Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sunday A.M. Quickie:
Torre out, Piniella in?!

What's the most sudden and instant impact of the latest Yankees' playoff K.O.?

The K.O. of Joe Torre as Yankees manager. That's what the NY Daily News is implying this morning, along with the import of Lou Piniella.

And I have to say: It's time. (For the record, I used to say that they should NEVER get rid of him. Not just because he was the best fit for the job, but because it wasn't worth the abuse from the Torre-slurping baseball experts.)

Whatever Joe was doing before -- if he really had any substantial impact at all, which is questionable -- it ain't working now.

Is he to BLAME? Not ahead of ill-advised acquisitions and not ahead of those players themselves underperforming.

But ANY team -- whether they used to be a dynasty or not -- that loses six straight playoff series without a championship needs a shake-up, particulaly with the manager.

Here's the thing you have to remember about the Yankees:

Playoff appearances are meaningless; the social contract they brokered with the media, the fans, the Boss and everyone else is that they are measured on championships exclusively -- as every team wishes they could be.

And the price of NOT winning championships ultimately means the manager's head.

Now, is Piniella the best guy for the job? Actually, I'd probably have gone after Girardi, but Piniella is among the best choices available. (1) He has championship experience. (2) He has a history with the Boss. (3) He is comfortable managing in New York. (4) He makes for wild coverage.

(As for Torre? His Hall of Fame ticket is punched already. Why should he manage again when he can simply slide into a lucrative TV deal? That's where I'm betting he spends the 2007 season.)

(And you have to believe that A-Rod is as good as gone. The question is: Who wants him? And how much of his salary will the Yankees have to eat to get rid of him? I still like my brother's idea to send him to the Cubs for Aramis Ramirez.)

Meanwhile, what sweet irony for the OTHER baseball fans in New York, who saw their Mets sweep their NLDS series in L.A. and advance to the NLCS with home-field advantage -- and extra days to cobble together whatever pitching staff will be used against the Cards or Padres.

The Mets are 8 wins away from taking over the role as New York's most successful baseball team. If they aren't there already.

More on today's radar:

CFB Saturday Wrap-Up: I'll have a full post on this later today, but the biggest developments:

(1) Florida beats LSU. This should vault Florida to No. 2. Because...

(2) Auburn lost to Arkansas. In humiliating fashion: At home, by a lot, to an unranked, overlooked opponent.

(3) And because it took clock mismanagement by Washington for USC to avoid being nearly upset at home by the Huskies. USC as No. 2 or 3? Please. Only with voters for whom "Inertia" is their top voting criteria.

(4) And two more previously unbeaten teams took their first loss and effectively took themselves out of the national-title picture: Oregon, who got a karma boomerang from the Oklahoma win on national TV in primetime. And Georgia, who got walked over (at home) by Tennessee in the second half last night, also in primetime.

I've got Florida vaulting from No. 5 to No. 2 in my personal Top 25, ahead of No. 3 WVA and No. 4 USC. Ohio St is still No. 1, but Buckeyes fans need to realize that beating Bowling Green ain't impressive while other teams are beating more quality opponents. Florida is one win at Auburn away from making a VERY strong claim for No. 1, even if Ohio St keeps winning.

More NBA humiliation: Yesterday brought yet another NBA team losing to a European team – only the fourth time ever, but the second time THIS WEEK. This time, it was the Clippers losing to a team from Moscow by 19.

-- D.S.


dennis said...

Haven't got to the NYDN yet, but it is time for Torre to go. Hate to see it happen, but it must. I wouldn't mind seeing this team w/o A-rod, Shef and Johnson either.

ToddTheJackass said...

Haha! I love seeing the Yankees go into ballistic mode. Sure, the Red Sox have a ton of issues too, but it makes it okay so long as the Yankees are going bat shit crazy too.

Detroit fans should be happy, the better team won.

LaziestMovieCriticofAllTime said...

Florida is probably 2, but I think Michigan should jump to 3. Although it probably won't matter because whoever wins the Ohio State-Michigan game will probably go to the national title game.

RJP said...

In retrospect, the Yankees lost the intimidation factor when Mariano Rivera choked it off against the D-Backs in '01. From that point forward, come playoff time their opponents weren't necessarily thinking they would lose. The '04 epic collapse was just the final nail the mystique's coffin.

