Lets start this off with some real facts, Joe Torre was never a great strategic manager. He was terrible at managing a bullpen ( burned relievers out, Proctor, Sturtze etc…. ) rotation ( Wang, should of been set up on normal rest for game 1, shouldn’t of pitched game 4 on short rest, Mussina should of started game 4 and more ) and for all the talk about how good he is at playing to egos, he sure butchered just as many ( A-rod, really you think dropping the most fragile minded player in baseball to the eight spot in the playoffs would help ? Sheff sure wasn’t catered to like Jeter was but because Torre was always overly loyal to the people he broke in with and won 4 titles with ( Jeter, Posada, Rivera etc… ) people thought and acted like he treated all his players like that but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. If you broke in with him he was loyal to a fault, if you were new you had to prove yourself over and over again before he would even consider using you. Throughout the year Torre refused to rest his stars and give them proper time off, for fear of Jeter being bored during some random regular season games, instead we will just settle for him being tired and banged up during the playoffs and end of the year, burn out your only reliable bullpen options and then act scared to trust the young guys coming in to get the job done.
The thing Torre was best at was dealing with the pressure and the media, he was great at deflecting the blame & attention ( even though he deserved the blame most of the time ) on to himself and he always took the time to talk in detail with the media. He was always nice polite and classy ( everyone favorite word to describe Torre ) and never standoffish with the media and that is what he will be missed for the most. The media and the reporters will miss him, sure Jeter, Posada, Pettitte and Mariano ( if they come back ) would all miss him but thats it, the rest of the team will get over it real fast and if you think Joe Torre not being there will hurt Jeter you clearly haven’t been paying attention to his career so far. It’s the reporters who will suffer and complain that his replacement can’t stack up to him, but all that must be ignored. I’d be very much on favor of bringing in a Tony Larussa ( who is supposedly telling everyone who will listen that he wants the job ) but people say it won’t happen because he won’t be able to get along and deal with the media which leads me to ask what the hell that has to do with managing a baseball game ? When would a Manager and a reporter not liking each other have any effect of who is being brought out of the bullpen or if a hit and run or a sacrifice bunt should be put on ? ( all things Torre refused to take part in, instead he just sat back and waited for the home runs and each October they would disappear and he wouldn’t shake anything up or try to manufacture runs, no trying to force the issue or swing at all the first pitch strikes being thrown ) The answer obviously is never, the only problem is he might make the reporters job harder, o well who cares. Last time I checked we wanted the team to win I have never rooted for a reporter in my life I damn sure not gonna start now. Larussa is a great baseball mind on of the best managers in baseball, Larussa would of found ways to win ball games in the playoffs the last 3 years, he would of helped manufacture and create runs and would of applied pressure on the other teams pitching and forced the issue until something went their way, Torre just sit backs calm as ever and hopes and prays for a big home run. Everyone always said Torre was the best leader because of his calm demeanor but I disagree I think that hurts them just as much if not more. No matter what happens he had the same blank face on, and I just can’t see how that face could get anybody excited to go out there and win baseball games, maybe they need someone to make them uncomfortable, maybe they need someone who will light a fire under them and make them feel like they need to make plays instead of just feeling like just wait and everything will be ok.
If not Tony Larussa I say Joe Giradi. Giardi definitely has the respect of most that clubhouse and did a great job overachieving with the Marlins a couple years ago. Torre was at his best when he had a strong bench coach such as Don Zimmer or even Girardi. ( people forget this but when the Yankees were winning World Series year after year, it was Zimmer making all the tough in game decisions as bench coach. Torre looked for him for answers with baseball strategy and it worked until Zimmer couldn’t handle working for Steinbrener anymore ) If Torre had a strong bench coach the last couple years, they might of done some more winning but instead he had Joe Torre Lite as his bench coach, who was looking to learn from Joe as opposed to help and teach Joe, which leads to the next point that the next manager can not under any circumstances be Donnie Baseball. He is a younger version of Torre, why would you fire Torre just to hire a less polished and experienced version of him ? When Torre was hired he was hired cause he was the opposite of Buck Showalter, thats generally what happens with coaching changes. Coaching changes are made when things get stale and the team needs a change, they need things to get shaken up to remind them of their goals and what they need to do and that they need to prove themselves to this new manager all over again. If you know your manager isn’t gonna bench you cause of a couple bad games then you won’t be as worried about a couple possible bad games, if your job might possibly be on the line thats a whole nother story. Giradi would be that welcomed change as would Larussa and one of them is needed, we can’t leave this team to Mattingley, that will just set the team back a couple of years and put them in position to actually miss the playoffs. The Yankees front office and fans demand perfection, maybe it’s not realistic but it’s what we have come to expect and anything else is just simply not good enough. The Yankees have question marks all over their roster as to who is returning and who is not, forget about A-rod the Yankees built World Series caliber teams without him they can do it again, Posada and Mariano are keys they both need to come back especially Posada, but with the young studs they got moving into the rotation next year ( Chamberlain, Hughes and Kennedy ) all they need is a some bullpen help and a good strong minded strategic baseball manager like Joe Giradi or Tony Larussa, either of these people will have the fans ( not the media, but really like I said before who cares about the media ? ) forgetting about Torre as the Yankees march to the World Series for the next couple of years.