In honor of the legendary Lou Piniella announcing his impending retirement from baseball earlier this week, Locker Room Cancer has come up with a list of Sweet Lou’s greatest on-the-field meltdowns.
5. September 18, 2002: In a 3-2 win against the Texas Rangers, Piniella came out to argue a call in the bottom of the ninth and was tossed by first base umpire C.B. Bucknor after throwing down his hat. Afterwards, he kicked his hat several times, aggressively approached Bucknor as he was screaming in his face, and kicked dirt on him as well. He then ripped first base from its mooring and threw it down the right field foul line twice after he imitated the umpire tossing him out.
4. Aug. 13, 1996: In an extra-innings loss to the Angels, Russ Davis was picked off on first base in the fourth inning. Lou came out to argue the call and immediately began slapping around umpire Rocky Roe. Several other umpires and players came to restrain Lou, but then he pulled out a pistol and began waiving it around shouting “Do something, I dare you!” He put the gun in Roe’s mouth and made him say the call was wrong, then walked quietly back into the clubhouse.
3. Jun. 29, 2004: While managing the Devil Rays to a win against the Boston Red Sox, Julio Lugo got called out looking at strikes in the 8th inning. Lou Piniella came out to argue balls and strikes and was tossed right away. But Lou and the flame thrower he was wearing on his back wasn’t finished with umpire John Hirshbeck just yet. He torched Fenway Park to the ground that night, starting with Hirschbeck. Sweet Lou was slapped with an 8-game suspension for that little stunt.
2. May 2nd, 2008: A blown call at home plate in the bottom of the 9th by umpire Jerry Crawford cost the Cubs the game against the Cincinnati Reds. Sweet Lou rolled his eyes and crossed his arms, angrily.
1. Sept 10, 1998: Jay Buhner hit a long fly ball down the right field line that was called foul by umpire Charlie Reliford. Lou Piniella came out to argue, but kept saying to Charlie… “Don’t make me angry, you don’t want to see me angry.” Charlie foolishly bumped chests with Lou anyways and Lou proceeded to break through his uniform and become the Hulk. After 24 hours of city destruction, tank throwing and Spiderman killing, Lou regained his human form, watched the video replay and agreed the ball was foul.