ST. LOUIS -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy saluted Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella, who stepped down from his post Sunday for family reasons. Bochy and Piniella developed a rapport when the former managed San Diego and the latter was Seattle's skipper. The teams share a Spring Training complex in Peoria, Ariz., which brought Bochy and Piniella together frequently. "I've been fortunate to spend some time with Lou," Bochy said. "I have immense respect for all he has done in baseball, as a player, a manager and as a general manager. He's worn a lot of hats. He has a tremendous career he should be proud of."
The subject of Piniella's emotional exterior prompted a grin from Bochy. "Lou has a great personality," Bochy said. "People love Lou. He's the kind of guy people love talking baseball with." Piniella and Bochy are linked in another respect. Giants management put out feelers to Piniella after the 2006 season to determine whether he'd be interested in managing the club. After Piniella declined, the Giants pursued Bochy, who accepted their offer almost immediately.