Category: ESPN


Lou Piniella (NBCSports.com)

According to ESPN.com …

CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the season, ending a storied and often colorful career that included 18 years in the majors as a player and another 22 as a manager.

The 66-year-old Piniella said he was looking forward to spending more time with his family.

“I’ve grown to love the city and the fans but at my age it will be time to enter a new phase in my life,” Piniella said in a statement released by the team.

Announcing his retirement now, Piniella added, gives the team time to find a replacement.

“I’m proud of our accomplishments during my time here and this will be a perfect way for me to end my career,” he said. “But let me make one thing perfectly clear: our work is far from over. I want to keep the momentum going more than anything else and win as many games as we can to get back in this pennant race.”

The Cubs said Piniella will retire as the 14th-winningest manager in major league history.

Piniella is in the fourth and final year of his contract with the Cubs. After leading the Cubs to consecutive NL Central titles in 2007-08, Piniella and his team missed the playoffs last year and have struggled again this season with a new owner, the Ricketts family, in charge. The Cubs have gone 102 years without a World Series title.

Piniella led the New York Yankees (1986-88), Cincinnati (1990-92), Seattle (1993-2002) and Tampa Bay (2003-05) before arriving in Chicago. He won the World Series as a manager with Cincinnati after winning two as a player (1977-78, Yankees).

A right-handed outfielder, Piniella was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1969 after batting .282, 11 home runs and 68 RBIs with the Royals. He was traded to the Yankees in 1973 and ended his playing career with New York in 1984.

Piniella trails only Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre in victories among active managers. His World Series title with the Reds in 1990 was the first for the team since 1976. Piniella was at perhaps his most successful as manager of the Mariners, piling up 840 wins and four postseason appearances in 10 years

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New York native Lady Gaga stormed into the Bronx Friday night wearing the mandatory pinstripes, but not much else. After her team lost to the cross-town rival New York Mets, Gaga apparently talked her way past security and into the clubhouse before press was allowed to visit with the team. The NY Post originally reported that Gaga was later banned from the clubhouse

A fuming Hal Steinbrenner informed Yankee Stadium executives that Lady Gaga is permanently banned from the team’s clubhouse after her boozy antics — including swigging whiskey and repeatedly fondling her boobs — during a visit to the house that Ruth built Friday night…

Since the initial report, it appears the Yankees are singing a different tune and Lady Gaga, like other celebs, is welcome to meet with the team.

“She’s not banned,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Sunday. “Celebrities aren’t banned. If Michael Jordan showed up here he would have access (to the clubhouse), but not after a loss.”

While names of the players that visited with the new Queen of Pop, it’s rumored that both Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez visited with her.

Lady Gaga has been the fixture of much baseball drama in New York City over the past several days, starting with her visit to Citi Field on June 10th when she warmly flipped off Mets fans and photographers. ESPN.com is reporting:

This provided not only a treat for photographers but also a marketing opportunity for the Mets; they’ve designated this coming Wednesday’s game vs. the Tigers as “Go Gaga for Wright” night, to campaign for third baseman David Wright’s election to the National League All-Star team. The first 20,000 fans through the gates will receive a blue foam hand with the index finger extended — “the best finger,” according to a TV commercial for the promotion — and the words “Make Wright #1” printed on it.