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The Mets Love Big Willie Style, And I Love Joe Torre
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Former Yankees player and coach Willie Randolph has been skipper-ing for the Mets since 2005, and he's done Torre's mentoring proud: the Mets went 83-79 in his first year with the team and were just 1 game away from a World Series appearance last year (sorry to remind you, Mets fans...). This week he was rewarded by Mets owner Fred Wilpon with a new 3-year contract that will earn him $1.4 million in 2007, $2 mil in '08, and $2.4 mil in '09, making him one of the longest-tenured managers in Mets history; only Davey Johnson and Bobby Valentine have lasted longer.

Across town at Willy's alma mater there's another manager who is making big bucks, a man by the name of Joe Torre (not sure if you've heard of him...). Torre is currently the highest paid manager in baseball, bringing in a cool $7.5 mil for the 2007 season, but his boss is a bit harder to please than dear Wilpon. Big Stein has proven himself as a bit of a fickle pickle, hiring and firing managers like it was going out of style faster than that horrible emo haircut ever 20-year-old male was exhibiting a couple years ago, and Torre has spent most of his time with the Yanks knowing he could be kicked to the curb by the boss at any moment. After the Yanks soul-crushing loss to the Tigers last October, Big Stein was eager to cut Torre loose, and if not for some persuasive influence by Cashman and other front office bigwigs, we would have had to see Lou Piniella - or worse, Dusty Baker? - sitting on the bench with Mattingly this year instead of ol' #6.

Soul-crushing post-season as it was, I don't think many Yankees fans (or officials, save for Stein), wanted to rid the team of Torre. What Torre does for the team, and what he seems to have passed on to Big Willie Style, is create a sense of camaraderie and work ethic in clubhouse that fosters a winning attitude regardless of the different backgrounds of the players. There are plenty of teams with talented players, but much of the Yankees' continued successes can be attributed to the value Torre places on work ethic and his motivational style. The Mets seem to be responding in a similar fashion to Willie's influence, making the Yankees Chick all the more eager for a Mets-Yankees Subway Series World Series Showdown (I must trademark that phrase ASAP) in 2007. I'm happy to see a former Yank succeed in such a high-pressure job - - just as long as he remains just a close second to Torre's success!!


posted by Yankees Chick @ Sunday, January 28, 2007  
  • At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Deric said…

    When has Omar Minaya become the owner of the Mets?

  • At 8:49 PM, Blogger Mike Edelman said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 8:50 PM, Blogger Mike Edelman said…

    I'm still annoyed that the Cardinals made it to the World Series let alone win it.

    Mike Edelman

  • At 5:10 AM, Anonymous manny being manny said…

    Do you miss Wille Randolph? Seems like a standup guy and doing well for the Yankees, but there's only so long that talent like him can be kept minding first base I suppose. Torre is the glue of the Yankees, and (even as a Red Sox fan) I can't stand it every year when the New York media (and ESPN) wonder whether he'll get canned after making the playoffs but not winning a World Series. As if it's his fault the Yankees don't have playoff-caliber pitching. As a fan of the opposition, I should be welcoming Torre getting canned every year, it just makes me sick that his talent at times is taken for granted.

  • At 12:34 PM, Anonymous My Pinstripes said…

    "I can't stand it every year when the New York media (and ESPN) wonder whether he'll get canned after making the playoffs but not winning a World Series."

    Manny, that's the price of being involved with a NY team, especially under George. We've witnessed so many irrational moves over the years that you come to expect it.

    p.s. - Willie manned 3rd, not 1st.

  • At 2:37 PM, Anonymous brad said…

    I love Joe more than is healthy or right, but I'm sorry to say I don't know if he's going to be the right man for the job much longer. (That said, if otherwise it's a Boss pick for manager like Dusty, Joe's corpse would still be a better choice.) But unless you believe A-rod is an inherently weak kneed choking choker of a no clutch ability chump, you gotta admit Joe didn't get the best out of him last year, or keep the clubhouse from making any disharmonious noise.
    And that's his main responsibility and talent. He's not the best tactician, tends to keep "his guys" around on the bench long after they're useful, and isn't always patient with young players working to establish themselves. I'm basically copying a point Steven Goldman made earlier and more coherently, but it's now possible to see an end to Joe's time, and why a move will be necessary, painful as it is for me to admit.
    But, like I said, if the Boss is picking the replacement on his own everything I just said is moot. It'll be an interesting test of Cashman's true authority, when the time comes.

  • At 5:43 PM, Anonymous nyyfaninlaaland said…

    I think it could be argued we saw the test of Cashman's authority regarding the manager position after the season and it looks likes he's firmly in charge. We might be seing Stein turning his attention to the new stadium - The House that George Built? - as his legacy. He seems a lot more comfortable with Cashman now.

    C'mon, we all know in our hearts Willie's now in his management trainee job until the opportunity to return comes up. Even if that doesn't happen, Willie will always be a Yankee to me.

  • At 6:24 PM, Blogger Mike Edelman said…

    I'm with you Manny. I always hope Torre will get fired because he really does hold that team together. Any fan can see that.

    Mike Edelman

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