CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella announced yesterday he will retire at the end of the season, ending a storied and often colorful career that included 18 years in the majors as a player and 22 as a manager.
The 66-year-old, who made five trips to the World Series in his career and has three championship rings, said he was looking forward to spending more time with his family. He didn’t rule out consulting for the Cubs or another team, but made it clear he was getting out of the daily grind.
“It’s been a wonderful experience,’’ he said. “There’s no way that I won’t cherish the memories here.’’
But, he added: “I’ve been away from home since 1962. That’s about 50 years.’’
General manager Jim Hendry said former Cubs Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, now a minor league manager, will be a candidate for the job. He said Piniella’s replacement won’t be hired before the end of the season.
“It’s not going to be a two-week process,’’ said Hendry.
Sandberg, who spent several seasons as a spring training instructor with the Cubs after retiring in 1997, said he is interested in the job.
“I’m proud of our accomplishments during my time here and this will be a perfect way for me to end my career,’’ Piniella said. “But let me make one thing perfectly clear: Our work is far from over.’’
The Cubs have gone 102 years without a World Series title.
A righthanded outfielder, Piniella was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1969 after batting .282 with 11 home runs and 68 RBIs with the Royals. He was traded to the Yankees in 1973 and ended his 11-year stint with New York in 1984 as a career .291 hitter.
He began managing in 1986 with the Yankees and lasted three years, including a stint as general manager. He managed the Reds from 1990-92, leading them to a World Series championship in his first season.