8/22 Saying goodbye

It was an emotional day Sunday at Wrigley Field as Lou Piniella bid farewell to the Cubs and to the game. After more than 3,500 games and 23 years as manager and nearly 1,800 games as a player, he is beginning his retirement early. Piniella heads home to Tampa, Fla., because family comes first over baseball. His 90-year-old mother is ill.

Said catcher Koyie Hill: “I think we all know that’s where he should be.”

Piniella’s career ended the same way the season started, with a 16-5 loss to the Braves. That was the Cubs’ Opening Day score as well, also a loss.

“Today’s game wasn’t pretty but I’d rather reflect on the good times I’ve had here,” Piniella said. “Lot of good times, lot of good people. It’s been a lot of fun. The pregame with Bobby Cox was special. He’s been a good friend for a long time. I appreciate my four years here with the Cubs organization. The city’s special, the people here are special. I’m appreciative.

“I cried a little bit after the game,” he said. “I get emotional — I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be. This will be the last time I put on a uniform. It’s been very special to me.”

He broke down for a few seconds, then collected himself. The players couldn’t help but shed a tear or two, too.

“That’s the human factor is the man deserves a lot better than that,” Hill said. “Same old story [in the game] — it’s not lack of effort or anything like that. It’s just the way it goes. I don’t know if you could’ve scripted it any worse.

“He’s given his life to the game,” Hill said. “We all appreciate that. We appreciate the opportunity we had to play for him and we’re going to miss him.”

– Carrie Muskat

5 Comments

Great coach. Wonderful human. Too bad he had to work for such a no talent clown the past 4 years. Says a lot that the Wreck-its are keeping the dude. God speed to you Sweet Lou.

The Cubs performance this season has driven me to tears too. Anyway, thanks Lou for at least bringing this club to the brink of respectability for three straight seasons. I have a feeling that its going to be a very long time before we ever see three straight winning seasons again.

I would like to thank Lou for 2007 and 2008 though his removal of Carlos to keep him fresh for the game 4 that never happened was mindblowing.

This year and last I feel he let us down.

The fire seemed to have gone and as such a well regarded coach I would have expected he would have fought for better tools to work with.

The last 2 seasons have been car-crash TV with the energy of 2008 missing from both Lou and the team… consequently errors have blighted both seasons.

His unwillingness to split up a misfiring Lee and Ramirez and to recognise that neither have been worthy of batting 3-4 this season when it was obvious even in April have caused as much of this seasons malaise as Hendry’s inability to recognise talent or negotiate a competitive contract without a no-trade clause.

Lou, you will be missed; but for your early years – not your head scratching line-ups and stubborn-ness.

Lou I want you to know that you will be missed by this CUBS fan. I also believe that although it may never have been said straight out but, that somewhere deep in your heart has one of the best managers to run a team. Your goal somewhere was to take the Chicago CUBS to the World Series before you were forced to hang up those cleats. But, like our current economy nobody knows what the future holds. Sorry to say when you accepted that contract four years ago that is exactly how things were going. 2007,2008 were the truly golden years then things for unknown reasoning slipped in 2009 and in 2010 leaving family business out of the situation things when for ground zero.
God Speed take care

Lou quit on the Cubs. If the Cubs were winning, headed for the playoffs, would he have left? I have a 91 year old mom in health care. I can’t quit my job. He only had a month to go.

What if Milton had done the same thing?

By the way, for all his “wins” with the Cubs, no playoff wins. Just like Seattle.

Dusty was a winner in Chicago as well. Until his third year, sound familiar?

He just got up and walked out on the Cubs. Thanks Lou.

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