December 13, 2011
It looks like Lou Piniella's homecoming to the Bronx is finally becoming a reality. At least officially.
While the old manager made an appearance at Old Timers Day in 2011, Sweet Lou surprised many by taking a consulting job with the San Francisco Giants in his first post-managerial gig instead of working for the New York Yankees as was rumored.
But with the Giants wishing to increase Piniella's role in 2012 and the old skipper wanting to spend more time in Florida instead of on the West Coast, Piniella is reportedly on the verge of taking a job with the Yankees. He'll appear on the team's YES Network during game broadcasts and work as a spring training instructor. Both jobs would allow the 68-year-old to log a lot of time in his hometown of Tampa.
According to industry sources, Piniella will do a limited number of appearances for YES in the broadcast booth and studio. [...]
This likely means Yankees fans will see Piniella in the YES booth when the Bombers play the Rays in 2012. The Yankees open the season April 6 in Tampa. Piniella should have a role in that telecast.
Piniella's last TV gig came with Fox in 2006, when Steve Lyons got himself fired after making a joke about stealing wallets. The N.Y. Daily News also points out that this will be his second go-round in the Yankees' booth as he worked as an analyst in 1989 to fulfill the last remaining year of his contract after getting fired in 1988. (That's a fact that I had either forgotten and didn't know about in the first place.)
After a very nomadic 20 years for Piniella, it'll be good to see Lou back in pinstripes. He's a treasure trove of Bronx is Burning-era stories — I heard a few of them myself after pregame interview sessions at Wrigley Field — and he should make for a better YES Network broadcast. Even if he does preface every sentence or statement with an imperative "look."