Lou Piniella on Manager of the Year Award: I Owe it All to Me
November 14, 2008
(Chicago, IL) – The postseason awards are in full swing, and the Chicago Cubs are raking in the hardware. Earlier in the week, catcher Geovany Soto was named the NL Rookie of the Year, only to be followed by manager Lou Piniella winning the NL Manager of the Year Award.
It is a well-deserved accolade, to be certain, after he led the Cubs to the best regular season record in the National League. And Lou wants to make sure he thanks everyone who helped him get where he is. Though it’s a surprisingly short list.
“I’m really excited about this award because it emphasizes what a tremendous year this was,” Piniella said at a press conference Thursday, accepting the award. “The year was tremendous for many reasons, but mostly because I was the greatest manager in the National League. This award proves that.”
“I just want to say that I am awesome, and I couldn’t have done it without me,” Piniella continued. “I was given a ragtag roster of has-beens, rookies, and scrubs, and I turned them into the best team in the National League. In the regular season, anyway, and that’s all this award cares about. I really just have to hand myself all the credit.”
Piniella has been an inspirational leader for the team, but his starkly un-humble speech caught many of his players off guard.
“I thought maybe he would thank some of us, you know,” pitcher Ted Lilly said. “Or at the very least, maybe he would thank God. I guess he did thank Jesus, but only because he said he wanted to thank Jesus for making him so awesome that he didn’t need anyone else including Jesus.”
Piniella continued his victory tour later in the day in an interview with Sportscenter.
“Yeah, I’m just saying that I’ve really got to hand it to me because it’s not like I got any help out there. I’m not like that American League manager who won the award [Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Madden]. That guy had a team stacked with young talent, and it was poised to win when he took over. Gee, I wonder who set that team up for success before he got there. Me! It was me, all right! I set that damn team up for success. I’m sorry, I felt like I was being too subtle.”
Piniella went on to emphasize how much more he appreciates a Manager of the Year Award than he would have appreciated a World Series trophy because he doesn’t have to share his award with “25 queens with no talent.”