Tough Night for the Empire State
Hard not to be in a New York state of mind this morning. Just like the Billy Joel song for starters, but after watching the Yankees and the Bills go down to defeat last night, its hard not to hum it with a little irony.
First the $215 million Yankees, and frankly, the fact they were eliminated from post-season play by the Cleveland Indians in four games isn't the most interesting part.
It's that George Steinbrenner has already said publically, or at least in a newspaper, that Joe Torre would not be returning as manager if the New Yorkers lost in the first round for a third straight year.
Well, it happened. Maybe George is a man of his word, maybe not. But if he is, and if Torre is cut loose, one thought immediately jumps to mind.
The Blue Jays must seriously investigate Torre's availability if he becomes a free agent. It's just a no-brainer.
Now, maybe Torre doesn't want to become involved with the Blue Jays, or maybe he retires after a great run in the Big Apple.
But maybe he listens, and teams other than the Blue Jays - his old team, the Cardinals, for starters? - will likely be interested.
Even Paul Godfrey, for goodness sakes, would have to see the possibilities here, whether its with Torre as manager, GM or some other role. Torre made $7.5 million this season with the Yanks, a number that will scare any number of teams, but the man's got a serious resume.
If you're the Jays, you at least kick the tires on this one. You owe it to the fans were were misled and at times out-and-out lied to this past season. Hiring Gary Denbo to tutor the hitters just isn't going to be enough.
If Torre is cut loose and were to join the Jays, the entire profile of the franchise changes. Maybe the fans even respond by averaging more than 30,000 per game.
Now to the Bills, those poor, suffering Bills.
That just wasn't fair what happened to them last night in a 25-24 loss to Dallas in their first Monday Night Football appearance in 13 years.
It was as though the Bills won the game three or four times, but in the end lost because Cowboys kicker Nick Folk kicked it through the uprights not once but twice from 53 yards to decide the thrilling, topsy-turvy contest.
The difference was Folk, a brilliantly-executed onside kick and the ability of Cowboys QB Tony Romo to shake off five interceptions and then still put his team in position to win it on the last play of the game.
Maybe the game shouldn't have been that close, and maybe the undefeated 'Boys had their eyes on New England next Sunday a little too much.
But the Bills, with a ton of injuries on defence, played a whale of a game and just deserved better.
Then, of course, so does Joe Torre.