Bill Shaikin of the LA Times appears to be the latest journalist intoxicated with telling the Torre Story. He writes a long piece in the paper this weekend called "Dodgers could give Joe Torre a proper send-off after all." It's all about how St. Joe can finally get to leave on his own terms with the Dodgers, the way he supposedly didn't with the Yankees. Millions are on the unemployment lines each month, forced out of jobs not on their own terms, but we're supposed to care about the job security of a millionaire manager. You know, the usual poor Joe blather, like in "The Yankee Years".
What is interesting to me in the piece is the talk of Don Mattingly. It suggests that Mattingly is being groomed to be a manager, perhaps as Torre's successor, then throws this in (emphasis added):
If the Yankees do not return to the playoffs -- after spending $423 million on Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett -- we cannot imagine Manager Joe Girardi will be invited back. The Yankees selected Girardi over Mattingly as the replacement for Torre, and perhaps they'll ask their beloved first baseman for a do-over.
Mattingly, who has no managerial experience, said Torre has promised him nothing.How many times, including this article itself, did we hear Torre gripe over the years about how he hated being asked questions about his contract status? And hear we are, less than two weeks into the season, and Girardi may already have to look over his shoulder, thanks to some old "friends."
"I feel like he's helping me prepare," Mattingly said, "but I don't know if that's necessarily for here. I liked it in New York. I like it here. I like the game."
I can't blame this all on Torre, though. Mattingly knows how the media game works. What is Donnie Baseball thinking here, giving quotes about being groomed to be a manager, but not necessarily for L.A.?
I appreciated that Mattingly left New York and took the high road like he did when losing the chance to be Yankee manager. He said at the time that he didn't want Girardi to be second-guessed. I wish he had stuck with that instinct, instead of appearing to be setting his eyes on the job he lost out on.
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