Lou Piniella wants to be in background

As Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella enters the last year of his contract, he doesn't want the possibility of returning for another season to be a distraction to his team.

The Cubs have new owners in the Ricketts family, and Ryne Sandberg was promoted to manage Triple-A Iowa this year, so even if Piniella is open to returning, it's not certain that wish would be granted.

"My future plans here are to do the best job I possibly can managing this baseball team," Piniella said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I enjoy my job; I come here with enthusiasm. I really, really like the winning part of it.

"My job is to help this team get on top again this year, and that's what we're going to work exceedingly hard for. And then at the end of the baseball season, they could sit down and see what my future is. I don't want that to be a distraction to this team at all."

The Cubs missed the playoffs last season for the first time in Piniella's three years at the helm.

"All I want basically is for the players to have the forefront, let me stay in the background and tweak it here and there and let the guys play," Piniella said. "What happens with me, we'll find out at the end of the year."