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Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

Mike SteffanosFriday, October 19, 2007
By Mike Steffanos


I know some Mets fans (and Mets bloggers) have a real bug up their a**es about the former manager of the cross-town squad, but I've never had a problem with him. I never thought he was the genius that some tried to portray him as, nor did I judge him as the fortunate doofus that his detractors saw him. He was certainly the right person at the right time for those late 1990s squads, and you don't "luck" into multiple championships. On the other hand, he was hardly a great in-game manager.

I'm sorry, though, but I find it hard to shed tears for a man who was in a position to be "insulted" by a contract that guaranteed him $5 million for another year in the salt mines. I don't blame Torre for walking away, but the hyperbole of some in the media would have you believe Joe is some sort of martyr. The irony of this is that it was in large part due to some in the media that the perception of any season that didn't feature a championship being a failure had a lot to do with Torre's ouster.

Joe was a genius when he had the best pitching in the game to do battle with, and became much less smart when the club got away from what made them so good in the first place. The role players were replaced by people like A-Rod and Giambi, and the pitching just wasn't as good. Interesting that Torre is leaving at a time when the Yanks seem to be going back to what made them most successful during his tenure. The way the Yankees and Red Sox are set up for the next few seasons, I feel sorry for fans of their AL east rivals. I do not, however, feel sorry at all for their extremely rich ex-manager. I suspect he will be just fine. By the way, if that $5 million job is available, I'd like to say that I'd be willing to put up with a lot of abuse from Tampa as long as those paychecks keep coming.

Good Luck, Ryan
I was sorry to read that the excellent Ryan McConnell is stepping down as the author of NJ.com's Always Amazin' Mets blog. I'll miss his even-handed style and great insights. Good luck, Ryan, we hope to hear from you again down the road.

Mea Culpa
I still haven't had the time to catch up on all of the back email. Please excuse my tardiness. I promise I will by the end of the weekend, even if it kills me. It just might...

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (4)

Right on, Mike. I wish I could send a copy to Mike and the mad dog they could use a cold shower of reality with their worship of Torre. I think hes a nice guy and I wouldn't mind working for him but he 's not bigger then life. He was just in the right place at the right time,case closed.Same with Casey he had a great track record but I don't think it was because he was a great manager. just in the right place at the right. I PRAY willie fits into being in the right place at the right time.

Mike, I've had some thoughts about this whole Torre firing/quitting thing for awhile now and just never got around to posting them. Torre was definitely the right guy for the job in hindsight, but let's not forget how mundane his managerial record was when the Yankees hired him. Inheriting those good Yankee teams and managing to evade George's minefield, made Torre a Hall of Fame candidate, not some great managerial skills he suddenly acquired. Many people forget that he was an under .500 career manager when he got the Yankee job, and hearing so many annoit him for sainthood upon leaving is really silly and annoying. That said, he and the team were a good fit overall, but it was probably time to go. The dark side of me would love to see Bobby Valentine manage there and wait for the inevitable blow-up that would occur! Man, that would be epic!

I agree with Torre being in the right place at the right time theory. He did not show the "genius" with the Mets, Braves, or Cards though the latter two teams had some good talent. I think Torre does have a lot of baseball knowledge and that was his major asset in managing. I was never too impressed with any in-game decisions, but I am from an era when guys like Sparky Anderson, Earl Weaver, Tommy Lasorda, Chuck Tanner, and those likes were the "super-managers". Those guys always seemed to get the most out of their players. Well good luck Joe, I'm sure you'll be back somewhere in the next two years. Bobby V a Yankee? I hope not, I'd rather see him with the Braves first than with the Yanks.

I'm going to miss Ryan McConnell, more than I'll miss Torre. No disrespect to Torre of course.

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