Piniella declines Mariners’ overtures
Lou Piniella, back in the dugout?
The Seattle Mariners recently contacted Piniella about the possibility, asking him to come out of retirement to manage their team again.
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.”
The Mariners are one of four clubs looking for a manager, along with the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. The Seattle job came open when Eric Wedge informed club officials that he would not return, avoiding a likely dismissal.
Piniella managed the M’s from 1993 to 2002, leading the club to its only four postseason appearances and to a 116-win regular season in ’01. He is the only manager in the Mariners’ 37-year history to last more than four seasons.
His reign in Seattle ended when the Mariners traded him and infielder Antonio Perez to the then-Tampa Bay Devil Rays for outfielder Randy Winn on Oct. 28, 2002, enabling Piniella to return home to Tampa to be with his ailing father.
The Mariners are considering a wide range of managerial candidates, sources say. The futures of the team’s top executives — not just general manager Jack Zduriencik but also club president Chuck Armstrong and CEO Howard Lincoln — could hinge on the club’s performance in 2014.
Cincinnati Reds pitching coach Bryan Price and former Chicago White Sox bench coach Joey Cora are among the Mariners’ list of possibilities, sources said. (Price also is a candidate for the Reds.)
San Francisco Giants bench coach Ron Wotus, Oakland Athletics bench coach Chip Hale and Philadelphia Phillies third-base coach Pete Mackanin also will draw consideration from the Mariners, according to CBSSports.com.
Piniella, though, is out of the picture.
He spent part of all of 23 years in the dugout, compiling a record of 1,835-1,713, a .517 winning percentage.
“I don’t really want to manage anymore,” he said.