John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle dropped some fairly surprising news on Tuesday night: Lou Piniella will be joining the reigning world champions as a consultant this season.
The team hasn't confirmed this news just yet, but it's a little out of the blue if true. There has been speculation that Piniella might rejoin the New York Yankees and take a similar role. If that didn't work out, you'd assume that he'd sign up with a team that's closer to his Florida home — both for spring training and regular-season games.
But Shea notes that Piniella and Giants' GM Brian Sabean go way back and if this is just a ceremonial figurehead job that he's earned, it probably doesn't matter where the Giants play or where Lou lives. (Plus, it's not as if he hasn't spent the last few springs in Arizona, where the Giants and his last team, the Chicago Cubs, both train.)
After entering on the ground floor for his last two jobs — with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003 and the Cubs in 2007 — perhaps Piniella thought he'd see how the other half lives by coming in with the champs. Here's hoping that he gives a lot of time to the crew that's producing the new Showtime show about the Giants this season.
- Lou Piniella