Lou Piniella, the first Royals player ever to come to bat and the winner of the 1969 American Rookie of the Year award, is retiring as manager of the Chicago Cubs at the end of the season. He will leave a legacy of hilarious fits, meltdowns, tirades and ejections. Highlights after the jump.
While Piniella was a great ball player, hitting .291 over a 18-year career, he also excelled as a manager. He twice won the AL Manager of the Year honor (including one for his 116-win 2001 campaign with Seattle), and earned the National League Manager of the Year award in 2008 with the Cubs. But for all of his accolades and talent for turning bad teams into winners, there is no question that he'll be most remembered for being fountain of rage just waiting for a bad call, blown lead or annoying mascot to set him off. Let's look at a few Lou's greatest hits.
Here he is during his playing days with the Yankees stating his disagreement with an umpire:
In this example of hat kicking (a patented Piniella move), we see how Lou might have thought about a career as a place-kicker in the NFL if baseball hadn't worked out:
Here's a dandy 2007 freak out in which Piniella tries to kick dirt on all of the umpires, and hats rain down from Wrigley's bleacher bums:
Finally, since baseball will be much duller without Sweet Lou showing fans just how far his neck veins can pop out, I nominate former big league second baseman and current minor league skipper Wally Backman for Piniella's job. Put your headphones on if you're at work.
Photo via Jauerback.