SEATTLE -- There are many ways in which Ozzie Guillen professes to emulate his friend and fellow manager, Lou Piniella. They both have an old-school style while still fitting into a more modern world of Major League Baseball. They both make strategic moves without worry about impending criticism, and they are two of the more entertaining and quotable leaders in the game. Where managing until 67 is concerned, the age Piniella will be when he retires after four years of leading the Cubs at the end of the 2010 campaign, that's one path Guillen doesn't believe he will follow.
"I don't think I will be alive at 67," said Guillen, drawing rousing laughter from the media during his pregame session on Tuesday. "I'm serious. I'm 46. That's 22 ... no, 21 years. "No way. No chance. I'm done. I hope I make it to 50. You can say you never know, but I don't think I will live that long." Where Piniella's Tuesday decision was concerned, Guillen admitted being surprised by the move to walk away. Guillen hopes Piniella stays involved somehow in baseball, even possibly returning as a manager. But if the Cubs' job indeed was the last for Piniella, Guillen believes his legacy in the dugout places Piniella among the best. "A lot of respect. I think this man, when you talk about baseball, period, Lou Piniella's name has to come up," Guillen said. "As a player, as a coach, as a manager, I think this guy will be in the Hall of Fame. "When you make decisions like that, drastic because he had to think about it. That's easy when you have his age and had the career that he had and had the privilege to have the power to say, 'I'm done.'
"You look at guys like Bobby Cox, Lou, Cito [Gaston], they don't give guys opportunity to fire them or leave baseball the wrong way or the way they should be. They go back home the way they should with his head up."There are two icons left in the game, him and Bobby. That says a lot. In the meanwhile, I respect his decision. I don't blame him. When my day comes, I hope it comes like that. Leave and pack my stuff up on my own, not people firing me or something."