While the New York Daily News’ John Harper scoffs at the prospect of Tony La Genius coming to the Bronx (“if George Steinbrenner is serious about hiring La Russa to replace Joe Torre, I have just one question: Can you buy stock in YouTube?” Yes, as a matter of fact. It’s an obscure, publicly held company called Google), the Philadelphia Daily News’ Sam Donnellon boldly proposes the promotion of an accomplished skipper already on the Yankee payroll.

Someone actually wrote this in an email yesterday : “I’m scared we could lose Charlie Manuel to the Yankees.”

Which brought on this immediate thought: You think he would retain Larry Bowa as his third-base coach?

My, how times have changed. Charlie Manuel was given an extension to continue managing the Phillies for the next two seasons yesterday while Torre, the face of the Yankees for the last decade, continues to twist in the wind.

Truth is, Bowa is as likely as anybody to become the next manager of the Yankees should principal owner George Steinbrenner follow through on his comments to fire Joe Torre for the Yankees’ latest failure to advance past the first round of the playoffs. If you think about it, Bowa has many of the qualities the Yankees’ boss finds missing in Torre, notably a willingness to throw million-dollar players under a bus when they do not return on their investment.

Some of the Yankees who can become free agents in November include catcher Jorge Posada, pitchers Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte and, of course, Alex Rodriguez. Wonder how they would view re-upping and retiring in pinstripes with Bo at the helm.

Me? I’m thinking about how it might have worked in reverse, had Manuel’s insistence on a 2-year deal here have lead to an impasse and departure. Would the next move have been to see if Torre wanted to continue his managerial career 90 miles south with a team filled with young superstars and young arms, with more purportedly on the way?

I’m pulling for Bo. For one, it would put to rest the notion that I, or anyone else ran him out of town. We simply found him a better paying job.

For another . . . Well, Bowa, in the Bronx, with a team full of underachieving, highly paid stars? ESPN would have to scrap that whole “The Bronx Is Burning” DVD box set.

Why pay for something you can get for free?