Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yankee Panky # 27: The Silly Season Begins
2007-10-10 06:28
by Will Weiss
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Coverage of the Yankees' aftermath begins in the second week of October for the third straight year. Had the Yankees received better starting pitching from their ace and gotten timely hits in more than one game, we might be talking about the insane hype of Yankees-Red Sox IV instead of counting down the days until spring training.

So now, we ask a ton of questions and simultaneously search for answers to what went wrong, and what's next. Aside from Joe Torre, the A-Rod question looms largest among all the potential players who could be gone in 60 days or so. The Post's Mike Vaccaro notes A-Rod's reluctance to answer that question immediately following Game 4.

Perhaps our friends at Replacement Level summed it up best:

"I'm not sure what I feel right now. I'm disappointed obviously, and there will be a tendency to find scapegoats and blame people on the Yankees, but the Yankees lost to a pretty damn good team in Cleveland. Sometimes you get outplayed by a team that is better. I'll be pulling for them in the ALCS."

Now we enter the silly season of coverage. Where "sources close to the situation" determine everything, and a greater emphasis is placed on getting the story out as opposed to getting it right. In such a competitive atmosphere to scoop everyone, this is understandable — the rumors sell papers — but it blurs the line of truth even further. Just yesterday's Jon Heyman told the talk-radio audience that Tony LaRussa is the leading candidate to replace Joe Torre. If you're Bill Madden, you're absolutely positive that Steinbrenner wants LaRussa and have anonymous sources to back it up. If you're George King of the New York Post, your sources say LaRussa isn't interested and that Don Mattingly's the favorite to replace Torre, followed by Joe Girardi. This is, of course, provided that Torre either opts not to return or is ordered not to.

The bitterness and anger that followed last year's early exit was gone this year. By no means was it a love fest, but in general I thought the papers and the broadcast media did a good job of capturing that emotion and the closeness that this Yankee team appeared to have compared to others that have faltered in recent years. The way the stories were presented — especially from those who ventured away from the podium in the press cafeteria — I got the sense that the players viewed this loss as a greater disappointment than the last two, that there was an even greater sense of finality. (More on this below)

My question in all this: Based on their playoff performances the last four years or so, should the YES Network change its slogan to "The Home of Teams That Lose In The First Round"? Through six Yankees seasons and five Nets seasons, both teams have reached the playoffs each year, and reached their respective championship rounds only once.

* * * * *

Some other notes:

• I didn't hear this until I stumbled upon it on a blog called Awful Announcing, but Suzyn Waldman actually cried on the air during the Game 4 postgame show on WCBS 880-AM. The description of the audio led me to believe that Waldman was sobbing on the air. In actuality Waldman, while gauging the situation in the locker room, took a few moments to collect her emotions while projecting the changes that are sure to come. Following a brief comparison of the mood in the locker room being akin to the mood on the flight back to New York from Seattle after the Game 5 loss in 1995, Waldman welled up as she discussed the potential changes in the coming months. The spill of emotions made John Sterling uncomfortable — there's an obvious change in his vocal tone that seemed to say, "Holy crap, how do I handle this?". The whole exchange straddled the lines of professionalism. But it made for captivating radio.

She told the NY Times today: "That's what I felt. I am who I am. I'm emotional. A lot of people like it, a lot of people don't. I didn't do it in a game, and I recovered."


A debate ensued regarding the circumstances in which it's OK for an announcer to cry. It was about 70/30 in favor of "never." The consensus was that when a player dies, all bets are off. (This exact scenario happened a year ago tomorrow, with Cory Lidle's plane crash. The Yankees were already out of the playoffs by this time, so there wasn't a chance to gauge how Waldman or any other Yankee broadcaster handled the situation in a game or reporting situation.) Three game-related examples cited were Joe Buck crying following the sudden death of Darryl Kile, and after his father, the Hall of Fame announcer Jack Buck, died; and producers waiting until after the game to tell Vin Scully that Don Drysdale had died. Given the 35-year friendship of the two men and that Scully was there for Drysdale's entire playing and broadcasting career, a catharsis would have been understood. Scanning through the comments, I was fine with many of the responses until a few members of their intelligentsia started generalizing Yankee fans as "deluded" and went into full-on hate mode.

Listening to the Waldman exchange again, I've concluded that her histrionics in the booth when Clemens announced his return to the Yankees were much more of a credibility killer.

