Sweet Lou In Flushing?

Bobby Valentine, one might argue, was a scapegoat; terminated because the Mets did not win enough baseball games. Lou Piniella, on the other hand, has won a great amount of baseball games, and he could continue to be one of the top managers in baseball next year in Flushing Meadows. Picture that.

According to newspaper reports over the last few days, the Mariners could be close to letting one of the finest managers in the game out of his contract, pushing him into the hands of the New York Metropolitans within days.

Peeved with Seattle's management, he wants to leave their organization; his principal complaint being their disinclination to spend what was necessary to improve the franchise for the stretch run by acquiring players at the trading deadline.

The stage has been set for Lou Piniella to "show up at Shea" next season.

Sweet Lou is one of the pre-eminent skippers in the game, with a combination of fiery attitude and hard-earned admiration and respect from coaches and players alike. His antics - including throwing bases, covering home plate with dirt, kicking the ground with disdain and hammering his hat into the turf in disgust - have become the trademark of his managerial style.

With all the hype being generated these last few days, Mets fans everywhere would be traumatized and bewildered to see Lou go anywhere but Shea now.

Piniella, 59, has managed the Seattle Mariners since 1993, capturing three division titles during his tenure, including a season in which his team had a record setting 116-46 campaign a year ago.

He has won two General Manager of the Year awards -- 1995 and 2001 -- and a World Series ring with the Reds in 1990.

He wore the pinstripes for George Steinbrenner's Yankees as a player from 1974-1984, and managed the Bombers from 1986-1988. No shrinking violet, Lou can only enhance the ferocious Yankee/Met battle to win the hearts and minds of New York's rabid baseball fans.

He seems to be the ideal field general for a team that has been built to "win now".

Without question, the men that he manages play their hearts out for him. In over fifteen years as a manager, he has compiled a 1319-1135 career record with the Yankees, Reds, and Mariners.

As soon as Piniella is good to go, he could be walking through the doors of Shea Stadium within a matter of days for an interview. Then, shortly thereafter, we can expect to see him sitting in at a press conference with Steve Phillips. It is no longer a long shot, partner.

On paper, it would seem to work splendidly for both parties; the Mets getting one of the premier managers in baseball, and Piniella getting closer to his family in Florida.

"I'd rather be a swing man on a championship team," said Sweet Lou a few years ago, "than a regular on another team." A championship team. Picture that. Picture that at Shea.

Writer Christoper Guy covers the Mets for NYFansOnly. You can e-mail him at NYMetsBelieve@AOL.com.

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