Citing Lou Piniella’s prior stint as a Yankee broadcaster in 1989 (and his subsequent criticism of Dallas Green), the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman suggests that current D-Rays skipper might be a likely hire for the YES Network, perhaps as soon as this autumn.

Using history as precedent, it’s obvious that having Piniella on board as a broadcaster would be appealing to Steinbrenner and other Yankee suits who put heat on Joe Torre this season. Unless the Yankees win the World Series the heat will continue. Coming out of this week with a postseason berth will not take any pressure off Torre going into next season.

So, there is one possible answer for anyone who asks (and this question has been asked over and over again), “Would Steinbrenner eat $12.8 million and fire Joe with two years left on his contract?”

With Piniella around, Steinbrenner would not have to. The perception would be that in Piniella, The Boss would have his own shadow manager in the broadcast booth. If Piniella were to work for YES, Steinbrenner would be able to keep him in the wings, ready to return to the dugout if he wanted to make a managerial change.

Steinbrenner would have a watchdog, so to speak. The nature of the job would have Piniella scrutinizing Torre’s every move. And if you don’t think Steinbrenner would be into this, remember, it was The Boss’ lieutenants who fed questions to YES reporters to ask Torre on the postgame show.

There would be no need for that with Piniella on the job. Why pass notes when you have a former Yankee manager, a possible manager in waiting, critiquing the current Bombers manager?

Then again, Piniella might not feel comfortable in that role.

Not to worry, there’s always the new Mets Network.