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What they’re saying about Lou Piniella’s retirement...

Cubs manager Lou Piniella got the opportunity to explain his sudden retirement before Sunday’s game against the Braves. It’s more about his sick mother than his frustration with the Cubs’ play, and many folks are sharing great ‘Sweet Lou’ stories this afternoon.

Here is a bit of Piniella’s statement, via Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune:

“When I previously announced my intentions to retire at the end of the season, a primary reason for my decision was that it would allow me to spend more valuable time with my family. That time has unfortunately gotten here sooner than I could have ever expected.

I couldn’t be more appreciative of the Cubs organization for providing me the opportunity to be their manager. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world and I consider this the ultimate way to end my managerial career.”

And some reactions to Lou’s departure:

* Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a Mariners perspective: “Piniella is remembered by M’s fans for more than just the wins,” writes Johns. “His emotional outbursts on the field were legendary, but even more important was his presence and leadership for a franchise desperately in need of both.”

* Ken Rosenthal of believes that the timing is right for a new manager in Chicago. But he will remember Piniella with fond memories. “Sweet Lou provided so many fun moments for fans across all the country,” writes Rosenthal, " entertaining us with his classic ejections and rants, not to mention winning baseball.”

* Adam McCalvy of passes along some kind words from Brewers manager Ken Macha. The two were rivals in the AL West for a while. “Lou and I talked quite a bit over the years that I managed,” Macha said. “I said this when he announced his retirement, that I admire the guys who have done this job for that long, [like] Bobby Cox and [Joe] Torre. This is not an easy job.”

* Cubs starter Ryan Dempster told the Chicago Tribune that he is said to see Piniella go, but also that he understands the reasoning behind the sudden departure: “Dealing with family issues and dealing with your mom are something none us ever want to go through,” Dempster said. “I’m happy for him he gets to go be with her.Obviously, the season didn’t go like we wanted it to but the most important thing is family and he gets to be with his mom and be around her.”