Piniella to hang up cap

Cubs manager Lou Piniella says he will retire at the end of the season. (Getty Images/AFP/Andy...

Cubs manager Lou Piniella says he will retire at the end of the season. (Getty Images/AFP/Andy Lyons)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 2:58 PM ET

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella has decided to retire at the conclusion of the 2010 season.

Piniella is in his fourth season as Cubs manager. He guided the club to a winning record in each of his first three years, but the team is just 42-52 entering Tuesday's game against Houston.

"Why make this announcement now?" Piniella said in a statement released by the team. ")General manager) Jim Hendry asked me in recent weeks regarding my future with the team and I told him I had made the decision to retire at the end of the season. Since my decision has now been made, I don't want to mislead anyone about my intentions when asked about the future."

Piniella is the first Cubs manager in more than 70 years to post a record of .500 or better in each of his first three seasons with the team. He led the Cubs to NL Central titles in 2007 and 2008, but the team was swept in the Division Series both years.

"I couldn't be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to manage this ballclub," said Piniella. "I've had four wonderful years here that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. I've grown to love the city and the fans but at my age [67 at the end of the season] it will be time to enter a new phase in my life. It will enable me to spend more valuable time with my family -- my wife, my kids and my grandchildren. God has blessed me to have been able to work this many years in the game that I love."

Piniella is one of only five managers to win at least three Manager of the Year awards, including 2008 with the Cubs. He has 1,826 career wins as a skipper entering Tuesday's contest.

Before the Cubs, Piniella also managed the New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay. He earned AL Manager of the Year honours with Seattle in 1995 and 2001, and won a World Series title with the Reds in 1990.

"Announcing my decision now is what's best for this organization in the long run," Piniella added. "It gives Jim Hendry ample time to find the next manager and he doesn't need to do so in secrecy. The Cubs are one of the greatest organizations in baseball. I care very deeply for this organization and want nothing more than for it to experience present and long-term success. I'm proud of our accomplishments during my time here and this will be a perfect way for me to end my career.

"But let me make one thing perfectly clear: our work is far from over. I want to keep the momentum going more than anything else and win as many games as we can to get back in this pennant race. I'm going to give every effort I have to help this team win and that will remain my sole focus through the rest of the season."

The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 and haven't reached the Fall Classic since 1945.


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