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No, Joe Torre is not the greatest manager in New York history

Jun 24, 2010, 1:12 PM EDT

Joe Torre is a great manager. He's not the greatest in New York history, however, and that's true even if the Daily News says otherwise.

I’m guessing Mike Lupica doesn’t write his own headlines, but he probably has the power to change them if they’re stupid. And the headline above today’s Lupica column in the Daily News is stupid:

New York Yankees face first showdown with Joe Torre, the greatest
manager Big Apple has ever seen

This wouldn’t be accurate even if they limited it to the Yankees, but the fact that they include all of New York makes it even more preposterous.  I mean, without even getting to the hard cases you have to put John McGraw, Joe McCarthy, and Casey Stengel ahead of Torre. I don’t know enough about Miller Huggins to be sure, but I’m guessing he has an argument. Leo Durocher is likely ahead of Torre as well, though I’ll accept arguments to the contrary.

Some of the closer calls could go either way: Billy Martin has an argument, though maybe not a great one based on New York time only. Walter Alston is the same deal inasmuch as he was more famous for his work while in L.A. (but he did win a ring in Brooklyn). Bill Terry won three pennants for the Giants, though that was really with the remnants of McGraw’s teams. Torre likely has all of them beat, but it’s not an assertion that is unassailable.

I like Torre, don’t get me wrong. But if he’s the greatest manager in New York history, Mike Lupica is a Pullitzer Prize winner and Nobel Laureate.

  1. john pileggi - Jun 24, 2010 at 2:03 PM

    No disrespect to Mr. Torre, but Mike Lupica should be writing for Archie Comics. “The Sports Reporters” is painful when he opens his mouth to while, and his writing is a more silent form of torture.

  2. ZippyChippy - Jun 24, 2010 at 2:28 PM

    Torre was not a great strategical manager especially with the bullpen, but he definitely knew how to deflect anything negative from his players and manage some pretty big egos over the years…Billy Martin couldn’t deal with Steinbrenner the way Torre handled him. “Clueless Joe” definitely proved everyone wrong and deserves to be in the HOF!

  3. ZippyChippy - Jun 24, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    Torre was not a great strategical manager especially with the bullpen, but he definitely knew how to deflect anything negative from his players and manage some pretty big egos over the years…Billy Martin couldn’t deal with Steinbrenner the way Torre handled him. “Clueless Joe” definitely proved everyone wrong and deserves to be in the HOF!

  4. jwb - Jun 24, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    You don’t understand. “Others won more. Torre won better.” See? This must be true because Lupica says it is!

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