Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

D’Rays make offer to manager Piniella

October 23, 2002

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— Lou Piniella was offered the job as manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Tuesday and now must decide if he wants to work at home or merely closer to it.

Details were not disclosed, but the deal was believed to be a three- or four-year offer with an average salary that is more than the $2.5 million Piniella was to earn as Seattle's manager in 2003. Piniella lives in Tampa in the offseason and wants to work closer to his family. He also is being pursued by the Mets.

A ban on major announcements during the World Series forced the Devil Rays to cancel an afternoon news conference at Tropicana Field, where general manager Chuck LaMar planned to give an update on the club's pursuit of Piniella.

"The commissioner's office has informed the Devil Rays and other clubs that there will be no comments on any subject until the World Series is completed," the Devil Rays said in a statement.

In San Francisco, commissioner Bud Selig said he issued the directive.

"We have a memorandum that's four, five years old, maybe, longer, that says during the World Series, the focus is on the World Series," Selig said.

He said he spoke personally with the parties involved and told them "in many cases, you spend your whole life trying to get to the World Series the focus has to be on the World Series."

Selig said the ban was solely on public announcements, not on talks.

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