Piniella takes self out of running for Giants job

DETROIT -- As much as Lou Piniella would have loved to manage the San Francisco Giants, he took himself out of running for the job Friday strictly because of geography.

Piniella, who is broadcasting the American League Championship Series for Fox, lives in Tampa, Fla., and was reminded this week on a long cross-country flight of one of the main reasons why he left the Seattle Mariners in the first place.

"The whole situation is this: Lou has a very long-standing relationship and friendship with [Giants GM] Brian Sabean," Piniella's agent, Alan Nero, said in a phone interview Friday. "When the opening came up, he was interested. He has tremendous respect for the organization and a lot of respect for Peter [Magowan] and ownership. He was intrigued by the opportunity and happy that they considered him."

San Francisco parted ways with Felipe Alou after four years on Oct. 2, one day after the team finished its second straight losing season. The Giants are committed to moving forward with a younger roster -- and perhaps a younger manager.

Sabean, who worked with Piniella in the Yankees organization, knew that Piniella's preference would probably be to stick closer to home.

"We certainly appreciated his interest and enjoyed the process," Sabean said. "It's good that he expressed his feelings and we wish him and his family well."

Sabean said his search "is still an ongoing process. He was one of a number of candidates."

Piniella is still up for the job to replace Dusty Baker as manager of the Chicago Cubs and he also spoke to the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers -- though Piniella said the Washington job was not an ideal fit for either party.

The 63-year-old Piniella has been working in television since parting ways with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after the 2005 season following three difficult years as manager. He left the Mariners to return home after 10 seasons as Seattle's skipper.

Earlier this week, he was even rumored to be headed back to the Bronx to manage the Yankees if owner George Steinbrenner fired Joe Torre after New York's second straight first-round playoff exit -- but Torre is staying put in 2007.

Piniella managed the Yankees from 1986-88, and Sweet Lou also spent the final 11 seasons of his 18-year playing career in pinstripes.