Piniella says he's not going anywhere
Cubs skipper clears up confusion over his comments
NEW YORK -- Cubs manager Lou Piniella said on Wednesday that reports that he will not manage next year have been greatly exaggerated.
Piniella was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying this has been a "tough year" and "sometimes it can really take a toll on you. I don't know how much longer I want to do this."
On Wednesday, Piniella clarified his comments.
"All I said basically -- and I've said this to [the beat writers] -- is I'm not a lifer," Piniella said. "I still hold to that. I wouldn't put any credence on what's been written or said until I say it or until the organization says it."
Piniella, who entered Wednesday's game one win shy of becoming the 14th manager in Major League history with 1,700 wins in his career, is signed through next year with an option for 2010.
"Basically, what I told [the Daily News] is, I'm not in this thing until I'm 70," Piniella said. "I want to enjoy my life a little bit, too. We'll see. I've got a year to go on my contract, and we'll see where it goes from there. I'm not looking five or six years ahead or four or five years ahead. I've said many times that I'm perfectly content year-to-year."
The travel and the demands that Piniella has to deal with have been more tiring than anything else.
"As you get older, these jobs are tiring jobs, they're not easy jobs," he said. "It's because you get older as a person. Most of my real good friends are all retired. I'm the only one working among my buddies in Tampa, [Fla]. All my good buddies are retired. We'll see. As long as I still have the drive and the passion, I'm fine. If I lose that, I'm not going to cheat anybody or take anybody's money."
And next year?
"I'm signed to manage the Cubs," he said. "I've never said anything to the contrary."
However, if the Cubs were to win the World Series, maybe that would be enough for the 65-year-old Pinella?
"Winning the World Series with any team is significant," he said. "I'm signed for next year and I'll honor my contract and then we'll see what happens. What I basically told [the Daily News] is I'm not a long term, whatever that means."
One thing Piniella has done is lead the Cubs to the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 1907-08. He's done his best to get rid of the lovable losers label attached to the franchise, which has not won a World Series in 100 years.
"Two years ago, when I took over, this team had lost the most games in the National League," he said, "and two years later, it's going to win the most games in the National League."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.