• Anyone else see or read our fellow Banterer Emma Span blogging for Newsday? Great stuff, and kudos to Newsday for adding her work to their solid coverage.

• Save for Richard Sandomir's take in yesterday's NY Times, where Chip Caray was rightfully skewered for making critical fact errors and not called to task, the reviews for the TBS in-game team were pretty good, while the studio group left a little to be desired. For the purposes of this entry, the TBS studio team of Ernie Johnson, Frank Thomas and Cal Ripken is irrelevant; they add little to the broadcast when called upon. The team of Chip Caray, Bob Brenly and Tony Gwynn has been the best of the four teams calling the Division Series, largely because of Brenly and Gwynn. Their analysis has been fair, and they've raised points outside the obvious. I could watch Gwynn break down slo-mo replays of hitting for hours. And Brenly, with experience as a major league catcher, broadcaster, and World Series-winning manager, has a sense of when he's said enough. Rarely have I heard him repeat an issue to the point of sounding the dead horse alert. Caray, on the other hand, has wavered from "OK" to "mute-worthy" as a play-by-play man. Where he's succeeded in setting up Brenly and Gwynn and engaging discussion between the analysts, he's gone overboard in creating drama when it's not warranted. On three different occasions in the first three innings of Game 3 — each time when the leadoff man reached base — he said, "Here come the Yankees." Twice, the next batter grounded into a double play. In the third inning, after the Yankees did get on the scoreboard, Jeter bounced into an inning-ending double play. Also, in Game 3 — maybe it was because Roger Clemens was on the mound? — every hard-hit ball was a "rocket." In Game 4, before his first at-bat, Caray called Matsui "red-hot." Getting on base four times in one game — two by walk — after going 0-for the series does not merit being "red-hot." … I've seen Caray do some solid booth work calling playoff games for FOX in the past. I think he's better than what he showed. Maybe he isn't.

• One other thing: can someone please educate the PBP guys how to read Web addresses? All week, Caray promoted the TBS Hot Corner at "backslash" hotcorner. Production assistants, anyone in the truck, it's your responsibility to bring corrections to your producers' attention. In this case, "/" is a slash, and "\" is a backslash. What's worse, looking bad because you've made a fact error, or acknowledging that you made a mistake?

• Completely unrelated to the Yankees, Don Orsillo did a good job calling the Red Sox-Angels series, but I was surprised that TBS enlisted him for that gig, since he's the primary PBP man for the Red Sox on NESN. You can either praise them for bringing in someone with knowledge of the team, having been there since February, or vilify them for the taking the risk of having a "homer" on a national broadcast. Orsillo handled himself with veteran aplomb.

• My only real criticism of YES's post game is that it was too long. It doesn't need to last for more than an hour. With that said, I thought he setup they had this year was ideal: Flaherty and Justice in-studio with Bob Lorenz anchoring, and Kay and O'Neill providing on-field analysis with Kim Jones providing pool info from the clubhouse. Lorenz, Flaherty and Justice played off each other well, and Lorenz has gotten even better in the YES anchor role. He's very underrated. Kay excels in this role that he held during the MSG days; he was great in this role last October during the Tigers series, and he was good again this year. In the Game 4 post, it was obvious that Kay was trying to prod Paul O'Neill to call out a few players, particularly when he asked what was missing from the last few clubs compared to the four championship teams on which he played. O'Neill didn't take the bait.

• The NY Post Online supplemented their written content with clips from the YES postgame. I had not heard of a content-sharing deal between the two entities.

• Examples of Justice and Flaherty really bringing their A-games: 1) In the Game 3 post, a graphic displayed the Yankees' offensive numbers in Game 3 versus Games 1 and 2. Justice correctly pointed out that the Yankees kill middle-of-the-rotation pitchers, as did Paul O'Neill during the on-field segment. 2) When asked about Chien-Ming Wang's success threshold starting Game 4 on short rest, Flaherty brought up an interesting point about how being slightly fatigued will enhance the downward action on his sinker.

• To me, the big question of Game 3, aside from the Steinbrenner ultimatum, was Torre's decision to have Joba Chamberlain pitch the eighth inning. Based on the result, I think reporters on the scene took Torre to task on the wrong inning, and here's why: If the score had remained 5-3 after six, I would have agreed with the Joba move. After they broke it open, why not ride Phil Hughes through the seventh and save Joba for either the eighth inning or a sticky situation (whichever came first)? Perhaps Torre and Co. looked at Hughes's pitch count (63) and thought long-term for Game 4 or 5, and want to save him for another potential long-relief spot. From all that I read, Madden was the only one to present a similar theory.

