A quick note from this morning at the Winter Meetings —
Lou Piniella was among a group of four long-time managers who were honored by Commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. And like Joe Torre, Piniella had gratitude for George M. Steinbrenner, who allowed him to begin his managerial career in 1986 with the Bombers.
It was under Steinbrenner that Piniella – already a fiery personality during his playing days – learned a little something he’d carry with him forever. When Piniella was managing the Yankees, Steinbrenner called him into his office one day.
“He said, ‘There’s a little more to managing than just winning baseball games. You’ve got to put fannies in the seats.’ He said, ‘When you go out there and get kicked out of a ballgame, put on a nice show.’ I took it to heart.”
As anyone who witnessed one of Sweet Lou’s epic tirades can attest, he sure did. Piniella also had this to say about the Hall of Fame committee that enshrined Pat Gillick – a colleague of Piniella’s with Seattle – but not Steinbrenner:
“I was very happy for Pat. Pat is a wonderful baseball executive and wonderful human being. I have the highest regard for Pat Gillick. Mr. Steinbrenner, I thought he’d get in. I was disappointed, I really was. I think Mr. Steinbrenner in due time will get his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.”