By Joyce Mandelkern
I know this will come as a shock to all of you, but something has really been bugging me. I know it is media induced but it is still making me crazy. I'm going to try and explain it the best way I can.
I am the oldest of my sisters. We are all 2 years apart. We are very close, but I know while we were growing up, there were two things that drove them absolutely crazy. I was a very good student, a very, very good student. (In the interest of full disclosure, I was a lousy math student and still can't subtract in the checkbook.) And on top of that, I was the kind of very good student that teachers loved to have in their classroom. So the first day of every school year, if my sisters' had a teacher that I had had, the teacher would ask them if they were like me. My sisters' were good students too, but this upset them to no end and they always went in thinking they had a tough act to follow and the pressure was miserable - or so they thought. The other thing they hated were hand-me-downs. Nothing seemed to fit right. This was all hard for me to understand, because being the oldest, I never experienced any of these things.
As adults, my youngest sister moved into my neighborhood 7 years after I did. Notice how I said "my" neighborhood. Bad habit. So was introducing her as "my baby sister." So I have learned. We are inseparable, as close as two sisters can be, but we have two distinct lives. Within our small little town we've made our own mark and have our own identities. We have our own friends and share some, but neither one of us lives in the other's shadow.
Do you guys see where I'm going with this? I don't want Joe Torre to be the next Mets manager. He had that job once, and if I remember correctly, wasn't very good at it. Honestly, I don't think he is a genius of a manager anyway. I think he caught lightning in a bottle when the Yankees hired him, was given a great lineup and got very lucky. I'm not going to deny getting to the playoffs 12 times in a row a la Bobby Cox, isn't a great accomplishment - it is. But truthfully, the things that concern me about Willie's managerial skills, are the same things I don't like about the way Torre manages. And I don't want Willie managing while looking over his shoulder.
All of this carries through for the other Yankees that may or may not be out there - ARod, Posada, and Rivera. This morning I heard Craig Carton of WFAN call a Met fan who called in and said he didn't want ARod on the Mets a loser. Well, I'm a loser too, then. I still think the money can be better spent elsewhere, I don't think he helps in the clubhouse, and what does having him guarantee you? Has he brought a ring to any team he has played for? Yes, this year he carried the Yankees to the postseason, and where did that leave them? One series further than where we were. For all that money? I'll pass.
Posada? Aside from the fact I think he's going back to the Yankees, he's how old? He'll want how much money and how long a contract? Just remember that in the NL we run, run, run. Of course, I am a Paul LoDuca fan.
Rivera? Not happening. He'll want to close. We have Billy. And Mo just isn't Mo anymore. So are you willing to pay him old Mo dollars for too many years? I'm not.
It may seem that I have a bias against having Yankees come over to our side and I'm not going to deny that. I don't want us to become the Queens Yankees. I know in the past there have been players that have gone both ways, so to speak. This, however, would be different. You will argue that I don't have the best baseball interest of our club at heart. I promise you I do. Perhaps I haven't changed enough with the times. With free agency, loyalty is a thing of the past and I have had to root only for the name on the front of the uniform and not on the back. For me, with some players, like Tom Glavine, I found it especially difficult to forget he was a Brave. I never really fully embraced him as a Met. Could I possibly do that if any of the "true" Yankees were to come here? Knowing me, not a chance.
Still need convincing? The Yankees haven't won a championship in seven years. Inflated contracts for too many years for aging players - is this the model we should be following? I rest my case.