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Joe Torre gets the last laugh

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A year after being dumped as manager of the New York Yankees, manager Joe Torre has the Los Angeles Dodgers on the verge of winning the National League West while his old team will miss the playoffs for the first time in 13 years.

Torre no longer has to deal with an erratic owner or a media the magnifies the smallest issue. The Los Angeles-area fanbase is very laid back and there is nowhere near the amount of scrutiny on the Dodgers as there is the Yankees. I imagine Torre sleeps better these days. It also helps that the Dodgers play in baseball's weakest division; their 83 wins would leave the Dodgers 10 games out of the playoffs in the American League.

New York's other team, the Mets, are in the midst of choking for the second straight season. After losing Wednesday, the Mets are still 1.5 games behind the Phillies in the division and now tied with Milwaukee for the wild card. Baseball playoffs without a New York team will seem odd, but could very well happen and I doubt fans elsewhere will shed a single tear.