The Boston Red Sox and manager Terry Francona are expected to part ways today after Boston's epic collapse in the final month of the 2011 MLB regular season. What should the Red Sox do to replace the manager who brought them two World Series titles after 86 years of futility and heartbreak?
Turn to former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, that's what. I have no idea if the 71-year-old Torre would leave his job with Major League Baseball to return to the dugout as Boston manager, but it seems to me that the Red Sox have got to ask. Jeff Bradley of the Star-Ledger wrote this morning that "I cannot think of another manager so well-equipped to step into the Boston cauldron."
The Red Sox cannot let the most successful manager in their history go without a plan. Like New York, Boston is no easy place to manage. Who understands the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, and who knows how to manage a team in that spotlight, any better than Torre? No one.
Until he says otherwise, you have to believe this would be an opportunity Torre would find too good to pass up. After six pennants, four World Series titles and 12 straight playoff appearances the Yankees unceremoniously pushed Torre out the door after the 2007 season, treating him like an old, unwanted newspaper.
Torre, undeniably, likes the spotlight and you know darn well there is a part of him that still burns for an opportunity to stick it to the Yankees. There is probably no other job that would entice Torre back into the dugout, but I don't see how he would say no to this.
It's a call the Red Sox have to make.