Cubs were his first choice.

Steinbrenner has told close friends he plans on hiring Piniella as a consultant when his managerial contract with the Cubs runs out after the 2010 season.

Sounds like a good plan to me. Bringing Sweet Lou aboard the Yankee ship after his managerial career is over would strengthen the Yankee Front Office and return a man who spent 11 years playing and another two-and-a-half managing the Yanks to the Bronx fold.

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Open Thread: Scenes from the New Stadium
A-Rod disabled; Musings on Pena
  • Manimal

    I don’t think having Lou in our front office would be like the Dolphins getting Parcells but he would definitely help.

    • http://www.bronxbaseballdaily.com Bronx Baseball Daily

      I like the idea that he would be around in case they needed another manager.

      Lou certainly did look sentimental this weekend.

      • whozat

        That would be terrible. It could only negatively impact Giarardi’s managing to “put him on notice” like that.

        • RustyJohn

          Exactly, that is something George would do- And it would just spawn back page headlines all season whenever they lost more than one game in a row.

          Plus, I never knew Lou to be such a keen evaluator of talent- particularly with pitchers- yelling at them to throw strikes and thinking a pitcher should throw harder because they are tall (see Lee Guetterman) are not things that are indicitive of front office success.

          As a side note, I’m curious to see how many Texas Rangers pitchers end up on the DL this year because Nolan Ryan thinks they should all throw like Nolan Ryan.

  • MurrayPresent

    When they rerun the games from the 70s on YES I love watching Lou play. He gave a h/t to Girardi today before leaving. A few ex-Yankees on that Cubs team. Always liked Lou. Always liked Soriano.

    • Cy Farnsworth

      I always will love Soriano. Don’t forget that if the Yanks close down Arizona in 2001, Soriano would’ve gone down as a Yankee legend for his 8th inning blast.

      • whozat

        I will always remember him in the 03 series, swinging through pitches a foot off the outside corner.

        • RustyJohn

          Yeah, but he did it with style…lol. Him and El Duque were always my favorite- at least El Duque usually came through in the postseason.

  • Cy Farnsworth

    I’m sure Girardi will just love having Sweet Lou looking over his shoulder, with the support of the front office no less.

    • anonymous

      If Girardi is still here is 2011 he wont have a thing to worry about.

  • Rich

    That would be kind of ironic because back in the ’80s, George said that:

    …Piniella, while he was managing, was ”the worst judge of talent” in the organization.

    Anyway, maybe it’s true, but by that logic, I guess the Mets are courting Francona.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      It’s not really a logical leap when the head of the Yankees says it. Has Fred Wilpon said he’s courting Francona? That’s the parallel you want to prove that point, no?

      • Rich

        You are correct if he actually said it, but I view Hal as being more circumspect. So unless he really wants Piniella as a gray eminence to replace (or supplement) Stick, I’m surprised that he would reveal that kind of information, except to close friends who he knew would keep it under wraps, because as whozat mentioned above, it risks negatively impacting Girardi, and I would be surprised that Hal would want to do that.

      • Tom Zig

        Is Francona even a good manager? Or is it that he just doesn’t possess Grady Little’s ineptness, and the that he won 2 championships that all of a sudden makes him the world’s best manager?

        Seriously, is there anything the Sox aren’t “better” than the Yankees at?

  • Mike Pop

    He should of took over for Torre in 07 instead of going to the Cubs.

    • whozat

      Why? I like Girardi. I don’t really see anything Lou’s done with the Cubs that amazes me. Would Lou’s yelling have made Posada, Wang, and Hughes not get hurt?

      • Mike Pop

        I said in 07, which means firing Torre and brining in Lou. I don’t mind Girardi either but I would of like Lou. I think he is a solid manager, as Mike Kay said. Most wins back to back in 2 seasons the Cubs have had since the 30’s or something?

        • whozat

          “I said in 07, which means firing Torre and brining in Lou”

          Why? Other than “you like him”?

          “Most wins back to back in 2 seasons the Cubs have had since the 30’s or something?”

          Lou? Or Zambrano, Harden, Soriano, Ramirez, DLee, etc etc etc? And the general heinousness of their in-division competition?

          • Mike Pop

            Cause there was talk of Torre getting canned and bringing in Lou to “shape up” the players and make them more focused. I don’t see why you’re making such a big deal of this. Torre was good but everyone knew he had his flaws. So does Lou, but yeah, I would of much rather had Lou because I do like him more than Girardi in 07 and at this moment. I brought it up mainly because there was a bit of talk for bringing in Lou to NY and canning Torre.

      • Rich

        I wanted Torre replaced almost as much as anyone, and I like Lou, but as some people pointed out to me when this topic was discussed a few years ago, Lou has never been one to respect strict innings caps. That could have presented a trust issue as the Yankees tried to develop Joba, Hughes, etc.

  • RustyJohn

    The only thing “genius” about Lou is his ability to know when the hell to leave a team before the talent pool diminished and his managerial record took a hit- left NY before the horrid 89-early 90s seasons, left Cinncinatti when they still had a couple of good seasons left, but went to a Seattle team that ended up loaded with talent- Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey, Jr, Buhner, Tino Martinez, ARod, hell even Mike Blowers hit 30 home runs one year with Lou. After 2002 when he realized all that talent was getting old as dirt he left for Tampa but didn’t have the stomach or temperment to deal with a young team so bailed.

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