Mets Vulture Over Yankees?

Tuesday is the big day for the New York Yankees braintrust, who will be having a big pow-wow in Tampa, Florida, to decide the fate of Joe Torre (among other things).

From the Mets’ fan’s point of view, the question is, do we care?

I think we should have a vested interest in the developments. After all, the ousting or retention of Torre could spark a domino effect.

For example, if Torre stays, that likely means that both Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera are re-signed. Both longtime Yankees are “Torre guys” and may be more inclined to stay in the Bronx if they know Joe will be captain of the ship in 2008.

In contrast, there’s a bit of a chance that Alex Rodriguez will be inclined to LEAVE if Joe Torre returns. Contrary to popular belief, Torre is not exactly on A-Rod’s Christmas card list. OK, that’s probably not true — a phony baloney like A-Rod should have 90% of MLB on his holiday list. But one must wonder if Alex has yet to forget Torre penciling him into the eighth spot of the batting order in a postseason contest. The greatest player (ego) in the history of baseball, batting 8th in one of the most important games of the season. Talk about a slap in the face.

Not that the Mets will pursue Rodriguez — but where he ends up could indirectly affect the Mets.

For example … let’s say the Red Sox want to sign A-Rod but want to shed some dollars. Like, Manny dollars. Omar Minaya will be on that one-year, $20M like white on rice. Or what if the Orioles decided to enter the bidding? Surely they’d look to deal Miguel Tejada, who might consider playing second base in New York. I’m reaching here, I know … but this is what makes the Hot Stove season so much fun.

On the other hand, if the Yankees choose to oust Joe Torre from the managerial position, how will that affect other personnel?

If he’s offended by the removal of Torre, perhaps Jorge Posada would like to come to Flushing. We’ll be happy to have him catch the inaugural first pitch at Citi Field in 2009 as well, for the princely sum of $30M over two years. How about it?

Similarly, his late-inning batterymate could really stick it to the Yankees by putting on the Mets’ orange and blue. And setting up instead of closing. He does have that restaurant to look over, after all. A three-year deal is not out of the question for the greatest reliever of all time.

In addition, if Torre was let go, the first call I’d make would be to Larry Bowa — who would be ideal as the foil to Willie Randolph in the role of bench coach. At the very least I’d ask if he wanted to replace Don Quixote … er, Sandy Alomar, Jr. … as third-base coach.

And what the heck, let’s bring Torre back to the Mets as well, as a TV analyst.

Oh, I know … we hate the Yankees and don’t want to have anything to do with them. But, Willie Randolph was a Yankee for a short time (almost a quarter century in pinstripes, in fact), and personally, I have no problem with Mo and Jorge coming this way.

We’ll see what the story is on Wednesday …

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude October 16, 2007 at 9:04 am
    Hey man, if it means the Mets winning 95-100 games and making the postseason, I’m all for scavenging off the Yankee carcass.

    Realistically, I think Joe stays with the Yankees. It was George Steinbrennar who came out with the “fire Torre” story amidst their ALDS, and I can’t take a thing he says seriously anymore. #1, because his health is so bad he may not even know what state he’s in half the time, and #2, his sons are taking control of the team now, and neither has said anything to the contrary of Joe leaving. I think if they wanted a new manager, they would have canned Torre by now. Additionally, who fills Torre’s void as manager? Is Mattingly ready? Is Girardi right for the job? Does La Rusa want the pressure of playing in NY? Does Showalter want to manage again? All questions that won’t have to be answered if Torre is retained.

    However, if I’m wrong, then you’re right Joe, the domino effect will be felt by every team in baseball. Posada would be a nice addition behind the plate for the Mets (as well as a nice right-handed backup for Delgado at 1B), and Rivera would make for a premeir set-up man (although I wouldn’t mind him at least sharing closing duties with Wagner). I can’t see Torre as a TV analyst with the Mets. He’s been quoted as saying he wants to manage until he’s 70 (which is 3 years away), and I’m sure some other team would scoop him up in that capacity. No thanks on Bowa. I remember too keenly his escapades in Philly and don’t want that festering on our bench. I agree Alomar, Sr. did a horrible job as 3rd base coach in ’07, but there have got to be better candidates to replace him.

  2. Micalpalyn October 16, 2007 at 9:58 am
    OK: you guys know me….I cant resist stirring the pot. So here goes………..

    1. yes giradi and Mattingly are names thrown out there so far. But so has Pinella who
    has been in Chi-town one year. Is it too far fetched for the new Yankee brass to come THIS waay to entice Willie?

    a: given Omar’s ‘support’ of Willie, the Yanks might pay compensation (Humberto Sanchez)
    b. Willie was a pin stripe as u said for a quarter century, a player on the bronx is burning, a coach for the 5 recent WS titles, and according to most of us an AL style manager.
    c. Yes, Omar endorsed his $3M/yr coach, but (ala BV in 2001), most media ‘experts’ persist in saying Willie has a short leash for next yr…..
    so why doesn’t he bolt to his beloved Yanks?

