Lou Piniella marvels at Jack McKeon and Davey Johnson.
He just doesn’t have any desire to join them and return to managing.
“My managing career is over,” said Piniella, who made his Old-Timers’ debut on Sunday afternoon. “I’m gonna enjoy my family. My grandkids. I’m gonna enjoy my life.
“There comes a time for everybody, and my time came last year. I made the right decision. I don’t miss it. I love the game of baseball, but boy, to come in here and explain why I didn’t take a pitch out or why i didn’t pinch-hit or why I didn’t bunt, well, that was enough.”
Piniella said it wasn’t difficult to walk away.
“I played until I was 41, so I probably overstepped my boundaries,” Piniella said. “But if you’ve been around this game enough, you know when it’s time. You know.”
“Sweet Lou” played with the Yankees from 1974-84 and managed them from 1986-88.
He just hadn’t been back to the Bronx in a while.
“I haven’t been back in 20 years or so,” Piniella said. “So it’s special for me.”
Piniella said he cried after being made aware that he’d been traded to the Yankees.
“I was with Kansas City five years. I cried. I really enjoyed the city,” Piniella said. “But that was a defining moment in my career. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Piniella played under Billy Martin. He also managed like him.
“I’ll tell you this, when I first started managing the Yankees in 1986, Mr. Steinbrenner told me in Fort Lauderdale, ‘Look, your primary job is to win, but you get paid to put fannies in the seats too, so when you get kicked out of a game, put on a good show. And I took it to heart,” Piniella joked.