Thursday, October 18, 2007

Joe departs, the Yankee nation waits

The inevitable happened today, Joe Torre and the Yankees parted ways. I figured this would happen after the Yankees "early" exit from the playoffs.

Here's the deal- Joe Torre is an average manager. He's not really worth the $7.5 million per year he's been paid the last couple of seasons. He's definitely not a better manager than Lou Piniella, who gets paid almost half of what he makes. Don't get me wrong, whoever has to put up with Steinbrenner deserves some serious cash, but $7.5 mill to manage? That's too much. Sorry. So, from a baseball standpoint, Joe's time has run it's course, he did a nice job managing personalities and dealing with the boss. Joe's a New Yorker, much appreciated by most, and will enjoy a good legacy as one who was the skipper for 4 world championships and 12 consecutive playoff runs. I think Joe Torre should become MLB's next commissioner, he's a great statesman and has a good head for the game overall. May God bless Joe Torre.

Now, for the Yankees, it's time to move on. There will be fallout from the Torre "release", no doubt. Signing A-Rod, Posada, and Rivera is unlikely without Torre as manager. Pettite is questionable also. A-Rod is obviously the biggest loss of these guys-for the regular season anyways. Now, it's possible to retain a few of these guys, if they hire the right manager.
Who will be the manager? The top two candidates are Don Mattingly and Joe Girardi. Of the two, Girardi is the better choice, in my opinion, however, it seems that Donnie M. has been groomed for some time to be skipper. I think it would be a mistake. He just doesn't have the experience yet. I would hate to see one of the modern Yankee greats end up a Steinbrenner casualty. Girardi would be better, so I'm guessing Steinbrenner and sons will choose Donnie. Man, I hate to feel bad about Don Mattingly. This is a tough one for the Yankee faithful.

There is a wild card I'd love to see the Yanks hire. Tony LaRussa. He's very much like Torre in demeanor, but a better manager. Living in St. Louis for three years gave me an appreciation for Tony. I was disappointed by his ignoring of Mark McGwire's steroidal exploits, but Joe was no hero on that front either (thank you very much Jason Giambi). Tony proved his worth when he led a poor Cardinal team to the World Series title last year. That Cardinal team was the worst regular season team ever to win the WS title. That's a feat. Why don't the Yankees hire Tony LaRussa? That would be too smart for George and Sons. Oh, while they're at it, will they please fire Cashman too?

We'll be stuck on 26 world titles for a while longer I'm afraid.


GUNNY said...

Of course, it is a tradition that managers leave the Cardinals and go to the Yankees, just ask Torre.

Torre left and won 4 championships.

Perhaps we should take Torre back?!

Personally, and I may be in the minority here, I'm not ready for TLR to leave STL just yet. I'd actually like to see him retire a Cardinal with another ring or two, to ensure his entrance into the Hall of Fame as a Cardinal.

Rick Calohan said...

Yes, when I received the email the Yankees News Alert: Torre Decision, I loved how the organization spun it around to make it seem like Joe refused. If Steinbrenner & Sons wanted to keep Joe, George would have apologized publicly for his firing threat and offer Torre $30 million three-year deal and a million for each playoff victory, but the Torre era is over, and like any other team its time to regroup.

First, albeit that A-Rod had a great year, he is the Moses of MLB and will never cross into the promise land alive, a.k.a. World Series. Second, Posada will be a great loss, but then again so were Yogi Berra and Thurman Munson. Rivera all I have to say is Game 7, 2001 World Series, and he has been snake bitten ever since. Andy Pettite another great pitcher whose time like the Rocket has passed him by.

But have faith, we did see some young pitchers who will keep the Yankees competitive next year, such as Phil Hughes, and Joba Chamberlain provided a plague of locust do not rise up from Lake Erie again. In addition, we still have Chien-Ming Wang, of Taiwan, which will continue to anger the ChiComs of Beijing.

We still have Derek Jeter at shortstop along with the former Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez as back up. Mientkiewicz at first, Cano at second, and for the moment A-Rod at third and Molina albeit not Benji behind the plate.

The outfield is pretty solid I think Matsui in Left, Caberra in Center and Abreu in Right, with Damon as DH or back up utility outfielder.

As much as I like LaRussa, I rather he remain in St. Louis, I know he would bring Duncan along as pitching coach, but the Red Birds are my second favorite team in baseball.

Joe Girardi, will probably come to Kansas City and manage the Royals next year, it fits his win loss record of 78 and 84 with the Marlins in 2006.

Donny Baseball I agree is not ready and Ron Guidry well I hate to see another Yankee great get the axe. Tony Peña no dice, no mas, no way Jose; So why not someone who has handled New York Press before and who has the fire in his belly like Lou Pinella, and that would be Larry Bowa at least for two years.

As for Brian Cashman, as I mentioned in an earlier post only if they replace him with George Constansa.

AJF said...

No offense, but Tony ain't gonnna win another ring with the Cardinals.

AJF said...

Good points Rick, good points. Don't count Girardi out- his wins with the Marlins were pretty impressive given his line up.

It could have been Louey P last year, Bowa is certainly possible, though he'd be nuts. George Constanza! That's hilarious.

I'm still guessing Don M., which is too bad, that can't end well.

Frontier Forest said...

The only thing that sticks in my mind about the Yankees is the good ole days of real hero’s like Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. But then again, I don’t follow sports.

William Perry Guilkey said...

I hope they do hire Mattingly, so that he can manage the team in a way that mirrors his playing days of "never winning the big one." The Yankees of his era were poor. It would be great to see him lead the franchise to decline. Donny Baseball for manager! Yes, this is a diatribe from a "jealous Kansas City fan," so I will label myself with that moniker before you are given the "easy jab." Mattingly was a decent player (not Hall of Fame in my opinion) and was a leader. It's just hard to get excited about a manager that got busted in Kansas City for public urination back in his playing days! I guess the benefit of that is not having to wait until you get to a rest stop to give the team a "break." Speaking in terms of "legal things," New York would be great for Tony LaRussa. There is enough public transportation to keep him from driving on those nights he shouldn't be doing so. In fact, there is a subway stop right next to the stadium. All kidding aside, I think Joe Girardi is the best choice. For one thing, he is a former Cub (my favorite NL team for over 25 years). One other reason is that he was a scrappy, "take no crap" kind of guy who would most likely thrive in the Big Apple. I think Rivera is the worst loss of the three potential losses. ARod is outstanding (maybe the greatest player in the league after Barry Bonds) -- (just said that to get a rise out of you). ARod is great but he is awful in the postseason AND he is not a good guy for team chemistry (ask the Mariners and Rangers). Rivera just performs. That's all I have for now. The reality is that the Yankees are the greatest franchise in baseball history. I just wish they would go back to playing like they did when they were the Highlanders. I am 40 and I hope the Royals win at least one more World Series in my lifetime. In order for that to happen, I need to convert to a vegan meal plan and exercise like a mad man so that I have a chance to live to be VERY OLD.

AJF said...

you crack me up William.

Who's this dude the Royals just hired?

Anonymous said...

Interesting article. Not much of a baseball fan but I am familiar with how things work in NY. The team, much like Wall Street Investment Bankers, overpay for players then wonder why performance does not match up to the price then blame it all on managmeent (ie Torre).