Monday, September 20, 2010

Joe Torre's New York Comeback?


Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre officially announced that he's "retiring" at the end of the season.

Torre held a long overdue press conference alongside his longtime apprentice Don Mattingly, who will become the Dodgers new manager upon Torre's retirement.

Ok, those are the facts. Now--

For those unfamiliar with the drama, what I meant by "long overdue press conference" is that Torre and Mattingly were "suppose" to have that press conference here in New York, quite possibly around this time.

A quick bio: Torre, after managing the New York Yankees for 12 very successful seasons, was pretty much run out of town in 2007. When his contract expired after the '07 season, the Yankees offered Torre a measly "take it or leave it" one-year deal for half his salary. A proud Torre turned it down and left town. Mattingly, who for years was led to believe that he was Torre's successor, interviewed for the then-open managerial position confident he was going to get it. However, the Yankees went on to hire Joe Girardi, who was highly regarded after his successful, one-year, manager of the year, stint with the Florida Marlins. A disgruntled Mattingly also left town and followed Torre to LA, where Torre had accepted the Dodgers managerial gig.

So now Torre and Mattingly have finally held the "passing the baton" press conference, which they both thought was going to happen in New York. But the Yankees, being the Yankees, had other ideas.

Anyway--

Today, Torre and Mattingly are back in New York to participate in a ceremony unveiling a statue to the late-Yankee owner George Steinbrenner. That's a good thing. All drama should be put aside for those kinds of events.

BUT--

Torre's New York comeback shouldn't end there. Once the season is over and Torre hands Mattingly the LA helm, he is officially a free man.

And guess which managerial position will be open at season's end?

The New York Mets.


Yes, the Mets (Torre's original stomping grounds) should be looking for a new manager because current manager Jerry Manuel is done. The chances of Manuel returning are slim to none.

And the Mets gig sounds plausible for Torre on 3 fronts:

  1. In his press conference Torre didn't rule out managing another team. He simply said he's done with the Dodgers.
  2. Torre is a proud man and I know he is still stung by the treatment he received from the Yankees, after so much success together. If he manages the Mets, he will definitely take all the back-page headlines away from the Yankees and he'll be the main baseball-headliner in town.
  3. And the idea of winning a championship with the crosstown rivals and sticking it to the Yankees, may be an offer Torre can't refuse.

So it wouldn't surprise me if the local papers begin a "Torre to the Mets" campaign soon.

And if it happens, it'll definitely be cool!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Torre baseball card photo courtesy of Topps.com

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