Friday, October 19, 2007
Well, it's officially over. Joe Torre, seen here giving Billy Crystal a sympathy laugh, is done with the Yankees. Now it's time to begin the most interesting time in sports...the Yankees offseason.
Joe made more than twice as much as the next highest paid manager last year. Big Stein, instead of just letting him go, offered him an incentive-laden deal worth a base of 5 million for 1 year. Resident ESPN baseball analyst/donkey-raping shit eater, Steve Phillips, finds the Yankees offer to be a slap in the face. He said that Joe Torre deserves better than this and that the Yankees made this offer because they knew he would reject it and then he would look like the bad guy. Now, I don't know if he "deserved" it, but I can see his point that it was a token contract offer. But I think it's a fair deal. Hell, in Yankee-land, I would consider it a miracle that he still had a job offer after 7 seasons without a ring!
Look, Big Stein didn't want him back. I know it. You know it. But the team did. Torre is such a father figure to everyone in that clubhouse (that isn't black, right, Sheff?). I thought it was a good offer. It said that they would like to have him back, but they aren't going to do a long term deal and that, without any rings, you've got to take a pay cut. What's wrong with that? What's wrong with giving a guy performance bonuses? What have you done for me lately?
Joe Torre has been a model of success for the greatest franchise in the world. He really has. He will always be revered as such. He's going to get #6 retired. He could run for mayor and win. But it is the right time for both the Yankees and Joe to move on (I thought it should have been after last season). What is there left for Torre to prove? Does he really need "one for the thumb?" And the Yankees need a new voice. All the players were in a comfort zone with Joe and it is the right time to shake things up a bit since the results weren't there.
But who do you go with to replace an icon? Ah, that's the conundrum. Because everyone wants this job, but do you really want to follow Joe Torre? Be in his shadow? I would immediately rule out Tony LaRussa (The Drunk) and Bobby Valentine (The Douche Bag). Which leaves me with 4 options left and I'll rank them in the order in which I want them to run my team:
4. Tony Pena - good with Latin players, veterans respect him, solid job in KC
3. Don Mattingly - Although he is my favorite player of all time not named Shane Spencer or Glenallen Hill (who I think is on the Rockies coaching staff now, can anyone confirm?), I do NOT want Donnie running the show. He's too laid back, more so than Torre.
2. Trey Hillman - Who, you ask? He managed in the Yankees system for 13 years and won the Slope League (racism, yes!!!) as the skipper of the Nippon Ham Fighters last season. Obviously, the guy knows baseball, although he is apparently going to be the Royals manager.
1. Joe Girardi - He may be a handful for the front office, but the guy is loved in NY and has proven that he can win. And since the Yankees have a ton of young arms, his year with the Marlins shows that he knows how to handle young pitching prospects.
But anyway, back to the topic at hand, Joe Torre is a legend that will not be forgotten by baseball fans. Joe, I know you read this, you have my sincere thanks for all those great years of service. Enjoy retirement. Peace out.
***Quick prediction - Red Sox in 7. Indians fans, I've seen this before...BELIEVE ME, I have. They are going to do this. Much like me, you will curse the names of Pedroia and Youkilis. Oh yeah, and Kenny Lofton is a douche bag. Just jog down to first, you old queer.