- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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YES has officially hired Lou Piniella. Here is the release:
Former New York Yankees player, manager and general manager Lou Piniella has joined the YES Network as a special contributor. He will provide Yankees game and studio analysis on YES, will be involved in the network’s Spring Training and potential post-season coverage, and will contribute to YES special event programming. Piniella will also contribute to YESNetwork.com. Piniella will also be a guest on an upcoming YES CenterStage show hosted by Michael Kay.
One of the most popular Yankees, Piniella played his final 11 major league seasons with the team and was a pivotal piece of their World Series Championship teams in 1977 and 1978. During his time in the Bronx, he played on five American League East-winning teams and four pennant-winners. He also managed the Yankees from 1986 to 1987. He took over as New York’s general manager in 1988 and also resumed his manager’s role in June of that year.
“With five decades of experience as a player, coach, manager and general manager, Lou brings a rare combination of in-depth knowledge and experience to YES which is second to none,” said John J. Filippelli, president of production and programming, YES Network. “He is a true student of the game and has a genuine love of the game, and he will make his presence felt across various YES platforms throughout the season.”
The Tampa native was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 1962 and made his major league debut in 1964 for the Baltimore Orioles. He re-joined the Cleveland Indians in 1968 before moving the following season to the Kansas City Royals, where he was named the 1969 American League Rookie of the Year. During that 1969 season, the Royals’ inaugural season, he was the first batter in the team’s history (he hit a double in the April 8 season-opener). He was an All-Star with the Royals in 1972. In 1974, Piniella began his 11-year stint in Yankees pinstripes. Piniella owns a .291 career batting average, with 102 home runs and 766 runs batted in.
While managing Cincinnati from 1990 to 1992, he guided the Reds to the World Series Championship in 1990. Piniella was a two-time American League Manager of the Year while skippering the Mariners, in 1995 and again in 2001. He managed Tampa Bay from 2003-2005 and the Cubs from 2007-2010, earning National League Manager of the Year honors in 2008.
Piniella was a game analyst during MSG Network’s Yankees telecasts in 1989, and was an analyst for FOX Sports’ MLB coverage in 2006. He is a graduate of Tampa’s Jesuit High School, where he was an All-American basketball player. He played his collegiate baseball at the University of Tampa, earning NCAA Division II All-American honors.