Look, nothing was tarnished from his legacy when Casey Stengel went and managed the Mets during their first years in existence. His Met teams lost over 100 games a year, three years in a row (HEY -- just like the current Royals!), and when Stengel died he was praised as the best manager the Yankees ever had.
Until Joe Torre, or "Clueless Joe" came to New York. Torre won 4 championships with the Yankees (something they hadn't done since 1978 by the way), and won 10 division titles, and made the playoffs every single year as Yankee skipper. Yes, he had the "best teams money could buy", but Torre's calm and influence were a major factor that his teams played in October every year he was in the big city.
Now Torre's probably going to get cut loose from the Yankees, because you sure as hell gotta blame somebody for not winning a title since 2000 with all of that money being spent on all of those players. You can't trade A-Rod; nobody's gonna take him and anyone who'd even listen to offers would know they'd have the Yankees over a barrel in terms of negotiating. So in all likelihood, Torre's the fall guy and about to be replaced by Sweet Lou Piniella (if you believe the reports). And if I'm Torre, I'm on the phone with Jim Hendry and the Cubs bass immediately at the very least for an interview, because he's the better man for the job than Joe Fucking Girardi.
Torre managing the Cubs is a can't lose for either side. Joe's legacy is firmly intact, his #6 will be reitred by the Yankees, he'll still get in the Hall of Fame as a manager. If he fails at Wrigley Field, he'll just join the long list of great people (Dusty Baker included, and he came the closest rencently) who couldn't get the Cubs over the top. I mean, they're the Cubs after all. If he wins, not only does he get to thumb his nose at Steinbrenner and Company, but he becomes an even bigger legend than he already is for his work the last 11 years in New York. He becomes the most popular Chicago sports figure since Mike Ditka and Harry Carey.
Some say the a manager in baseball isn't worth more than a ten game swing either way. Not in the post-season. A manager in the baseball playoffs makes a huge difference. Who's done a better job, in the new format, besides Torre? Plus during Torre's early Yankee years, he managed the team like a National League team. He pulled the double switch, he played hunches, and worked his bullpen brilliantly. Don't think for a second that Torre would have pulled Mark Prio a little bit earlier than Dusty Baker did in game six of the NLCS. That's alone shows you how managers can affect playoff games. Joe Torre would have made absolutely certain that his team -- with a decent lead -- was absolutely NOT going to lose that game. That's where Torre was at his best. Not at bringing a team back after they were down a few runs, but when his team got a lead early.
all time in New York. He only had to play to get through the 8th inning a lot of times. Fine, you're the Cubs, go out and get or develop the best possible closer you can. I'm sure there are some free agents -- including former Torre players -- who would take a good hard look at the Cubs if Torre were skipper. And after dealing with the New York media for 11 years, even a nice guy like Torre would put that prick Jay Mariotti in his place.
This HAS to happen, because Torre is certainly the better choice over Joe Girardi. I doubt Girardi can deal with veterans at this stage in his career. He's better suited for a younger team (like the Royals, pay attention Dayton Moore). My hunch is this is why Jim Hendry has waited before naming a skipper. He had to figure that a Yankee collapse just might make Torre available.