    Ultimately we will see….but like you said the ripple effects of todays decision will affect the Mets, but I think it will affect not only players but coaches.

    2: No post on Leo mazzone? Let me remind you he was the FIRST choice before Duke went after Rick Peterson.

  3. joe October 16, 2007 at 11:14 am
    My gut says that isuzudude is right, and Torre stays … which was why I wanted to post this BEFORE “super Tuesday in Tampa”.

    No thanks on Bowa? With all the lackluster emotion and need for some fire in the clubhouse? I think he’d be ideal — he’d be to Randolph as Don Zimmer was to Torre (back when the Yankees had a fire in their belly). If not Bowa, what do you think of the idea? Getting a fiery bench coach who could also tell Willie when to use the suicide squeeze?

    Willie in the Bronx … well we know he looks good in pinstripes. I’m not seeing it. Supposedly, Don Mattingly has told the Steinbrenners he’s not ready to be a manager of the Yankees. Girardi has canceled his radio interviews for the past week, so if Torre’s out, my guess is Girardi’s in.

    Though it would be a masterful, spit-on-the-Mets move for the Yanks to hire Randolph away.

    I think that John Maine and Ollie Perez secured The Jacket’s job for at least another year. And re-read what you typed — it was Duquette’s idea to bring in Mazzone. I think Omar made it pretty clear that any remnants of “Duke’s” ideas were to be disposed of quickly. Omar’s big coaching catch will be Jaramillo.

  4. Micalpalyn October 16, 2007 at 12:00 pm
    Damn. I have to reply!!!

    1. Given Willie’s orientation with the Mets he might be primed to be the yanks manager.
    I think it would be GREAT press if they did entice him away from the Mets.

    2. You set yourself up. Jaramillo was an Omar choice before. If he comes to NY as hitting coach it further ups the acrimony with Omar and has Willie second guessing everything he does….moreso than with Julio franco.

    3. Which brings up another point: What was the W-L record before cutting Franco, and then after?
    Could his loss be an intangible in the severe losing streak? If so does a former Ranger tandem in Franco and Jaramillo rise in Shea?

    4. Re-read my post: OK, let me go back. SP lured Glavine away but he wasnt exactly hot stuff his first two yrs. Duke tried to ‘fix’ Tommy by bringing in Mazzone. So Atl extended Mazzone’s contract rather than let him go to a division rival. So Duke hired Peterson to go with Art howe, the two having worked together in Oakland. So, then Omar has NOT cleaned out ALL duke’s remnants. But if he got Jaramillo AND Mazzone I believe he has THE best (upgrade) of the hitting and pitching coaches.

    5. caveat: I’m with Isu tho. I doubt Torre is fired.

  5. joe October 16, 2007 at 12:19 pm
    1. We can only be so lucky if that’s the way it turns out.

    2. Question: why is there never any mention of Joe Torre’s lack of autonomy with the coaches who are hired for him?

    3. I would have liked to be a fly on the clubhouse wall during Julio Franco’s tenure. There’s so much mixed information regarding his influence. I don’t see Franco returning unless Randolph is leaving.

    4. Touche. And thanks, you’ve given me fodder for a new quick post.

    5. Ditto.

  6. Coop October 16, 2007 at 12:59 pm
    Visit FU for my piece on the Julio Franco Factor which details my theories behind the Mets collapse and the dividions or unifiying aspects of Franco!

    And Micalpalyn, I totally forgot about that Mazzone move. Or non-move. That’s interesting. However, if Mazzone was let go by b-more, and Glav is being courted by Atlanta (which we don’t know) since Schuerholz left, Mazzone may be back for one last hoo-rah too. Just sayin…

    I also don’t think Torre leaves. They do this every damn year, and every damn year Clueless Joe comes back!

  7. joe October 16, 2007 at 1:18 pm
    Yeah, it’s deja vu all over again … as Yogi might say.

    Every offseason it’s the same crap: George threatens to fire Torre, and Tom Glavine threatens to go back to Atlanta. Ho hum.

    All we need now is a hot and juicy Manny Ramirez trade rumor and the Hot Stove season will be complete.

  8. isuzudude October 16, 2007 at 1:34 pm
    How about that – 2 out of 3 prophecies have already been fulfilled, and we’re only in mid-October.

