Friday, September 17, 2010

New York return next for Joe Torre?

Joe Torre is retiring as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but that doesn't mean he's done managing in baseball. What's next for Torre? The Mets must hope it's a return to New York.

It's clear that Torre was simply sick of the divorce drama surrounding his team and wanted a change of scenery. Torre is going to have options this offseason, including the Chicago Cubs job vacated by Lou Piniella. But from a baseball perspective, a Chicago team saddled with aging veterans, unmovable contracts and relatively new ownership doesn't seem like the right choice for Torre.

If the Mets really want instant credibility, really want to make a goodwill gesture to their fans, really want to stick it to the New York Yankees, they will go after Torre hard as soon as this season is over. It would put the juice back into the Subway Series and give the Mets some serious New York credibility.

The biggest problem the Mets face in getting Torre is that they are a mess, with a closer facing criminal charges, key players suffering debilitating injuries and expensive contracts for players like Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo who don't want to be on the team anymore but can't be traded (but could be released if the Mets swallow the money). Getting Torre won't solve any of those problems, but it will be a sure sign to Mets fans and the players who want to be here that Mets ownership is serious about turning things around.

Look at what Torre did with the Dodgers before they were sunk by the soap opera-style split of their owners. He took a clearly inferior Los Angeles team to the National League Championship Series twice. He made the postseason 14 years in a row, the last half of those years with teams in New York and Los Angeles that had major flaws. But somehow Torre made it work.

Can he do the same for the Mets? I really hope we find out. Come home, Joe!

Thanks to Cbl62 via Wikipedia for the photo.

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