"There's only one place to manage in my estimation. It's been the best time I've ever had, these 10 years." - - Joe Torre
It looks like Torre will be giving the Yanks another year – or two – after all. After the dismal ALDS versus the Angels and the following very public remarks made by Steinbrenner criticizing both Stottlemyer and Torre, I think most of us were expecting a Torre-free 2006 season. It seemed inevitable, and with Lou Pinella all but begging Tampa Bay to buy out his contract, I think more than a few of us were trying to put some sort of spell on Torre in hopes he would stay (Pinella in the dugout?! Maybe they would hire Torre as an independent Facial Expressions and Calming Down contractor). Fans breathed a sigh of relief as Torre committed himself to another season, and possibly two, saying that he was now leaning towards retiring after his contract expires, after the 2007 season.
Even with Torre locked up, there’s still the departure of Mel Stottlemyer to contend with. Leo Mazzone, who has served as the pitching coach for Atlanta since 1990, is inches away from signing up with the Orioles, leaving one fewer stellar option for the Yanks. There’s still Yankee bullpen coach Neil Allen in consideration, although looking at the shape our bullpen was in it may be a better idea to bring some fresh blood in. Other contenders include triple A Columbus coach Gil Patterson, who is my personal pick after seeing Aaron Small come roaring up from Ohio with confidence and composure.
And its still October? It’s a long road till spring….