Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2003-04-22 07:09
by Alex Belth


Even as the Yankees mushed the Twins yesterday 15-1, completing the season sweep, and improving their overall record to 16-3, all was not well in Yankee land. The latest controversy between Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner is far from over, and according to the New York Times, the Yankees will likely be without the services of set-up reliever Steve Karsay for the remainder of the season (speaking of injuries, Rafael Hermoso reports that Cliff Floyd's gimpy achillies may be a long-term problem for the Mets this year):

Asked if he could count on having Karsay this season, Manager Joe Torre said no.

"We're starting from scratch here," Torre said. "I'm sure there's going to be a period of time when he's not going to do anything. You're looking down the road farther than we can see."

Steinbrenner has yet to respond to Torre's public criticisms of the Yankee owner, but yesterday the skipper said:

"I'm over it," Torre said. "But I can't pretend it never happened."

..."Everybody knows when you work for the Yankees, you pretty much have to be ready for anything," Torre said. "I've always been loyal to the people I work for, and to me, I feel good about that part. But I'd like to believe loyalty's a two-way street, too."

Joel Sherman joined Mike Lupica in suggesting that this may be Torre's final season with the Yankees:

Steinbrenner has created an unacceptable paradigm for himself. He will do anything to win, but the more the Yanks win the more credit Torre gets and Steinbrenner hates how much credit Torre gets. Thus, even winning can no longer be a shield for Torre.

So I fully expect - championship parade or not - that Torre will step away after this season with a year and around $5 million due him. Torre loves his money, but he could always get more of that on TV, the lecture circuit or writing books on leadership. He only has one reputation and the post-career opportunities will diminish if Steinbrenner muddies him too badly.

No one talked to yesterday who knows Torre and Steinbrenner expects Torre to resign during the season or The Boss to fire him. They feel Torre is too committed to his players to pull a Roy Williams and walk away. But they figured with Torre's buddies, bench coach Don Zimmer and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre, likely to go after this year, he will simply follow.

David Pinto thinks that George will come to his senses and move past this mess, but I'm not convinced. At the very least, this incident should serve as a reminder to Yankee fans that we should be appreciating and savoring every moment of every game this year. Because when Joe joes, who will stop George from ruining the Yankees all over again?

The Twins must be happy they don't have to face the Yankees again. Boomer Wells pitched his second complete game of the season yesterday,"the Freak" Soriano, belted a grand slam, Bernie Williams added a homer, while Nick Johnson hit two of his own to lead the Yankees conga line past Minnie. The Gashouse Gorillas head to Anahiem tonight to face the World Champion Angels in a 3-game series, before ending their longest road-trip of the season with a weekend series in Arlington against the Rangers.

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