Time to move on Lou
Lou Pinella manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays ML baseball team has been released from his contract via a buyout. This was not unexpected news.
The Devil Rays have been the worst or close to being the worst team in baseball every year of its existence since 1998. Little talent, poor personnel decisions and ownership that don't want to spend money. Spending money on MLB salaries isn't always a solution, there is plenty of over -rated players around not worth spending money on. But having the smallest payroll in baseball isn't going to build a winner either. The Devil Rays have had that the last three years.
I truthfully don't understand ownership in a case like this. No one unless you're the early Mets is going to come to see a perennial loser play baseball. If you want to make money you have to invest in a company. Right now no one wants to do that with the Devil Rays. I don't fault Lou for wanting to leave a situation like this. Good luck Lou, I'm certain you'll find baseball work somewhere.
Brunch- Basil's Blog
ST. PETERSBURG The scene inside Lou Piniella's Tropicana Field office Friday offered a stark contrast to the one in a photo hanging on the wall adjacent to his office desk.
In the photo from that promising day three years and 282 losses ago -- the October afternoon in 2002 that he was introduced as Devil Rays manager -- Piniella looked trim, tanned and upbeat, excited about coming home to manage. On Friday, the day Piniella's departure became official, he faced a large contingent of media inside his cramped office. He looked weary from a three-year homecoming that, as a result of unfulfilled promises and an ownership change, didn't exactly go as planned.
Piniella called the $2.2 million buyout agreement of his $4.4 million contract for next season -- the final year of his original four-year, $13 million contract -- a "win-win situation for the baseball team, and for myself." Still, as much as he tried to put a positive spin on the situation, there was no denying Piniella's three-year stint as Tampa Bay's manager was disappointing.
"When I signed on here three years ago, I didn't think it would end this way, obviously," Piniella said. "If I thought it would, I would probably have chosen a different approach. I've done the best I can.
"I've enjoyed a lot of things about this job. I wish we would have won more baseball games, because that's what I really enjoy the most. … But it didn't work out that way."
Piniella spoke publicly for the first time Friday about his departure. He will manage his final game for the Rays on Sunday against the Orioles. The club made an official announcement with a press release earlier in the day.
"Lou is a great baseball man and friend. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays thank him for his service to the team and wish him well in his future endeavors," managing general partner Vince Naimoli said in the statement.
To many, Naimoli is the primary reason Piniella is leaving since he failed to fulfill promises of increasing the club's payroll after Piniella's first season. Tampa Bay owned the smallest payroll ($29 million in 2005) in the majors during all three of Piniella's seasons.
Piniella declined to discuss how the low payrolls affected his decision. "I don't want to rehash those things. I want this to be very amicable. I want this to be very positive."