Here in TX Showalter just got the boot for basically losing the team (and sucking). It seems that Torre has lost his team also. If the media would get up off their knees, they might be able to put some critical attention to the recent managerial performance of Torre.

The best day of the playoffs every year is the day the Yankees get eliminated.

BobbyStompy said...

This Florida at #1 stuff is nuts. Ohio State (who I hate, but still) beat Texas and Iowa on the road. Auburn will be lucky to be ranked better than Texas this week. Their wins have been better.

Maher said...

I'm starting to get the feeling that sports has finally caught up with the rest of the world. Stories are being leaked (floated if you will) to gauge the public's reaction to them, if favorable, they will follow through (firing joe torre) and if not, they will say that is all just a media creation.

Dan, by your logic then Bobby Cox should have been fired long ago.

Maher said...

On behalf of all Buckeye fans let me say this:

Feel free to put Florida @ #1, and put OSU @ 2 with MICH @ whatever. We will gladly take #2 in the BCS and wear our road white at the Fiesta Bowl...we seem to do well in it.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Ah yes, obviously we should jump Florida ahead because OSU had one crappy game on their schedule. Of course beating three ranked teams (at the time) means nothing. Of course beating Texas and Iowa on the road (two games experts thought they'd lose) means nothing. Of course beating those teams about 10x's more handily than the box scores indicate means nothing. Sure Shanoff, squeeze off enough force to push your Gators to number one. OSU will bend them over a table in the championship game (unless it's Michigan giving it to them).

Josh said...

Dan, when does Erik Ainge get mention for inserting himself in the Heisman race?

On pace to throw for 3300 yards and almost 30 TDs with a completion percentage near 70.

Maher said...

things that would worry me if I was a Gator fan.

1) The offense. It doesn't look that great, the defense is carrying you. Defense wins championships, so you are fine, just admit right now that as fun as Tebow is to watch, that the D is winning your games.

2) Special Teams. Great on punts, but what happens when you need to kick a 43 yd FG to beat AUB?

Richard said...

Instead of worrying about what you're ranked, youshould worry about something more important. Maybe like who you play next week.

Just let your team focus on the next game and let the idiots focus on rankings. It doesn't matter until after Thanksgiving anyways.

My sister goes to Florida, and she told me the Gators should jump to #2. I told her I'd rank them #1 right now but unless they beat Auburn this week, it doesn't matter.

Trey (formerly TF) said...

LSU's defense is probably the best in the country and we were without a RB (which is why there was so much Tebow). It's extremely hard to throw down the field on them, and every time we tried our receivers couldn't get open or they were double covered.

Despite all this our offense still is in the top 20 of total O in the country.

After thinking about it over night. If I had a vote:

1) Ohio State
2) Michigan
3) Florida
4) USC
5) WVU

Joe (Dayton)

Timmy D said...

Tell A-Rod if he gets sent to Toronto we'll let him go back to playing short.

Big difference between Bobby Cox and Torre; Cox (especially in the last few years) has managed teams that have made the playoffs by, according to many, overachieving. Torre, on the other hand, has managed teams that have failed to win a championship in the last six seasons despite having the highest payroll in the major leagues and (more importantly with regard to Torre's job security) with the stated position of ownership that anything less than a WS win constitutes failure. In short, the bar was much, much higher for Torre than it has been for Cox; not all situations are created equal.

Todd said...

Dan, I'm having trouble following your Florida #2 logic. You trash on Auburn for losing to Arkansas, and by extension trash on LSU for losing to Auburn. Then it's somehow an enormous feat when Florida beats those two previously trashed-on teams? Not sure you can have it both ways...

FreKy J said...


TJ said...

I think the Arkansas-Aubrun game--combined with the previous Arkansas-USC game, is enough of a blow to the SEC mystique that tough wins over LSU and Alabama suddenly don't look quite as good, while easy wins over... everyone they've played still looks pretty good for Michigan.

1. OSU
2. Michigan
3. Florida
LSU - out of top 10
Auburn - out of top 10
Tennessee - somewhere around 6 or 7.
Arkansas - probably about 20.
Georgia - not much higher than Arkansas.

TJ said...

And Dan: how can you call USC at 3 an intertia pick while USC at 4 is somehow not?

jrj said...

You can't be serious banging on OSU for playing Bowling Green. Sure it wasn't their most impressive opponent of the season, but they can't play monsters every week. They've already handled the National Champs on the road in primetime, smoked a pretty good Iowa team in Iowa City in primetime as well, and taken care of business every other week. And with still unbeaten Michigan still on the schedule, they'll be set to add yet another marquee victory.

manninghamheisman said...

The fairest rankings...

1. Ohio State
2. Florida
3. Michigan
4. USC
5. West Virginia

manningham86 said...

jrj...dream on!

michigan's defense is number 1 in the nation bro and we have the best ohio player in 14 years...mario manningham

only reason you guys are #1 is because your started #1 pre-seasons there and we had 19 guys under the knife last year. We're back better than we have been in 10 years. We'll smoke Iowa too, bro

Marcus T said...

Piniella? I foresee disaster.

starkweather said...

Oh, Lou Piniella would be great! He handled the pressure in NYC in the 80's OK. I don't remember his teams winning any World Serioes, though. They just have that magazine cover with Rickey Henderson, Don Mattingly, et al. to show for Sweet Lou's time back then. But, um, Lou Piniella just had trouble dealing with Tampa last year. Maybe he won't do so well a second time. I'm having visions of an MLB version of Larry Brown with the Knicks. It is probably time for Torre to go, but can't they let him retire even if it's just for show?

P.S. - a team from Moscow isn't technically a European team.

Chris (CT) said...

article in the post that some pitcher from another team called bonderman and offered him some tips on getting the yankees out. wonder who that was? i'm going to say schilling. he seems like he would be the type of guy to go ahead and do something like that.

Kurt said...

"The Mets are 8 wins away from taking over the role as New York's most successful baseball team. If they aren't there already." - Dan Shanoff

Hahhahaha Dan you crack me up. Here's how the Mets take over the role as NY's most successful:

1. The Yankees never win again.
2. The Mets win 22 more World Series Championships (at their current pace of 1 every 20 years, thats 440 more years)

So in conclusion, in the year 2446, assuming the Yankees never win again, the Mets will take over the role as NY's most successful baseball team.

Keep dreaming Dan.

TJ said...

Kurt: Instant. History. Learn it, love it.

ToddTheJackass said...

Kurt, for Yankees fans success apparently is only in World Series victories, and everything else is a failure.

By those lofty standards, it's sure been a lot of failure recently.

The Mets also are much better setup for the next few years, building around the core of young players like David Wright and Jose Reyes. The Yankees core is getting older, with Jeter, Posada, Damon, Mussina, Giambi, Matsui, Abreu and [especially] Rivera getting older.

Sure, Wang and Cano have exceeded expectations, and Philip Hughes is being touted as the next best thing, but I think anyone would realize the Mets core of Wright, Reyes, and Beltran, not to mention if Milledge, Pelfrey, and Lindstrom all develop to their expectations.

Baseball and New York in particular are definitely in the "what have you done for me lately" realm. If the Mets win, the balance of power will be shifting.

As a Red Sox fan, I know I'm pulling for the Mets, because I know how much they hate the Yankees too.

It's a good day for the haters.

Maher said...

Dan, I'm having trouble following your Florida #2 logic. You trash on Auburn for losing to Arkansas, and by extension trash on LSU for losing to Auburn. Then it's somehow an enormous feat when Florida beats those two previously trashed-on teams? Not sure you can have it both ways...

thank you god for saying that for me. my brain hurt when trying to make sense of dan's logic and I couldn't see past the huge jumping question mark my mind put on the monitor enough to formulate a coherent response.

Generik said...

So Dan, by your rationale, Bobby Cox should have been fired about 10 years ago for playoff ineptitude. I personally think this philosophy of blaming the manager a bit ridiculous. What is Joe Torre supposed to do when players don't perform up to expectations on the field? Especially with a roster like the Yankees.

Anyway, I think you are right that the Mets have to be salivating right now. The one true roadblock for a Mets title just got eliminated. In fact I would argue that the 2 best AL teams got bounced in the first round. Great to see the Tigers moving on, but the second half of the season destroyed any confidence I had in them being possible WS champs.

Twa & Ry Guy said...

What do you mean Ohio State isnt impressing anyone beating BG while other teams are beating quality opponents. How quickly we forget about the beatings Ohio State has administered to Texas, Iowa, and Penn State. thats 3 to 15 teams, 2 on the road and both at night. but i guess because they added BG as a throw in during week 6 means they arent beating quality.

Twa & Ry Guy said...

sorry thats 3 top 25 teams 2 on the road and both at night