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Report: Mariners approached Lou Piniella about returning to manage

Post by Ryan Divish on Oct. 10, 2013 at 7:38 pm with 10 Comments »
October 11, 2013 6:14 am
AP file photo
AP file photo

A little piece of amusing/interesting news came out on Thursday night.

According to FoxSport’s Ken Rosenthal, the Mariners contacted Lou Piniella about returning to manage the team.

From his story …

One source with knowledge of the discussions described the Mariners’ pursuit of Piniella as “a full-court press.”

Piniella, however, declined the Mariners’ overtures.

“I talked to them about the job, but that’s it,” Piniella told FOX Sports on Thursday night. “There was nothing else to it. It was just conversation, nothing more.”

Piniella, 70, said he does not want to manage again.

“No,” he said. “I’m happy doing what I’m doing, which is watching a little baseball, doing a little bit of television for the Yankees, 15 games or so a year. It keeps me involved a bit.”

I really don’t know what to say. Going back to Piniella is far from moving forward in thinking. Piniella is the only manager to lead the Mariners to the postseason, doing so on four different occasions. He is beloved in this city. And almost every game, I hear from a fan, pondering what Lou would have done in a similar situation. But that doesn’t make him the best option for the Seattle going forward.

Obviously, the cynical thought from fans will be to point out that this is another case of the team not willing to let go of 1995 and 2001. And that bringing Lou back is nothing more than a public relations move to get fans thinking about the happy, glory of days past and try to forget about the mediocrity of the present. It’s hard not to dismiss that thinking.

Conversely, if the Mariners were just looking for a manager for a year or two, then someone like Piniella, who isn’t looking for a long term commitment, could be seen as a fit. Still, this whole situation seems a little absurd and a bit of a reach.

At age 70, Piniella has no interest in managing anymore. And he certainly would have no interest in managing a team like the Mariners that is filled with young, inexperienced and unproven players. Could you imagine Lou’s reaction to a Tom Wilhelmsen or Yoervis Medina base-runner-filled relief outing? Or how about the cavalcade of fielding mistakes we saw this season?

It would make life much more enjoyable and my job more interesting. But it probably isn’t the best thing for the Mariners.

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Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. Skysport says:

    Leave it to the Mariners to turn their manager search into a goofy sideshow. Everybody loves Lou. I love Lou. But this is not about Lou. Nor should it be.

  2. oldcenturian says:

    I agree with Ryan and Skysport. “Sweet Lou” WAS awesome, but this overture by Mariners Execs smacks of desperation and cluelessness. Just glad that Lou didn’t get sucked in to the “Mapocalypse”.

  3. westside_guy says:

    My opinion of the front office is low; but I am having a hard time believing this isn’t some sort of prank from Mr. Divish!

    Lou was great, but this… I was already depressed about the upcoming Mariners off-season, and it seems pretty obvious they haven’t learned a thing from all the mistakes they made last time around.

  4. Quinault says:

    Marketing! Bad product on the field. A manager that walked away (before getting fired as the fall guy). No impact player. Youth! And still the same cadre of people calling the shots.

    Lou and Pat Gillick lead the team to multiple playoff appearances. But the front office is not going to turn over the team to them again after they ran them out of town.

    This is some sort of face saving gesture by Howard Lincoln. Or this could be Chuck Armstrong’s continual living in the past mentality. But if ownership should change substantially, then the door could opened a bit for such a scenario. But due to age, I doubt that the window of opportunity will open.

    Next up: Charlie Manuel.

  5. Lou probably said “hell no”, before they even finished asking the question…lol

  6. Div, since you asked us not to say anything negative about the Mariners a month or so ago, it pretty much shuts me up at this point!

    Oh, we do have 2 great starting pitchers & an ok 3rd baseman.

  7. Never happen! I guess anything is used for idle conversation. Need to get rid
    of Lincoln and Armstrong a priority, along with Big Jack. It just might be possible
    to get that done if a flood of “awareness e-mails” were sent to the new owner, ie: Satoru Iwata, whose e-mail is ” iwataasks.nintendo .com “. A long shot, but it
    might get his attention if he received thousand of e-mails from Mariner fans
    noting the sad performance and inept cadre of folks responsible for the running
    the organization. The money factor won’t enter into it, due to the TV deals
    the Mariners are profitable regardless of bad performance. One would think
    that quality of product would be the appeal. Nintendo wouldn’t think of putting
    out a lousy technology or gaming product, so why would they want their name
    associated with terrible performing baseball team they own. Think about it.

  8. firecap81 says:

    Well Lou is 70 now. Maybe the two stooges think that he’s as senile and inept as they are now. I seriously doubt it though. In looking at their bodies of work, Lou’s the only one that’s had any baseball success. He could do a better job than they do in his sleep. The two fools ought to take a page out of Lou’s book and retire.

  9. I don’t recall saying you couldn’t say anything negative about the Mariners.

  10. dawgbert1973 says:

    I get a little weary about hearing of the Mariners’ glory days. There were exciting seasons under Piniella for sure, especially 1995 and 2001, but…

    The Mariners have never even been in a World Series, much less won one. They were in three ALCS series but didn’t take one to a 7th game.

    So exciting moments yes. Some wonderful individual players yes, many with great talent and character (or at least one of the two).

    Glory days no.

    In terms of the current upper management of the Mariners, I agree with what so many have said. They keep rotating field managers, but the same “brain trust” remains in place that has produced very little in their long run.

    I would love to see a complete revamping all the way down the line, and bring in management that is totally committed to winning, with the brains and experience to get the job done. Pay them what they are worth. Commit to providing Seattle fans with some true glory days.

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