Updated: Lou Piniella retired from baseball today

updated with press conference video


August 22, 2010

After 50 years in baseball, Cubs’ Coach Lou Piniella retired from baseball after today’s game as the 14th winningest manager in baseball. And, as befits all things Cubs, we lost 16-5.

 (Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune

Lou made the announcement before the game and had a touching moment with Braves coach Bobby Cox at home plate. Cox is also retiring and this was the last the Braves will be at Wrigley this year.

Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune  / August 22, 2010 )Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella cries before the start of the game against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field on Sunday. Piniella announced that he would begin his retirement after the game against the Braves Sunday.

Piniella: That pre-game with Bobby Cox was special. He’s been a good friend for a long time.

Nice also that Derek Lee was still in town to say farewell to Lou.

Lou is retiring early because of his ailing mother.

Piniella: I didn’t think my career would end this way but, you know, my mom needs me home. She hasn’t gotten any better since I’ve been (back). She’s had a couple other complications, and rather than continue to go home, come back . . . it’s not fair to the team, it’s not fair to the players.

So the best thing is just to step down and go home and take care of my mother. That’s basically it. I’ve enjoyed it here. In four wonderful years I’ve made a lot of friends and had some success. This year has been a little bit of a struggle. But, look, family is important, it comes first. My mom needs me home and that’s where I’m going.

Tears flowed freely in his press conference after the loss. I tried to embed the video – but it isn’t for some reason.

Found a video on Yahoo. Not the full press conference.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

[hand-transcribed]

This is the final final. Today’s game wasn’t pretty but I’d rather reflect on the good times I’ve had here.

A lot of good times, a lot of good people. Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun….I appreciate my four years with the Cubs organization. The city’s special, the people here are special. And I appreciate it.

I cried a little bit after the game. You get emotional. [cries] I’m sorry – I’m not trying to be. This will be the last time I put on my uniform. It’s been very special to me. Outside of that, I enjoyed working with all of you. Y’all been very fair to me and I appreciate it. I’m gonna go home and do the things I have to do there and enjoy my retirement.

As for the Cubs organization:

I wish this organization nothing but the best in the future. The Ricketts family are nice people. They’re going to do everything in their power to bring a winner here.

I wish Jim [Hendry] well in his search for a new manager – I’m sure he’ll get the right guy and I’ll look forward to watching Cub baseball on television.

As for the numerous ovations made possible by the crappy pitching:

It was nice – a nice tribute. These are nice people here – great fans and I was very appreciative – very moved, very touched.

The press:

I want to thank everybody. [Laughs] I won’t have to make any more explanations to you people. That’s for sure.

The lineup questions:

You can ask Mike Quade. I wish him well the rest of the year.

Wrigley atmosphere:

You know what I noticed today – I noticed things around the park that I hadn’t noticed before. I really did. It was a good ball game for about 6-7 innings then it got out of hand. What are you going to do? These guys are trying, and I wish them well the rest of the way. I hope they play better baseball.

I noticed quite a few of things inside and outside the ballpark. I wasn’t daydreaming but I was very cognizant of the things around here. [laughs] It’s a good day to remember and also it’s a good day to forget.

What’s special or unique about the Cubs:

I don’t think when you come in as an outsider that you know what you’re getting into until you’re here. It’s different. It’s good. Since I’ve been here we’ve raised the bar and they expect us to win. And the fans, you know, they get into the game. It’s a fun place – it really is. [laughs] It’s a fun place to watch a baseball game. Probably the most fun place in major league baseball. It really is. But I hope that in the very near future that they get a team here that will give the people what they want.

Asked about the future.

I’m not even giving that any thought. I’m going to go home and do the things I have to do and just relax, and we’ll see down the road. I haven’t given that any thought.

A final tip of his cap after the press conference.

screenshot Trib's fRED mITCHELL video s

On his way to the car Lou was asked for a final thought as he hugged the young parking attendant:

Well, it was a wonderful four years I’ve had here. Wonderful, wonderful people, wonderful  city. I look forward to going home and spending some time with my mom.

Promoted over bench coach Alan Trammel (above – seated to Lou’s right on bench) to interim manager was 3rd base coach Mike Quade. Trammel (the only person Lou endorsed) was not considered for next year but it was rather rude since he only found out this morning. Quade will be the 51st Cub manager and is being considered for the job next year. Ivan De Jesus will take over coaching at 3rd base…not that he’ll see a lot of action.

Lou lost any chance at winning once Jim Hendry (pictured below) traded Mark DeRosa and brought in loser Milton Bradley. The only way Hendry can redeem himself at this point since he is allegedly not going anywhere is to get rid of Zambrano and Soriano and sign Joe Girardi.

Gene J. Puskar, Associated Press

HENDRY: (video of his pre-game press conference – discusses Lou, Trammel and Quade)

From last August on, it hasn’t gone the way anybody would like, but from a personal view, I’m very indebted to [Lou]. I think he did tremendous things. I hope that he gets to live the rest of his life in good health and spend a lot of time with his family…I feel badly for him that we didn’t have a better year knowing that this is his last.

As far as Alan Trammel not taking over:

I made the decision yesterday to have Mike Quade manage the club for the remainder of the season…feel like he’ll be good at it… Alan’s a tremendous human being, quality, quality person, outstanding coach. I spoke to Alan this morning and I basically told Alan that over the last few weeks I’ve made a decision that in the process moving forward that Alan would not be considered for the managerial job after this year. I had a very great conversation with him this morning – he understood that. He has a very close relationship with Mike. He’s happy for Mike and he wants to stay and help Mike and Mike certainly had no problem with that. Tremendously classy man. Obviously, the decision that I made was based on if he wasn’t going to be the manager, and I had already come to that conclusion, that we would be better served not having him be the manager for the remainder of the season.

…but with so much time left, this is the way I wanted to approach it. Mike Quade will be a candidate for the job and that’s another reason why he’s going to sit in that chair starting tomorrow.

Says there are no favorites for the job but it’s clear he’s thinking of Quade long term.

I don’t have a frontrunner. Haven’t had a frontrunner. I said…that I would take a long extensive time, do what I thought was best for the organization for the future. It’s a very, very important decision. There has never been a leading candidate and there isn’t one as I sit here today….I think Mike deserves this opportunity and hopefully he will handle himself well and become a strong candidate for the future.

Players’ reaction

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