Bring Joe To Queens
by: Joe McDonald | Publisher and Editor-in-Chief | Sunday, October 21, 2007

As much as he likes to collect World Series rings, George Steinbrenner enjoys just as much bringing ex-Mets into the Yankee fold.

The Boss seemed to get a tremendous pleasure watching Met greats become part of the Yankee family, which tends to divorce them from Flushing.

When Dwight Gooden was cast away due to drug abuse, there was Steinbrenner. Darryl Strawberry followed for a while and even David Cone considered himself a Yankee just as much as he thought of himself as a Met.

Tom Seaver was on The Boss’s payroll as an announcer after his playing career was over. And Joe Torre and Lee Mazzilli were first famous for Flushing before becoming part of the Bronx.

It’s true Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter never took part in their Bronx transition, but Steinbrenner was suspended in the early 1990s.

Now, the Mets should take a page from that book. With Torre a free agent and no top managerial positions in sight, Fred and Jeff Wilpon should bring him back to Queens.

Give him a position in the organization; call it anything you want. Now, Torre wouldn’t be the manager, but he also wouldn’t want to take Willie Randolph’s job, with Randolph still occupying it. That’s not Joe’s style. He would fit nicely into an advisors role, while waiting for his next gig to come about.

The future Hall of Famer would still be able to be close to home, enjoying time with his family, but also can stay an arm’s length from the diamond he loves so much.

Think of the public relations coup that would be for the Mets. Any success the Amazins’ have will put egg on the face of the Yankees.

Here’s the bigger picture: If general manager Omar Minaya wants to pursue any Yankee free agents like Andy Pettitte or Jorge Posada, who’s a better man to recruit them than Torre? Even Mariano Rivera could come into play if Torre called him and gave his blessing to the Mets.

There’s more. If Torre wants to be part of Randolph’s staff, there would be no better bench coach in the game. The former Yankee manager could also mentor some of the younger more immature Mets [Read: Jose Reyes and Lastings Milledge], much like the way be brought along the up and coming Yankees over the past few seasons.

And if the Mets and Randolph part ways due to a poor start, there’s a perfect replacement and a man who knows how to win in New York.

If he wants, Torre will be in baseball for the 2008 season. He may be with a team or in the booth somewhere. Why not Queens?

It’s something the Wilpons should consider and if Torre declines, then at least they tried. And if he comes to Shea, the Mets are immediately a stronger organization.

And the Yankees will be reminded of their mistake every single day.