Lou Piniella says he is interested in becoming the Cincinnati Reds' manager--if New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner will let him.
Piniella managed the Yankees in 1986, 1987 and part of the 1988 season and is under contract to the Yankees as a special adviser to Steinbrenner at a reported salary of $400,000 for the next two years.
"Sure, I would like to have that job--definitely," Piniella said. "That's a good ballclub. But a few things would have to fall into place."
During this past season, Steinbrenner effectively blocked the Toronto Blue Jays from talking with Piniella by asking for player compensation.
"This might be a different situation in that it is a National League team," Piniella said. "But, honestly, I don't know how George would react."
The Reds refused to say whether they are pursuing Piniella as a candidate, although they've mentioned almost everyone else who is available.
WHIO-AM radio in Dayton reported Monday evening that Piniella was in Dayton on Monday to talk with Reds' officials, and that he was offered the managing job during the visit.
Reds spokesman Joe Braude, contacted after the report was aired, said the team had no comment about it. "I don't know anything about anybody visiting," he said.
Reds General Manager Bob Quinn said he interviewed Reds' interim manager Tommy Helms, planned to interview at least two more candidates and considers former Houston Manager Hal Lanier and ex-Cleveland Managers Pat Corrales and Doc Edwards to be among candidates.