Is the Torre/Piniella meme a product of the tabloid echo chamber? With every hour, we are left to wonder. Are the rational forces of Yankee management, led by Brian Cashman, working behind the scenes to retain Joe? Will a prideful Torre, after this very public debate over his job, even want to come back. There isn’t much word from camp. Reggie Jackson and Ron Guidry have come out in favor of retaining Joe; their Yankee legends surely mean more than that of their former teammate, Sweet Lou Piniella.
The return of Lou, as many have noted, would likely make the Yankees an A-Rod team—an almost unfathomable prospect given recent events. Conversely, it’s hard to imagine Derek Jeter without his mentor and with the hot-headed Piniella. One can only imagine how the Yankee captain would respond to the first base-tossing, Piniella tantrum. A withering look, perhaps. In the clubhouse, he’d surely toe the party line. “Just shows how much he wants to win.” But would he still respect him in the morning?
The clock ticks on the Yankee core. On the Pinstripe Blog, Steve Goldman worries that the Yankees’ great strength up the middle—Posada, Jeter, Damon—is aging. The great Rivera isn’t getting any younger either. Still, he cautions, the Yankees primary objective should be to strenthen the minor league system, and to avoid the signing of mediocre veteran pitching.
Peter Abraham, over on the LoHud blog, suggests the Yankees pass on the options of Moose and Sheff; move Cabrera to center; move Damon to first; move Giambi to the permanent DH slot; and move A-Rod to whomever will take him, preferably for young pitching.
Joe didn’t have a particularly strong playoffs. It looks to me like his bridges are burned with Alex. If he can be transformed into one or more good young arms, that might be a good way to build for the future.
For now, it’s wait and see.