Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lou Piniella, Who Led the Seattle Mariners to Their First Playoff

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Lou Piniella, Who Led the Seattle Mariners to Their First Playoff

Article excerpt

Lou Piniella, who led the Seattle Mariners to their first playoff appearance, was voted The Associated Press Manager of the Year on Wednesday.

Piniella received 27 of 66 votes in nationwide balloting by sportswriters and broadcasters. Colorado manager Don Baylor was second with 13 votes, followed by Cleveland's Mike Hargrove with 10. Atlanta's Bobby Cox and Boston's Kevin Kennedy had six votes each.

Earlier this month, Piniella was voted AL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The AP began selecting one major-league Manager of the Year in 1984.

"I'm very humble about it because I know I'm just a figurehead for the organization," Piniella said from his home in Tampa, Fla. "When players play well, when coaches do a good job, when the front office gets you players, the manager reaps the reward. In my case, my players did an outstanding job for me, as did my staff."

Seattle won the AL West after trailing first-place California by 13 games on Aug. 2. The Mariners won the division by beating the Angels in a one-game playoff to finish 79-66.

Piniella, 52, came to Seattle in 1993 after managing the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds. He led Cincinnati to the World Series title in 1990.

Since Piniella took over, the Mariners are 210-209. He is the only manager with a winning record in the history of the franchise.

Angels Land Velarde: Free-agent infielder Randy Velarde and the California Angels agreed to a $2.45 million, three-year contract.

Velarde, 32, hit .278 with 19 doubles, one triple, seven homers and 46 RBIs in 111 games for the New York Yankees last season. He started 104 games - 53 at second base; 24 at shortstop; 14 in left field, and 13 at third base.

Velarde had a base salary of $350,000 last season and earned an additional $150,000 in bonus. Under his deal with the Angels, he will make $800,000 in each of the next two seasons and $850,000 in 1998. …

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