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Torre Out! (In 1981!)

As the Western World waits to learn of the drawn-out fate of the revered Joe Torre, it’s nice to know that history repeats itself.

Thanks to a link from the one and only Metstradamus [1], we are reminded that a less revered [2] Joe Torre was fired from his New York managerial perch once before. And that we as a civilization lived through it.

You gotta watch this YouTube [3] link to the past, to Sunday, October 4, 1981, to the day the Torre watch was as succinct as could be…even if the Eyewitness News report wasn’t.

TV used to be long! Soundbites weren’t bites — they were enormous chomps! And hair…well, hair, like jeans (ooh la la), was something else, too.

Torre was fairly classy in the aftermath of this, his first dismissal. I love the characterization of how Frank Cashen broke the news to him after the Mets’ split-season divisional lunge (a.k.a. “the good times”) came up short: “The man came out and told me straight on.” News wasn’t managed nearly as tightly as it would come to be. Notice he’s interviewed in his office, not in front of a wall of dancing logos.

Yet not all questions from this video are answered:

• For example, what do you do with a chubby dog?

• What was Lee Mazzilli thinking with the mustache?

• How did the sainted Rube Walker survive 14 seasons? (Even if he merited survival, it’s hard to believe any pitching coach could last through five different managers).

• What array of narcotics would lead anybody to believe that we needed a “wild man” like Billy Martin to “come help coach the Mets”?

Thanks again to Metstradamus for the best YouTube clip I’ve seen since somebody turned me on to the TaB Mindsticker [4] campaign.