Giants to hire Lou Piniella

Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella stands for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner before the game against the Atlanta Braves at Wrigley Field in Chicago on August 22, 2010. Piniella announced Sunday that the game would be his last game as manager. UPI/Brian Kersey

Even though Bruce Bochy just helped them win their first World Series title since the team moved to San Francisco in 1957, the Giants have decided to give him the boot and hire Lou Piniella instead.

Nah, I’m just kidding. Bochy and that giant-sized dome of his aren’t going anywhere. But the Giants did hire Piniella to act as some kind of baseball czar according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

He retired from managing in August, more eager to be with his family, citing his mother’s failing health, than playing out the string with the Cubs. The good news is that he’s not totally gone from the game, and that’s where the Giants enter the picture.

The team hasn’t made an announcement yet, but The Chronicle learned Piniella, 67, is joining the Giants’ front office to consult in a variety of ways, whether it’s evaluating or advising on player movement or scouting or . . . well, whatever a baseball lifer of 48 years can provide.

I’m not sure how much of an impact Piniella will have on the Giants’ week-to-week operations. The club hired Felipe Alou after the 2006 season and after that news made a small ripple in the San Francisco area, nobody has mentioned him since. I even forgot he was with the team until I read the Chronicle’s article about Piniella.

That said, adding a man with as much baseball experience as Piniella can’t be a bad thing. Nobody outside of GM Brian Sabean knows what Piniella will be doing, but I don’t see how this could blow up in the Giants’ faces. After all, the club already has a World Series-winning manager in Bochy, so if they start the season 10-20 it’s not like rumors will start to surface about Piniella taking over (uh, I think). After all, Piniella will set up shop in Florida, which Google maps tells me is cross-country from San Francisco.

I think it’s a good decision by the defending champs. Piniella was available and has connections with the Giants. Seems like a good fit.

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