3 Quick Sports Comments
1) I see Don Mattingly & I flash on Bud Harrelson. Both were beloved New York players, neither had managerial experience before they were named manager (assuming Mattingly gets the Yankee gig) and neither ever showed me any flashes of intelligence.
As a Met fan, I can only hope Mattingly brings as much expertise and talent to the Bronx as Buddy did to Flushing.
2) I see Joe Torre and I flash on Louie Carneseca. I went to St. John's for law school in the early 80's, the heyday of Big East basketball and the St. John's program. Year in and year out Louie got the Redmen into the postseason, yet always seemed to lose the big one. Even the year he made it to the Final Four, we were left with the feeling that if only we had a better floor coach, the team would have been much better off.
The Yankees have parted ways with Torre, despite 12 consecutive playoff appearances. Most Yankee fans will tell you they think the Yankees would have won more World Series with a better manager.
Be careful what you wish for.
Louie retired and we have had a series of "genius" coaches. Unfortunately the St. John's program has sunk to the point that if they can finish a season without someone being arrested, it's a victory. Long gone are the days of NCAA bids-- even NIT berths have been elusive.
Louie's successors may have better game plans, and maybe they can manage the clock better, but they haven't been able to recruit good kids, and they haven't been able to win.
I wonder if in five years Yankee fans will be wistfully looking back at the Torre years as calm, successful ones. Two things that can be said of Torre-- he kept a lot of rich players with huge egos in check, and he made the playoffs.
Think his successor(s) will do as well?
3) Finally, I see Rudy Giuliani's quote about rooting for the Red Sox, and I flash on every stupid thing I've ever said drunk. What the hell was he thinking? It's baseball, damn it, not something as unimportant as health care or abortion for God's sake. He would have been so much better off, and more respected, if he had laughed and said that a Yankee fan would sooner have Stump Merrill back as manager than root for the dreaded Sox.