Joe Torre has left the door open to managing again and would be interested in talking with the Wilpons.
“I am curious,” Torre said yesterday. “When the season is over, I hope the phone will be ringing… I don’t really anticipate managing again, but I think it would be unfair not to listen just out of curiosity to see if something excites me.”
In this case, one plus one must equal two.
I am a Torre advocate, and believe he would immediately change the culture around this stagnant organization. Future Hall of Fame managers aren’t readily available and if this one is interested the Mets would be doing themselves and their frustrated fan base a disservice if they don’t explore the possibility.
The man has four World Series rings on his resume as a manager, which I believe is four more than Wally Backman and Bobby Valentine. He knows how to win and knows the pressure that comes in winning in New York.
For all the talk about building with youth, Torre knows how that’s done as it is how the Yankee dynasty under him was built. One cornerstone at a time: Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.
And, nobody commands respect like Torre. If there’s a crisis, I’d rather have a guy who has known he can handle it over a guy who has never managed on this level. You also won’t catch him sitting in the dugout with glasses and a fake moustache.
And please, let’s not talk about his laid back personality. He has his players’ attention. I’ve said it before, his is an iron fist in a velvet glove.
Torre would immediately bring respectability to the Mets, give them a credibility they have long lacked.
Let’s also not talk about him being 70 years old. He keeps himself in great shape and the Mets would provide a challenge to keep him interested. The Mets are a .500 team, that with a little tweaking, adding and luck, could improve on that next season. The aura of what Torre would bring to the table would automatically improve the Mets.
Torre would change the atmosphere in his first year, and in his second, after the books have been cleared of Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez – and possibly Francisco Rodriguez – his reputation would undoubtedly attract free agents who previously might have shunned the Mets.
Don Mattingly will manage the Dodgers next year after working under Torre. If the Mets are indeed grooming Backman, wouldn’t it be better for him to learn under Torre than to throw him to the wolves now?
David Wright spoke the other day about changing the attitude, the culture of the Mets and Torre would do that unquestionably. He brings the dimension of winning to the table that few other candidates can provide.
Torre would not come cheaply, but if the Mets are serious about change, then you must pay for it.