"A lot of years in baseball, a Hall of Famer," Guillen said.
Though initially surprised that Piniella had decided to step down now rather than follow through on earlier plans to manage through the end of the season, Guillen said he understood that family considerations and the weight of unfulfilled expectations with this year's Cubs could be a heavy burden.
"I wish I could have a career like him," Guillen said. "When my time comes, I want my name to be like Lou's was in a managing career. A lot of people forgot how good he was as a player because of all he did while managing. When you say Lou, Tony [La Russa], Bobby [Cox], Joe Torre, and you have your name there, it's a privilege."
Long familiar with the Chicago baseball scene, Guillen understands the unique challenges of managing on the North Side.
"The expectations on that side of town are higher," Guillen said. "There's no question about it."