    Maybe we can coax Steve Howe to try and make a comeback with the Yankees.

  9. Micalpalyn October 16, 2007 at 1:39 pm
    I can only speculate. But Franco, for as much as we got on him for choking in key spots, was a good guy and the players seemed to like him. The Coop even brought up a question –if Franco was simply being groomed for a coaching job, why wasn’t he just made a coach instead of taking a valuable bench spot? ……………………

    Uh Coop took this to a new level: First I add that rumor was the club house was divided. Tom and Loduca and Wags in one corner. And the delgado, Reyes corner.

    julio Franco is as much a legend in the Dominican as PEDRO is. Julio Franco was let go not as much for his hitting but the fact he had become devisive in the club house….that leads me to suspect then the likes of Del, reyes, Sosa and maybe Beltran had become apathetic to Willie’s cliche’s. Then extracting Franco took the cohesion from that group. Add to that what Coop alludes to, that franco was THE first bat off the bench in every clutch situation early in the season. In other words Willie set franco up. He did not care about match ups he simply wanted to expose Julio’s slower bat. early on Franco walked every time up but eventually………..

    Why not just make him a coach? Willie did not want him as aplayer and definately not as a coach.

  10. Micalpalyn October 16, 2007 at 1:49 pm
    Uhh: U already started the Manny rumor above ……………

    A-rod to the bo sox, (lowell (back) to the Yanks), then Manny to the Mets………..

  11. isuzudude October 16, 2007 at 1:50 pm
    I don’t think Franco wants to be a coach yet, Mic. And as long as teams like the Braves think his “veteran leadership” is worth a roster spot, he’s going to keep earning a major league salary.
  12. Coop October 16, 2007 at 2:06 pm
    Yup, Franco wants to be the “oldest guy to (fill-in-the-blank)” which I think we all got tired of, as good natured as it was in 2006.

    It seemed like on the surface, though, Willie liked Franco – but again, it sort of ties into how Willie might have felt undermined by the upper management. Even now, with Bernazard’s presence in the locker room. In fact, it was I think Mike and the Idiot Boy who brought up the idea that Willie went tit-for-tat with Omar and said, you get rid of my guy, I get rid of yours.

    Sorry Micalpalyn LOL – did not want to start a conspiracy.

  13. joe October 16, 2007 at 2:47 pm
    Again, wish I were a fly on the wall in that clubhouse. But from our outside perspective, it would appear that:

    1. Julio Franco wants to play until he’s at least 50

    2. Franco was clearly underperforming in his limited role

    3. Franco was unhappy with his reduced role

    I don’t know that Willie would sabotage himself and the outcome of games by putting Franco in to hit in clutch situations. I think it was more a matter of the “game plan” outlined before the season by Willie and Omar — the same plan that said Wagner pitches the ninth, Heilman pitches the eighth, Castro is the backup catcher, no starters go beyond 100 pitches, etc. Omar / Willie are all about specific roles, which I understand but don’t necessarily buy in to, because a roster and a season and the performance of players can be so dynamic. Willie was putting Franco into those situations because if he didn’t, then what was the point of him taking a roster spot? Franco was on the team because he’s been such a great pinch hitter in the past, and Willie was going to continue going to him until he started hitting.

    It’s not dissimilar to Willie bringing in Mota and The Show over and over and over and over. Willie defines it as “confidence in my guys”; others define it as “insanity”.

    As far as the internal stuff, who knows? It’s probable that with so much idle time in the dugout, Franco was ornery and becoming a problem. It’s rare that everyday players are disgruntled and causing problems in the clubhouse. Franco felt mistreated, or whatever, and he being the man he is most likely voiced his opinion. His supporters were behind him, while others weren’t.

    But therein lies the problem — the biggest voice behind the scenes, the one distinguished “leader”, was the 25th man. And now we understand that Delgado and Alou were the “leaders” after Franco left. Delgado, who had the worst season of his life and Alou who missed four months of the season.

    It’s a lot easier to gain the respect of your peers, and lead them, when you are a) playing everyday and b) performing at a high level.

    Do we really think anyone would be talking about Aaron Rowand’s leadership if he hit .260 this past season?

  14. isuzudude October 16, 2007 at 2:59 pm
    All good points, Joe. We can talk about leadership and who is in control of the team until we’re blue in the face. But the bottom line is that Willie SHOULD be in control, and would probably have a better chance of winning over his clubhouse if Omar got out of the way a little bit. As far as players are concerned, I agree that the guys performing best on the field should become the most vocal and influential…after all, aren’t those the guys the rest of the clubhouse should be trying to emulate?
  15. joe October 16, 2007 at 3:31 pm
    I don’t know that Willie’s ability to lead is the issue — though I would agree that he doesn’t appear to have control, which is different.

