Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Torre earns Yankee forgiveness, Manuel ire

Joe Torre finally made peace with Brian Cashman, only to piss off Jerry Manuel.

Torre got a resounding, warm welcome from the New York Yankees faithful yesterday during the ceremony unveiling the monument for George Steinbrenner. I must admit that I was one of the numerous fans cheering wildly whenever Torre appeared on the screen, so much so that I forgot at times we were there to honor the Boss. But I think the fans could be forgiven for showering the former Yankees manager with so much affection, given that we never really got a chance to say goodbye.

But the most important absolution came from Cashman, who will probably never forget about the things Torre said in his book, but was willing to bury the hatchet. And the death of the Boss obviously had a lot to do with the decision by Cashman and other Yankee officials to end the feud. It’s a good example of how death can actually bring people closer together and encourage them to resolve their petty differences. In essence, bringing Torre back into the Yankee family was Steinbrenner’s final gift to his beloved fans.

But just as Torre mended fences with Cashman, he burned a bridge with Manuel by acknowledging the fact that the Mets managerial job will likely be open in a few weeks and that he would be a terrific candidate for it. For a media savvy guy like Torre, it was a serious faux paux, one that he quickly corrected with an apology and a promise not to pursue the Mets job. But I can't blame Manuel for being offended. He's about to lose his job for many reasons that have nothing to do with him and someone else virtually campaigning for it before he even gets fired must feel like a dagger to the heart.

I don’t think this is the end of Torre’s candidacy for the Mets job, despite what he says. But I do think he could have handled the situation better, particularly by refusing the comment until a managerial change has actually been made. Manuel had every right to expect more class from the normally classy Torre.

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