02/22/12 3:15 PM EST
Piniella joins YES Network team
Duties as special contributor include analyst work for Yanks
By Zack Meisel / MLB.com
Piniella will serve as a special contributor for Yankees coverage, working as an analyst on some games, as well as pre- and postgame work from the network's studio.
"To have someone who has done what he's done in his distinguished career, and someone who is as opinionated and iconic as Lou is, to have him join our ranks is a thrill," said John Filippelli, president of production and programming for the YES network.
Filippelli said he expects Piniella to contribute to 20-30 games and other events during the season, though he added that the number could increase.
"I'm honored and excited to join the Yankee network and be part of the Yankees family again," Piniella said. "I left there in 1989, and it's a thrill to be involved with the New York Yankees again and go back to my roots. I played on some great teams there and managed some great teams as well."
Piniella started his big league managerial career with New York in 1986, two years after he finished an 11-year stint with the Yankees as an outfielder. He led the Yankees to 90 and 89 wins, respectively, in his first two seasons. He took over as general manager to begin the 1988 campaign, and also managed the club midway through the season after the firing of Billy Martin.
Two years later, Piniella directed the Reds to a World Series crown in the first of his three seasons with Cincinnati. The often-animated manager spent his longest stint in Seattle, where he managed the Mariners from 1993-2002. Seattle won the American League West three times under his reign, including a record-tying 116-win season in '01.
Piniella wrapped up his managerial tenure with three years with the Rays and four with the Cubs.
Piniella has plenty of broadcasting experience. He worked as a color analyst on Yankees telecasts in 1989 and spent the 2006 postseason as an analyst for FOX.
Piniella recalled his first time in the broadcast booth and the challenges the analyst position can present.
"I was really prepared, but by the sixth inning, I was out of material," Piniella said. "I was sweating profusely, thinking to myself, 'I can't wait for this game to finish.' As I got more experience, I became more relaxed and had more fun with it and communicated a lot better with my broadcast partner. It became fun."
Piniella was never one to mask his emotions during his tenure as a Major League manager. He said a good analyst keeps things interesting.
"You have to be funny at times," Piniella said. "You have to be informative and at the same time, you have to make it interesting for the people watching the ballgame."