On Revenge, Or, Joe Torre, Have I Got An Offer For You

I’m not much of a sports fan, but even I can see that Joe Torre has been given such a raw deal by the Yankees that there are juries that might not convict him for a chainsaw wielding act of revenge upon the Steinbrenner family, who exercise ultimate control over the team’s fate.

There’s something else I can see, sports fan or not.

I can see that there exists, for a moment, an opportunity for Torre to exact some serious revenge upon those who have wronged him. And to do it in a way that is particularly offensive to his former bosses.

For those not aware, the New York Yankees are the most storied of American baseball teams. The history of the Yankees includes the names Babe Ruth and Roger Maris and Lou Gehrig, who is famous not only for his work on the field, but for the amazing coincidence of dying from a disease that shares his name.

The team is also famous for its iconoclastic owner, George Steinbrenner, who burned through Yankee managers at such a pace that he was forced to hire and fire the same one (Billy Martin) five times before it was all over.

To give those of you who are not American readers an understanding of what Steinbrenner means to our culture, consider this: the word “blog” was not originally part of the “dictionary” that is included in the version of Microsoft Word that I am using to create this blog…but if you misspell Steinbrenner, Word will inform you of the error.

Steinbrenner and the fans feel the team should appear in the (American teams only, but that’s an irony for another day) World Series more or less every year, and Torre’s failure to deliver on this desire is the source of his current unemployment-despite his extraordinary success these past 12 years with sometimes less than extraordinary teams

Today the Yankees are well known (and resented) by fans everywhere both for their on-field successes and their enormous payroll; and there are teams who are well known for their contempt of the Yankees.

The Boston Red Sox have advanced this resentment into a legendary and amazing disgust of the Bronx Bombers-a hatred that is so pervasive that during the runup to the baseball playoffs residents of Salem, Massachusetts are more likely to burn you at the stake for wearing a Derek Jeter shirt in public than for using witchcraft to help the Sox.

The casual reader, not yet aware of the potentially deep and cruel nature of my darker mind, might think: “what a great idea…find a way for Torre to become the manager of the team that hates the Yankees above all others.”

Frankly, I consider that a good idea, but not an idea dark enough to really make it worth Torre’s time and effort. No, a man wronged as badly as he deserves a finer form of revenge.

For example, this:

Imagine if there was a team that is today a thorn in the Yankees’ side…a team that currently sucks, but could be turned-by the right manager-into a giant killer…a team that has proven itself capable of going into Yankee Stadium and embarrassing the home team in front of the Steinbrenner’s faces.

Well, there is.

They have a lovely new stadium; the city is surrounded by beauty on a scale far beyond that experienced by those who toil in the urban centers of the American East Coast, and the team is well and truly in the dumper-but with many of the parts in place to ruin the dreams of the hated Yankees, if they had the right leadership.

Joe Torre, meet the Seattle Mariners.

Look, we had a run in the ‘90s, but the reality is this is a situation crying out for you: the team has potential upon which it has not delivered these past few years, you would be a very large fish in a pond that only four people currently share since the death of grunge (Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Ichiro Suzuki and Mike Holmgren being those four), and I can promise you will never be treated with the disrespect you were just shown by the Yankees.

Now here’s the good part: the people of Seattle are by nature quiet and withdrawn…with one odd exception. In what most regard as a town not full of fanatical sports fans, the Seattle Seahawks are the team that introduced the “12th Man” to the NFL-the concept that the noise of the fans is in itself an additional member of the team that bedevils and confuses the enemy. The Seahawks fans are today considered the preeminent practitioners of this art, and Qwest Field is today considered the NFL’s loudest stadium.

To show our sincerity, I offer the following disclosures: it will be tough to find a decent grinder, or a pizza, or a Kosher or Italian deli. (You can always grab a nice Italian dinner at Angelo’s, though, so it’s not without hope…)

There is a bright side.
When it comes to an espresso, a cappuccino, or just about any other coffee drink you can think of, well, to steal a line from Pulp Fiction…we’ll take the "Pepsi Challenge" with New York City anytime.

And it really is a nice stadium.

Think about it, Joe…a team that is not that far away from being capable of continuing its history of embarrassing the Yankees at crucial times, and beyond that, with the right leadership, capable of going deep into the playoffs.

A team that can be a showcase for your talents.

A fan base that will rally to your cause, will treat your presence as a reason for celebration, and who are fully prepared to well and truly hate the Yankees…as we have since before you became their manager.

Mariners’ management? There should be no reason for me to tell them what to do here…and if we have the chance to find another situation for Mike Hargrove in order to create the opening for Torre it would indeed be an opportunity not to be missed.

And just imagine how rich it would be…game 7 of the ALCS…the Mariners beat up the Yankees…Ichiro has his career night, and we go into the World Series with you as a conquering hero, honored from here to Japan.

And there we are…a more or less kinda sorta baseball fan offering advice to a baseball icon, with the fond hope that he takes it-because even I, a more or less kinda sorta baseball fan, would love to see you stick it to the Yankees real good.

< Lynn Woolsey coming to speak at Northwest Progressive Convention | Domestic Violence Discrimination at METRO >


which do you hate the most?
cold french fries
driver&#8217;s license renewal
the yankees
air travel
canned cranberry sauce

Votes: 3
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...but a patty murray story drops on this spot monday.

by fake consultant on Sat Oct 20, 2007 at 01:19:15 PM PST

* 1 none 0 *

Every Yankee defeat is a victory for humanity. Conversely, every time the Yankees win, God kills a kitten.

Your Torre + Mariners idea is fun. But, seriously, I've stopped thinking of the Mariners as a sports franchise. It's a mystery how they could do so little with so much. And I can no longer suspend disbelief.

by zappini on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 10:37:50 AM PST

* 4 none 0 *

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