Anatomy of a Rumor: Joe Torre Back to the Mets?

The rumor began after last season

By Michael Horowicz
|  Wednesday, Apr 7, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 AM PDT
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Can it be? Joe Torre returning to New York, this time in his second stint as the Mets' manager?

That was the scuttlebutt around Dodger Stadium this past weekend as Torre’s Dodgers played in the annual Freeway Series against the Angels. Torre managed the Mets from 1977 through 1981.

Here is the anatomy of the rumor: After last season, in which Torre guided the Dodgers to the National League Championship Series, Torre said he might consider managing the Dodgers for one more season after his contract expires after the 2010 season. But once spring training was under way, Torre announced he would suspend any talks about a contract extension until the end of this season.

Why the about-face? Torre is said to be concerned about the bitter divorce battle between Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie. The divorce case has already generated ugly headlines in SoCal, with Jamie asking for $1 million a month in spousal support. If Jamie can prove she is part owner of the team, and neither party is able to buy out the other, the team could be sold.

A similar situation occurred in San Diego with the Padres a few years ago. The Padres have suffered ever since.

The Dodgers did not address their most crying need this off season -- an ace starting pitcher. Torre could be wondering if the legal battle between the McCourts is keeping them from fielding a World Series caliber team.

And that is where the Mets come in. With GM Omar Manaya’s reign almost assuredly coming to an end, a new GM will probably want a new field manager. Who better to restore the Mets franchise than Torre? And what better way is there for Torre to stick it to the Yankees after offering him a pay cut in his last negotiation?

Stranger things have happened.
 

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