Chicago Cubs manager and omnipresent Tony La Russa foil Lou Piniella announced his intent to retire at the end of the 2010 season today, ending speculation about his job security in the midst of a disappointing season that's seen the Cubs fall to fourth place in the NL Central, 10.5 games behind the first place Cardinals.
His press statement reads, in part:
I couldn't be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to manage this ballclub," said Piniella. "I've had four wonderful years here that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. I've grown to love the city and the fans but at my age (67 at the end of the season) it will be time to enter a new phase in my life. It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family - my wife, my kids and my grandchildren. God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love.
Why make this announcement now? Jim Hendry asked me in recent weeks regarding my future with the team and I told him I had made the decision to retire at the end of the season. Since my decision has now been made, I don't want to mislead anyone about my intentions when asked in the future.