Cubs Exercise Contract Option for Lou

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today announced the club has exercised the 2010 club contract option for Manager Lou Piniella.

"Lou Piniella has done an outstanding job with the Cubs and we couldn't be more pleased to exercise his option for the 2010 season," said Cubs Vice-President/General Manager Jim Hendry. "Lou exudes success, is an excellent leader and brings a humble, confident swagger to our entire organization."

In his two seasons with the Cubs, Piniella has guided the club to consecutive National League Central Division titles and is the first Cubs manager to lead the club to consecutive post-season berths since Frank Chance in 1906-1908. He has helped lead the Cubs to a 31-win turnaround the last two seasons, as the club's 85 wins in 2007 was a 19-game improvement from 2006 and the team's 97 wins in 2008 was a 12-game rise from 2007.

The 97 wins this season marked the second-most by any club Piniella has managed, trailing only the 2001 Seattle Mariners club that won 116 games. Piniella joined Dick Williams as the only managers to win 90 games with four different clubs, as he previously reached 90 wins with the Yankees, Reds and Mariners.

Piniella is 1,701-1,561 in 21 seasons as a major league manager with the Yankees (1986-88), Reds (1990-92), Mariners (1993-2002), Devil Rays (2003-05) and Cubs (2007-08). His 1,701 managerial victories rank 14th in major league history and are fourth among active managers behind Tony LaRussa (2,461), Bobby Cox (2,327) and Joe Torre (2,151). He last week won his 1,700th game to join Torre as the only people in major league history to record 1,700 wins as a manager and 1,700 hits as a player.

The Cubs have gone 182-141 under Piniella's guidance, a .563 winning percentage, and the 182 wins are the most in back-to-back seasons by the Cubs since 1935-36, when the club combined to win 187 contests. Piniella was originally hired to manage the Cubs on October 17, 2006.

In 2008, Chicago was either tied or had sole possession of first place in the division for 151 of 181 days, including May 11 through the end of the season. The club this year reached a season-high 35-games above .500 for the first time since 1945, when the team was 42-games above .500 at the end of the season.

Including 2008, Piniella has gone to the postseason 12 times during his big league career (seven times as a manager and five times as a player). He is a two-time Baseball Writers Association of America American League Manager of the Year selection and a two-time The Sporting News Manager of the Year, winning both awards in 1995 and 2001.

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