Piniella abruptly retires

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said last month he would retire at the end of the season, but family...

Cubs manager Lou Piniella said last month he would retire at the end of the season, but family issues have prompted the veteran skip to advance those plans. (ANDY LYONS/Getty Images)

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

CHICAGO -- Lou Piniella abruptly announced that Chicago's series finale versus the Braves Sunday will be his last game as Cubs manager.

It was not a successful farewell, as Atlanta hung a 16-5 blowout loss on Chicago and its departing bench boss.

Piniella had decided late last month that he would retire following the 2010 season, his fourth with the club. It's unclear exactly what prompted the advancement of his timetable for retirement, as the veteran skipper cited only family reasons.

"When I previously announced my intentions to retire at the end of the season, a primary reason for my decision was that it would allow me to spend more valuable time with my family," said Piniella. "That time has unfortunately gotten here sooner than I could have ever expected. As many know, the several weeks since that announcement was made have been very difficult on a family level, requiring two leaves of absence from the club. While I fully intended to manage this club the rest of the season, a family situation at home now requires my full attention.

"As I said last month, I couldn't be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to be their manager. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world and I consider this the ultimate way to end my managerial career."

The team quickly moved to name Mike Quade manager for the rest of the season.

The 53-year-old Quade is in his eighth season with the Cubs and served as both third base and outfield coach prior to Sunday's announcement. He becomes the 51st manager in franchise history.

Quade spent four seasons from 2003-06 as manager of Chicago's Triple-A Iowa affiliate, guiding the club to a 289-279 mark, a pair of first-place finishes and one appearance in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series (2004).

The Cubs also announced the remainder of the coaching staff will remain intact for now, although, corresponding coaching assignments are forthcoming.

"The Chicago Cubs are honoured to have had Lou Piniella as our manager for the last four years," said team chairman Tom Ricketts. "My family and I respect Lou's decision to retire from the game he loves and thank him for his years of dedicated service. He is an icon in the world of baseball and we are grateful for his time with this organization.

"Lou helped raise the bar here for this entire organization and for that we'll be forever thankful," said general manager Jim Hendry. "We understand he needs to be with his family and respect his decision to retire at this time. We salute his tremendous career and wish him and his family long-term health and happiness."

Piniella led the Cubs to NL Central titles in 2007 and 2008, but the team was swept in the Division Series both years. Chicago fell to 51-74 in 2010 after the rout.

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.

Piniella is one of only five managers to win at least three Manager of the Year awards, including 2008 with the Cubs. He completed his career with 1,835 wins as a skipper.


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