    Did Bob Lemon lead the ’78 Yankees to the World Championship, or was it Munson, Nettles, Piniella (combined with the absence of Billy Martin).

    Did Davey Johnson really LEAD the Mets in ’86, or was it Knight, Keith, Carter, etc.?

    Yes there are some managers who lead — Leyland, Bobby V come to mind — but I think that’s more personality, which doesn’t change. So if the Mets aren’t going to change Willie, they need to find some players to lead — some Knights and Keiths.

  16. Micalpalyn October 16, 2007 at 4:26 pm
    Essentially this is the same team that nearly made the WS 12 months ago. Ironic that the/a key loss was Dirty Sanchez who probably makes life easier for Wags/Heilman in the late innings of the NLCS and again this yr especially late on into the season….

    Franco: I agree with all of u. But like Coop and all of us recognize we dont know the whole story. Very similarly the Kazmir trade has been mired in hearsay in which NO ONE has yet taken responsibility for making that recommendation. Note to isu: atlanta picked him up then sent him to A ball. WE could have demoted him too (with permission) and then added him later in Sept. There again is evidence of a split.

    b). I kinda harped on this but prior to Franco’s ‘dismissal’, he was rumored to be sulking (and slumping), and second guessing Willie. Is that a suprise? No. We have been doing it DAILY for 3 yrs. (before that we were focused on POOR personnel issues).

    c). Davey Johnson!!!!!! the man responsible for (my ) darkest moment in Mets history!!! (game4-NLCS-9th inning-Gooden (still) pitching)

    d). OK Joe and Isu: Leadership; It isw my opinion that coaches are fired because they cannot motivate the players. I believe that comes from atitude, respect, communication, then ability to make on field (tactical) decisions. johnson was very blindly robotic in some of his decisions, likewise Willie. Then again

  17. Micalpalyn October 16, 2007 at 4:50 pm
    RE: leadership. I googled Clint Hurdle curious about his old Mets ties and inadvertently googled the Mets

    Interestingly, note the synopsis of the 1996-2004era. After the magical 1999 the Mets started 2000 17-9 then lost 8 straight. Response SP fires the entire coaching staff except BV.

    Why do I bring this up? Even if willie does stay, could Omar get heavy handed with the coaching staff? Wasnt Omar part of SP shop that season (precedence)? We know Omar is scouting Jaramillo…what else is up his sleeve?

  18. joe October 16, 2007 at 5:16 pm
    Mic, where were you when Omar fired Rick Down? It was exactly the same move SP made in 2000.

    Jaramillo is THE thing up his sleeve. I don’t know anyone else — other than Leo Mazzone — who would make a significant impact on the coaching staff. And I get this feeling that Minaya is on board with the Jacket, due to the success of Maine, Ollie, etc., so Mazzone is not an option. I think.

  19. Micalpalyn October 16, 2007 at 5:20 pm
    Yes, but I am not sure Omar does not change Sandy Alomar at 3rd and Henderson, at 1st. Ditto Tom Nieto.
  20. Micalpalyn October 16, 2007 at 5:29 pm
  21. isuzudude October 16, 2007 at 5:30 pm
    Mic, the writing is pretty evident on the wall. The coincidence between Reyes’ slump and Henderson’s arrival is too strong, and Rickey’s ties to the ’99 season are too fresh (at least for me). And if/when Jamarillo gets hired as hitting coach, HoJo will move to 1st base, sending Henderson on his way. Alomar was terrible at holding runners at 3rd, but I’m sure there are other aspects of the job he did very well – or else there’s no doubt he would have been gone by now. He’s also probably well respected in the dugout, so firing him would contradict your message about keeping Julio Franco for his leadership values instead of his talent. As for Nieto, what did he do/not do that has placed him on your hit list? Is the catching instructor really that instrumental to providing leadership, anyway?
  22. isuzudude October 16, 2007 at 5:34 pm
    Joe, if you wouldn’t mind, could you write up a column responding to the article on the link Mic just posted? I’d like to see what your take is and then make some comments myself.
  23. Micalpalyn October 16, 2007 at 5:35 pm
    Nieto: As I recall he was brought in by Willie. Basically its that tit 4 tat theory of taking away Willie’s friends.
  24. joe October 16, 2007 at 8:44 pm
    isuzudude … the readers ask, i deliver. i’ll look at mlbtraderumors’ assessment of the Mets needs/luxuries and respond to it by Wednesday morning.

    thanks for the link and the idea !!!