George Steinbrenner fired Lou Piniella as manager of the New York Yankees on Friday, making the 16th managerial change since he bought the team in 1973. Dallas Green was named as Piniella's replacement.
Commissioner Peter Ueberroth had asked Steinbrenner not to upstage the playoffs by making a change. But Steinbrenner spoke with Ueberroth in Tampa, Fla., on Friday and was given a "window" between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. EDT to make the move, Yankeee spokesman Harvey Greene said.Steinbrenner has twice changed managers during the World Series, naming Piniella to replace Billy Martin on the day of the seventh game of the 1985 World Series and replacing Piniella with Martin during the 1987 Series.
Green managed the Philadelphia Phillies to a World Series victory in 1980 and was general manager of the Chicago Cubs when they won the National League East in 1984. He resigned after the 1987 season in a dispute with the front office over the hiring of Don Zimmer as manager.
It was the second time Piniella was replaced as Yankee manager. He was made general manager last year when Steinbrenner brought Martin back for his fifth term as manager. Piniella resigned as general manager in May and then returned as manager in June when Martin was fired after a brawl in a topless bar in Texas.
Green, who said he signed a two-year contract, is no stranger to conflicts with ownership.
"Any management situation is liable to explode," he said. "I thought we were doing very well in Chicago and it exploded. In Philadelphia it exploded. I know it's part of the game. I'm not afraid to cross any bridge that comes to me."