Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mets not 'Beirut' for Joe Torre?

Joe Torre back in the Mets' dugout?

ESPN's Buster Olney sees the Mets as a potential good destination for Torre:

And one option that would make a lot of sense for Torre if he leaves the Dodgers -- and there is a sense among some who know him that he is very frustrated with the team's ownership situation -- would be a reunion with the Mets, if they're looking for a new manager after this season. Torre could return to New York, he would be managing for a team that will spend money, and, perhaps most important of all, he would not require complete power.

The Mets have come a long way from the offseason, when Peter Gammons claimed that Jason Bay would rather play in Beirut. Then there was speculation that Mets management and money issues were driving free agents away from Citi Field.

But things must be really bad with the Dodgers for the grass to be greener in Queens. The Mets are still suffering from their failure to spend after signing Bay. Joel Pineiro has had an up and down year, but last night he shut out Tampa Bay over 6 1/3, allowing five hits, one walk and striking out seven. In seven starts, Jon Garland is 4-2 with an ERA of 1.71 and 1.21 WHIP. Either one of them would look pretty good in the rotation instead of Oliver Perez.

The budget options the Mets turned to have mostly been a disaster (except at catcher). What manager would look forward to having to deal with the Mets' bench? At least Frank Catalanotto finally got DFA'd last night, but that still leaves Gary Matthews Jr.

Catalanotto's departure means that Chris Carter is coming up, which raises other issues. The Mets saved money by acquiring Carter for Billy Wagner, instead of keeping Wagner last year and offering arbitration, which would have netted the Mets draft-pick compensation.

Wagner ended up signing with the Braves. A couple of years ago, the Mets got a compensation draft pick from the Braves for Tom Glavine and it turned out to be Ike Davis. But instead of another first-rounder, the Mets ended up with Carter, considered a quadruple-A player.

Joe Torre to the Mets would certainly generate headlines, but it probably wouldn't work out for either side. As Squawker Lisa is only too pleased to point out, Torre has not been at the top of his game for some time. And Torre would be frustrated with the Mets' decision-making or lack thereof.

There is one thing about the Mets that could appeal to Torre, however - the willingness to allow the bullpen to be overworked.


Uncle Mike said...

Maybe Torre saw the Manhattan skyline and got homesick. Then he came to Citi Field, a.k.a. Ebbets II, and got really homesick.

Let's be honest here, in terms of resume the Mets could do a LOT worse. Then again, Jerry Manuel did manage a team to a postseason berth (the 2000 White Sox).

But it could turn out to be the second coming -- not of Torre, but of Casey Stengel, who managed the Brooklyn Dodgers at one of their low points before managing the Boston Braves (at one of their many low points), the Yankees (to their highest point yet), and the Mets (pointless).

Warren Spahn pitched for the Braves in '42 and the Mets in '65, and said he was the only man who played for Casey both before and after he was a genius. I don't know how many of Torre's Cardinals are left on active rosters -- I'm presuming none of his Mets and Braves are -- but I don't think he wants to follow Casey's path that closely. But the 2010 Mets certainly aren't as bad as the 1962-65 edition. We may never see a team that bad again: Even the 119-loss Detroit Tigers had the excuse of injuries.

Jon Lewin said...

It could be worse than Casey. What about Dallas Green, who managed a terrible Mets team after managing not just the Yankees, but the Phillies, and winning Philly's first title.
Too bad Yogi's managing days are in the past - he actually took both the Mets and Yankees to Game 7 of the World Series.

Anonymous said...

Jon, I am not a "clueless" (Saint) Joe fan anymore--I am glad he is no longer with the Yanks. I hope Donnie Baseball becomes the next Yankee or Dodger manager

Uncle Mike said...

Mattingly? You mean Donnie Regular Season Baseball? Any team that hires him as manager is doomed to a Cub-length World Series drought. He's a jinx! Look at the talent on the Dodgers, tell me he isn't jinxing them every bit as much as he jinxed the Yankees from 1982 to '95 and 2004 to '07.

Anonymous said...

Food for thought, Uncle

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