Former New York Yankees player, manager and general manager Lou Piniella is stepping to the plate as a special contributor to the YES Network.
'Sweet Lou' will provide New York Yankees game and studio analysis on YES, be involved in the regional sports network's spring training and potential post-season coverage, and will contribute to its special event programming. Piniella, who will also contribute to YESNetwork.com, is a guest on an upcoming YES CenterStage show hosted by Michael Kay.
One of the most popular Yankees, Piniella played his final 11 MLB seasons with the team and served as an integral piece as an outfielder and designated hitter on their World Series Championship teams in 1977 and 1978. He also managed the Yankees from 1986 to 1987, before serving as New York's general manager in 1988 and then resumed his manager's role in June of that year.
"With five decades of experience as a player, coach, manager and general manager, Lou brings a rare combination of in-depth knowledge and experience to YES which is second to none," said John Filippelli, president of production and programming at YES, in announcing the hire. "He is a true student of the game and has a genuine love of the game, and he will make his presence felt across various YES platforms throughout the season."
The Tampa native was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 1962 and made his major league debut in 1964 for the Baltimore Orioles. He re-joined the Cleveland Indians in 1968 before moving the following season to the Kansas City Royals, where he was named the 1969 American League Rookie of the Year. . An All-Star with the Royals in 1972, Piniella, a lifetime .291 hitter with 102 HRs abd 766 RBIs, began his 11-year stint in Yankees pinstripes two years later.
As a field general, he guided the Reds to the World Series championship in 1990. Piniella was a two-time American League manager of the year at the helm of the Seattle Mariners in 1995 and again in 2001. He managed Tampa Bay from 2003-2005 and the Cubs from 2007-2010, earning National League manager of the year honors in 2008.
Piniella was a game analyst during MSG Network's Yankees telecasts in 1989, and was an analyst for Fox Sports' MLB coverage in 2006.