Sweet Lou At The Track

I know there are Cubbies fans that read my blog, so get a hit on this story about 'Sweet Lou', its pretty funny. It comes from Hal McCoy's Cincinnati Reds blog, The Real McCoy; check it out!

Speaking of Big Brown, one of the nation’s prettiest horse tracks is Del Mar, not far from San Diego. Lou Piniella loves the sport of kings and the last year he managed the Reds he and I went to Del Mar on a Saturday afternoon.

You had to wear a sport coat in the clubhouse. I wore one, Lou didn’t. So they brought him an usher’s jacket - a blue blazer with an orange Del Mar logo on the pocket. So there was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds sitting at a table checking out his program in an usher’s blazer.

He hit three out of the first four races and it was time to go - Piniella needed to make out a lineup card for batting practice. But he was running hot with the ponies and wanted to stay. “One more, one more,” he said.

I nearly had to drag him out of Del Mar and as we sped down the interstate toward the ball park, I said to him, “We’re going to be late. Batting practice starts soon and they don’t even have a lineup.”

It was early September and Piniella wanted a contract extension from owner Marge Schott, but she wouldn’t talk to him during the season. So, at that moment, on the freeway, Piniella said, “To hell with them. I’m not coming back next year anyway.”

And that’s how I got the scoop that Piniella wasn’t returning for another season.

Oh, for the good ol’ days - back in the day…

Thanks again Hal!


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