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.