"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Sweet Lou

Not so long ago, Carlos Zambrano made a scene in the Cubs dugout. The incident made headlines, nothing new for the troubled Zambrano. What struck me watching the replays was the look on manager Lou Piniella’s face. He didn’t just looked startled, as this large man stomped around the dugout yelling, steam practically shooting out of his ears, Piniella looked old. After all, this is a manager who is legendary for his temper tantrums. But now, he looked timid.

I suppose it is the right time to go. Sweet Lou has enjoyed a fine career as a player and manager, and he’ll always be welcome in the Bronx. He was one of George’s guys, and one of our own.

Congrats, Lou, on a wonderful career. Come by anytime.

[Photo Credit: Kennerly.com (Lou in 1966, playing for the Portland Beavers)]

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1 Ben   ~  Jul 22, 2010 9:36 am

who the hell is that? Henry Mayo Flynn?

2 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 22, 2010 10:08 am

No, I think it's Freddy Mercury.

3 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Jul 22, 2010 10:11 am

Great photo find, Alex. That has to be Lou from his minor league days.

4 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 22, 2010 10:16 am

Yup, 1966, Oregon.

5 Yankee Mama   ~  Jul 22, 2010 10:19 am

What a hottie! Who knew? He looked intense even then.

I must admit that when Lou was the manager of the D Rays, I had perverse pleasure watching him leer at his pitchers on the mound, like a bull eye-balling a red cape. He has always despised pitchers. When Zambrano had his I-need-anger-management moment, I noticed that Lou's look was more like, "Ok, I'm am effin done with this crap. Get me outta here."

Hence, I was not at all surprised when he announced his retirement. I will always miss his antics. He certainly entertains.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 22, 2010 10:26 am

slightly off topic, here's a clip of Bill Murray jumping into a dumpster pool (a dumpster filled with water and choice litter) outside Letterman's studio yesterday.


as he takes the plunge, Murray shouts "Lou Piniella!"...
Cubs fans.

7 rbj   ~  Jul 22, 2010 11:04 am

That's Lou?

I remember his last game as a player, when the Yankees were desperately trying to get him one last AB -- I believe he grounded out, for an 0-5 day.

8 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2010 11:33 am

[7] I checked his gamelogs for 1984. I'm curious, why was his last game on June 16, in the middle of the season? Did he announce his retirement, or was he released?

I can't believe that I don't remember at all even though I followed the team pretty closely as a teen.

9 RagingTartabull   ~  Jul 22, 2010 11:56 am

[7, 8] even though that was before my time (like 3 weeks before my time) I think I remember reading something that Lou was released but told that there would immediately be a place for him upstairs. Kinda similar to what happened with Murcer or Rizzuto with broadcasting.

10 williamnyy23   ~  Jul 22, 2010 1:11 pm

[8] He hadn't been playing much and was dealing with a bad shoulder, so he just retired and became a first base coach/hitting instructor.

11 rbj   ~  Jul 22, 2010 1:43 pm

[10] Yeah. Sort of like Junior retiring. Mike Schmidt also retired mid season.

12 monkeypants   ~  Jul 22, 2010 1:45 pm

[9, 10, 11] Thanks.

So, it is not entirely a surprise that he would make his coaching retirement announcement mid season.

13 nettles   ~  Jul 22, 2010 1:51 pm

Who are these "Portland Braves" of which you speak? :)

Sweet Lou played in '66-'68 for the Portland Beavers.

14 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Jul 22, 2010 1:54 pm


Yes, I vividly remember sitting at the Stadium with my mom, having to answer her bewildered,"

"Why are they booing?"

"No, mom, they're not booing!--they're Loooouing!"

And I remember my best friend and I somehow made up this absurd, meaningless chant (probably while playing Stat-o-Matic?): "Looouu Piniella, Loooouuu Gehr-IG--LOUIE IS THE NAME! Looouu Piniella, Loooou Gehr-IG--LOUIE IS THE NAME..." and on and on til we stopped.

I'll sure miss the tantrums.

Fare thee well, Sweet Lou.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver