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
(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
More on today's radar:
CFB Saturday Wrap-Up: I'll have a full post on this later today, but the biggest developments:
(3) And because it took clock mismanagement by
(4) And two more previously unbeaten teams took their first loss and effectively took themselves out of the national-title picture:
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