Today, Torre's Dodgers sit atop the NL West in a first-place tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks. And in the Bronx, Joe Girardi -- New Joe -- struggles to find a way to keep his $209-million roster alive in August, let alone October. In one sense, it is clear the Yankees owe Torre an apology, because clearly, he wasn't the problem with this team last year any more than Girardi is the problem with it this year. In another sense, it is Torre who owes a hearty thank you to the Yankees, for showing him the way to the door just before the roof fell in on the rest of them.Probably worth mentioning that (a) the Yankees, for all of their problems, still have a better record than the Dodgers, playing in a tougher division in a tougher league; and (b) I can't think of a single thing that Joe Torre would have done better in New York than Girardi has while I can think of many things worse.
Why is it so hard for some New York writers to simply accept that age, injuries, and a busted bet on a couple of young starters are the reason for the Yankees' troubles this season? There is no villain here. It's the ups and downs of baseball, finally coming to the Bronx as they do all other teams. I suppose that's less sexy of a story, but it's at least an accurate one.