Time to go, Joe. While I've been advocating this for a while, it's still a sad when it actually happens. He's been all class at the helm for twelve years. A true beloved Yankee legend. He was definitely the man for the job in the late 90's / early 00's. A perfect fit for that time/place/team. But he's just not the guy for the job anymore and a change has been overdue. Sometimes baseball teams just need a change. Sometimes they need a manager whose bullpen management is slightly better than atrocious. The current media Torre worship would have you believe that he was a saint and a baseball genius who has never done wrong and the contract offered to him was an inexcusable insult by the Evil Empire. He's unquestionably a nice, classy, good man, and will be missed, but give me a break. Without the confluence of young Yankee home grown talent and veterans purchased with the Steinbrenner bankroll, they don't win those 4 World Series. Torre or no Torre. Right now we're witnessing a similar situation of young Yankee talent emerging alongside Steinby bought veteran talent and Torre's not getting it done. Time to try something else. This was the right decision. And I have to give the Bomber's Brass credit for setting up a situation in which he could walk away on his own terms rather than being released or retiring.
Who's next? The good folks over at Bronx Banter have provided a comprehensive analysis of the candidates. Almost everything I've read puts Mattingly - Girardi 1 - 2 as the likely selections, which is good because they're my number 1 and 2 choices, though reversed. No one loves Donnie Baseball more than me (I wear my 23 shirt on a regular basis), but his inexperience scares me a little. As dewy24 pointed out, "I don't care who you are, your first managing job cannot be the New York Yankees". True that. I think Mattingly will be a great manager, hopefully a great manager for the Yankees, hopefully a few/several years down the road. If they fall short of playoff glory in his first and/or second year, he may not survive it and may not get the second chance when he reaches his managing prime. Speaking of managing prime, everything points to Joe G being on the precipice of his managing prime. He's a young, smart, experienced baseball mind, who won NL manager of the year in 2006, pays attention to the modern baseball reality of sabermetrics, and has a Yankee pedigree himself, as the catcher of the 1996 World Series Champions. He's widely considered to be a managing star in the waiting. The knocks on him are that he might be too much of a taskmaster for this veteran crew of players and that it might be a difficult dynamic managing former teammates, batterymates, proteges. There's also the question of how he'd be able to navigate the choppy waters of managing the New York Yankees, which is not for everyone. Keeping an even keel amidst the storms of management and media is a tricky task, one that Joe Torre was masterful at. If Joe Girardi can handle all the outside and inside pressures, I think he could be the guy to lead the Yanks to Number 27.
Well, fat nosed Brooklyn Joe, It's been great. It really has. All the best.