Yankees Rumors & News
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Despite the departures of lightening rods Gary Sheffield and Randy Johnson, Bob Raissman, columnist for The Daily News, believes that the Yankees still find themselves in a “combustible” spot, and that the upcoming season could be one filled with “Bombshells for the Bombers.”

According to Raissman, A-Rod’s police panic at a Barnes & Noble this week is merely a precursor to the hailstorms that Yankees PR director Rick Cerrone is going to have to deal with in ’07. The other issues threatening the franchise include: the continuing saga of the slugging third baseman, the future of Joe Torre, Joe Girardi‘s presence hanging over the head of Heir to the Bench Don Mattingly, The Boss‘s health, and the potential mid-season signing of Roger Clemens.

Raissman believes that Torre is in for a rocky season, particularly because Steinbrenner is sure to have lingering doubts about his manager after coming within a hair’s width of firing him in October. It will also be interesting to see if there is any lingering bitterness between Torre and A-Rod, the world’s highest paid no. 8 hitter.

Then there’s Girardi, NL Manger of the Year in 2006, covering the proceedings for the YES Network. As Raissman notes, “if he does not question a failed Torre strategy, he will be ripped for not doing his job. And if Girardi does take issue with Torre, he will be seen as an opportunist looking to become the Yanks’ manager.”

It’s a tricky spot, and one made even trickier by the presence of Yankees great Donnie Baseball. It’s widely assumed that Mattingly is the next manager in waiting, but things tend to change quickly in New York. If the Yanks suffer another postseason collapse, it will not only reflect poorly on Torre, but could be seen as a mark against Mattingly’s resume as well. Under that circumstance, would Steinbrenner really look to replace Torre with a member of his own coaching staff? And what if a slow start to the year leads to Torre’s mid-season dismissal? Mattingly would surely takeover the reigns initially, but would his job be safe at the end of the year should the season end in another failure? There are plenty of scenarios one can envision in which Joe Girardi ends up in the Yankee dugout in 2008. It will be fascinating to see how the story lines play out.

As Raissman says, it “might even give A-Rod something else to write about.”

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