24 Jun 2010
Which will be stranger tomorrow night- the sight of Torre in a Dodgers’ uniform or the sight of Mattingly in a Dodgers’ uniform? For me, and I imagine many others, it will be Mattingly, but that is purely a function of never having seen him wearing anything else. But the thing about Mattingly is, you can picture his return to Yankee Stadium some day in the future. Whenever Donald Arthur decides to hang it up on the coaching circuit, you know he will immediately jump to the back-5 of the line on Old Timer’s’ Day. (Ten years from now you have to imagine Mattingly is right back there with Jeter and Rivera)
But what will become of Torre? The divorce from the Yankees was ugly. The book he wrote fed into everything that Yankees’ management said about him after he left. Yet for all his faults, and there were many in the later years, Torre handled the job with class and dignity. (Until he had the book published) He was the one who stepped in front of the players when George came into the clubhouse like a hurricane. He is the reason that Jeter, Pettitte, Posada and Rivera grew into the players they did. The Yankees have been petty and foolish since he left. Yes, it was ultimately his choice, but the Yankees also didn’t give him a lot of options. For his part, Torre should stop telling confidants that he will never set foot in the new place.
And, October 18, 2007 is a long time ago. (Long time readers, should check that link out, since you will see your comments on that date) The Yankees have won a World Series while Torre has had a lot of success in LA. This seems like a good chance for both sides to find common ground. Can you imagine Joe Torre ever being elected to the Hall Of Fame without having managed the Yankees? Likewise, can you imagine the Yankees winning those four titles without Torre at the helm? It’s not a stretch to imagine that it’s 2010 in an alternate universe and the Yankees just won title #23 and Joe Torre is a very popular broadcaster for the Cardinals. It’s time to put it all to rest. Both sides need to make peace and move forward. The Yankees could announce that Joe Torre is welcome back to New York whenever he wishes to return. Torre could speak about how much he is looking forward to seeing Yankee Stadium in person some day. A guy can dream I guess.