Raving about the impressive results of Alfonso Soriano's and Aramis Ramirez's off-season workouts, Lou Piniella recalled his playing days, when most players spent their winters working instead of working out - which also brought up an old story about how his college days ended.
``I had a normal job. Now these guys have strength coaches,'' said Piniella. ``I worked selling muni bonds. I sold Chrissie Evert sports wear. I was doing something to train myself just in case my baseball career was over, so I had something to go do. I worked with E.F. Hutton. I had a landscape company; I wasn't very good at it.''
In these things, Piniella was a common player among his peers. But less common was that he also spent some of those winters going back to college - until becoming even more unique for why he dropped out.
``I flunked square dancing and said to heck with it,'' said Piniella, retelling one of his all-timers Tuesday at HoHoKam Park. ``I didn't show up for the final. I studied too hard for the biology exam. I did OK in biology, but I didn't get to the square-dancing part afterwards.''
The ``F'' apparently struck the young Piniella like a bad call from an umpire.
``They shouldn't have [flunked me],'' he said. ``They should have given me a `D.' ''
The hoe-down's loss was HoHoKam's gain.
And, not that kids reading at home should follow his lead on this, but Piniella said he never looked back after quitting, never considered putting in that final year or so for the degree.
``What do I need a degree for?'' he said. ``I'm not going to be a Harvard cum laude, I know that.''