I wrote this seven days before Randy Levine torpedoed Torre: "Bring Joe Torre back and make him a Yankee for Life!"
The Yanks should extend Torre's contract a year, two, whatever and at the presser announce that Don will take over after Joe's time is up and then sign Torre to a Yankee contract for life. You can't have him go to or manage another ball club. This is Torre. He's been the face of the Yanks that have won four out of six championships and been to the playoffs every year since he's led the team in the biggest town in the world.
It would be the smartest move all around. The fans would be grateful that Torre was treated with dignity and (who else could have gotten this team into the playoffs after a 22-29 record with a decimated pitching staff?) Donnie would be at the helm finally after more time as a bench coach.
All the Yankees had to do was show Torre a little respect. Cut his pay, if they really had to, but they should've given him a second year's guarantee and another 10-year personal services contract after his retirement, allowing Torre to act as the franchise's greeter, spokesman and guru.
That way, Torre could've been around to help Don Mattingly in his first year on the job. He could've spent a few innings a week in the YES booth. He could've simply hung around the ballpark, sharing his immense good karma.
Instead of doing the right thing and signing Torre "for life" and showing some...class...from here on in most Yankee fans will despise the ownership group "for life." Nice going.