“I couldn’t be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to manage this ballclub,” said Piniella. “I’ve had four wonderful years here that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. I’ve grown to love the city and the fans but at my age (67 at the end of the season) it will be time to enter a new phase in my life. It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family – my wife, my kids and my grandchildren. God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love.”
He is only one of five managers in the history of the MLB to win three Manager of the Year Awards, and he’ll be retiring as the 14th winning-est manager of all- time. He has 1826 wins as of 7/20 before tonight’s game. He’s been managing for 23 years and has been around the MLB longer than that.
Piniella is the first Cubs manager in more than 70 years to post a record of .500 or better in each of his first three seasons leading the club.
He spent 20 seasons as a player from 1964 with the Baltimore Orioles until he retired from playing baseball in 1984 with the New York Yankees.
Two years after he retired from playing baseball, he joined up with the New York Yankees and was a batting coach. Then took over the manager job for 1986 and 1987, became General Manager in 1988 and then took over Billy Martin’s managerial job when he was fired on June 23rd. Pinella was 224-193 with the Yankees where they finished second, third and fifth in the American League East in the three years he managed there.
Pinella went on to the Cincinnati Reds where he managed there from 1990-1992. In 1990, Pinella’s first season with the Reds, he was able to finish 91-71 which was good for first in the National League West, and went on to win the NLCS over Pittsburgh and win the World Series over Oakland. With Cincinnati, he won one World Series, went 255-231 and finished first, fifth and second in the NL West in the three years he was a manager. He went 8-2 in the post-season.
From 1993 until 2002, Lou managed the Seattle Mariners, winning the division three times and finishing with an overall record of 840-711. He won the American League Manager of the Year Award in 1995 with a record of 79-66 and first in the AL West while beating the Yankees in the ALDS, but lost to Cleveland in the ALCS. They went 5-6 in the playoffs that year. In 2001, he won his second Manager of the Year Award where he went 116-46 coming in first int he AL West, beat Cleveland in the ALDS but lost to the Yankees in the ALCS. After the 2002 season, he left Seattle. He went 15-19 in the playoffs with Seattle.
In the Mariners 33-year history, they’ve had eleven winning seasons and four playoff appearances. Seven of the eleven winning seasons came with Pinella as manager and all the playoff appearances came with Pinella as manager.
In three seasons with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, he finished fifth, fourth and fifth in the American League East. He coached them from 2003 until 2005 and the Devil Rays traded Randy Winn to the Mariners for prospect Antonio Perez as compensation for Lou leaving Seattle. Overall, Lou Pinella was 200-285 with Tampa Bay.
After taking two years off, Lou Pinella returned to managing in 2007 with the Chicago Cubs. They won the NL Central with a 85-77 record in his first year, but lost to the Diamondbacks in the NLDS with a sweep. The next season, he did even better with a 97-64 record, winning his third Manager of the Year Award and getting swept out of the playoffs again by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. Last year the Cubs finished second in the NL Central with an 83-78 record. No playoffs were made. So far, the Cubs are in fourth in the NL Central, 10.5 games back of the Cardinals at 42-52. Overall with the Cubs, he has a current record of 307-271.
For his career, so far, he’s won three Manager of the Year Awards, won one World Series, six division titles, has a playoff record of 23-27 and an overall record of 1826-1691 for a winning percentage of .519. He’s had a good run, and he is moving to a new chapter.