OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Lou Piniella hasn’t heard from Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and he doesn’t have much to say about a possible return to the Bronx.

“We’ve always been friendly,” Piniella said Monday at a workout before the AL championship series, which he will broadcast for Fox. “No, we haven’t talked at all about that. In fact I haven’t seen Mr. Steinbrenner in 10 months. Talk to my agent about these things.”

The New York Daily News reported Sunday that Steinbrenner was ready to dismiss manager Joe Torre and hire Piniella for another stint as skipper. Piniella managed the Yankees from 1986-88, and Sweet Lou also spent the final 11 seasons of his 18-year playing career in pinstripes.

The Yankees were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs Saturday for the second consecutive season. They lost to the Detroit Tigers in four games after winning Game 1.

Piniella, who has had a preliminary conversation with the San Francisco Giants about their managerial opening and also spoken to the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals, all but ruled out that he would be Frank Robinson’s replacement to manage the Nationals next season.

The 63-year-old Piniella had a meeting with Washington general manager Jim Bowden.

“It went well. Jim’s a personal friend,” Piniella said. “They’re a team that’s going to be building for the future. That’s a situation really that’s not for a guy like me. I think they’re going to go with a young manager, and rightfully so.”

Piniella also hasn’t spoken to Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees’ embattled third baseman.

who is 4-for-41 (.098) without an RBI in his last 12 postseason games.

The two-time MVP went 1-for-14 against the Tigers and was dropped to eighth in the batting order for the first time in a decade Saturday, when the Yankees lost 8-3.

Piniella first managed A-Rod, who has said he wants to keep playing in pinstripes, in Seattle. What would he tell his former player?

“Have a good winter and relax, what else can you say?” Piniella said. “He said he wants to stay. That’s a good sign.”

San Francisco is looking for a manager to replace Felipe Alou, whose contract wasn’t renewed after two straight losing seasons. The Giants have 11 potential free agents, including 42-year-old slugger Barry Bonds.

“The Giants, they’re a good ballclub. We’ll see what happens,” Piniella said. “It’s a great city, obviously. They’ve got an ownership group here that wants to win. Mr. (Peter) Magowan wants to win. Brian Sabean is a personal friend. …

“Look, I’m here to do baseball games. I’m supposed to be doing the interviewing instead of being interviewed for God’s sake.”

Still, Piniella acknowledged he likes the fact that he’s in demand. He parted ways with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays after the 2005 season following three difficult years as manager.

“But not to answer questions about it,” he said. “I’ve said I would look at situations and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing over this offseason.”

AP-ES-10-09-06 2013EDT


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