Rays remember Lou
With Lou Piniella announcing today he will retire after the season, there were a lot of memories and old stories flying around the Rays clubhouse. More so from the staff than the players, since only two of the current Rays played under Piniella during his 2003-2005 reign, Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton.
John Romano will have more on Piniella in Wednesday's Times, but here's a sampling of the reaction:
"I thought he would manage for a long time. He loves the game. To see him say he's retiring right now is a little surprising. ... I think it was one of the best things to ever happen for me to play for Lou. He just put that in me, that go-play-hard-stuff all the time, every play go all out, don’t take no time off. He just really put that in you and pushed you to the max. And at the end of the year you’re tired as hell but you look back and you’re like, I’m glad I played for Lou because he gets everything out of you.''
"I think he's a great manager. He's the type of manager that you know he’s going to be on you and definitely makes you play up to your potential. He's a great leader. You know what he expects out of you, so there’s no in-between.''
FROM THIRD-BASE COACH TOM FOLEY:
"Surprised, no not surprised. He's been in the game a long time. I guess it's time for him. We had a rough stretch here. He tried to turn things around here and it just didn't work out at the time. I can say he did everything he could to make this thing work. ... I enjoyed my years with him.''
FROM CURRENT RAYS MANAGER JOE MADDON:
"I thought he was fearless, I thought he was very creative. I didn’t know him that well but his teams played hard and they were very good.
Part of my job (with the Angels) was to observe the other manager and see what he was doing, what his tendencies were. And he was very unpredictable. He was a very unpredictable kind of a guy, which I think is good. So I’ve always appreciated him from a distance. I’ve had several conversations with him, he’s been very kind to me, and I’ve enjoyed those.’’