What's wrong with this headline from the Daily News's Web site?
 A-Rod may waive Bronx goodbye


Until next week ...

Comments (74)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-10-10 09:51:10
1.   joejoejoe
Bob Brenly is good enough to do the play-by-play without Chip Caray in the booth. Does anyone here think a three man booth with Caray is better in any way than a two man booth with Brenly and Gwynn? Baseball games are so overproduced now as it is with sideline reporters and produced bits, there's no need to shove 3 people in a booth to describe the action that everyone is seeing for themselves on the TV.
2007-10-10 10:27:57
2.   51cq24
they were all awful
2007-10-10 10:31:23
3.   rbj
Chip Caray was awful.

"Now we enter the silly season of coverage. Where "sources close to the situation" determine everything, and a greatere emphasis is placed on getting the story out as opposed to getting it right. In such a competitive atmosphere to scoop everyone, this is understandable — the rumors sell papers — but it blurs the line of truth even further."

Not being in the NY area, I don't get the papers. I also don't go to their websites, because they are doing the same thing on the web; which is natural, you put your reports & columns in the paper and on the web. But I don't care anymore to read about unsubstantiated and usually wrong rumors. I would prefer to read some thoughtful analysis about why it might make sense to, e.g., keep A-Rod/let him go. And I'm finding stuff like that more and more on non-newspaper blogs such as this one. If the newspapers want to remain relevant they should stop trying to tout each newest rumor.

2007-10-10 10:32:04
4.   thelarmis
2 i agree. whole-heartedly. oh, and thanks for posting those cool Mo stats. twice, no less! : )
2007-10-10 10:34:50
5.   globalyanks
FYI- Don Orsillo did the play by play for the Rockies/Phils series not the sox series.

Also, Carry was among the worst announcers ive ever heard. In addition to getting his facts wrong, he allowed his calls to be influenced by the home crowd for all of the games. Melky's HR in game 2 barely got his voice up while a double off the wall required me to turn down the TV he was yelling so much. These examples go on and on...He made me long for fox coverage.

2007-10-10 10:35:18
6.   thelarmis
0 "Caray, on the other hand, has wavered from "OK" to "mute-worthy" as a play-by-play man."

i think he wavered from being worthy of getting fired to being fitted with a lifelong muzzle. he was terrible.

i can't even watch braves games here in atlanta when he's doing them. it's always better when the games are on fsn south or turner south, rather than tbs.

2007-10-10 10:41:26
7.   cult of basebaal
i just don't know how one can call the brenly, caray and gwynn team the best of the Divisional Series. Once you've said "chip caray", all of the other relative strengths of the other broadcasters are reduced to an "so other than that, Mrs Lincoln, how did you like the play?" afterthought.

after one of the indians had gotten a hit off of andy pettite by slashing a ball to the opposite field, good buddy chip loudly (and excitedly) exclaim, "that's the way guys, take him the other way!!!"

not something measured like "the indians might have figured out the right approach with pettite's pitches" ... or "if andy's gonna keep pitching them there, they have to make that adjustment" ... but rather plain, unbridled, unabashed rooting for the Indians

2007-10-10 10:43:52
8.   cult of basebaal
meanwhile ... i post this quotation from hank steinbrenner, which makes me warm and fuzzy:

"I wouldn't call it 'disappointment,' " he said. "The big thing for me, and I think for all of us, is the optimism for the next five to 10 years. We've got the young pitchers and the young players we've got coming, position players. Next year, (Joba) Chamberlain and (Phil) Hughes will be starters. We've got (Ian) Kennedy coming along. We've got some other kids in the minors. It's going to be real nice.

"We're looking pretty good. Keep trying to shore up the bullpen, and we'll be set."

-Journal News

2007-10-10 10:46:21
9.   thelarmis
7 OT (sorry) - cult, you go to the latin-jazz gig last nite?

caray was more part of the tribe than uecker in major league. he absolutely rooted for them every chance he got (and there were a lot of chances...)

2007-10-10 10:54:00
10.   williamnyy23
Caray was a disaster...saying he was OK is a disservice to OK.

I don't have a problem with Waldman crying...I have a problem with her being a terrible radio analyst.

Justice is great because he is willing to be very critical, but only when called for. The YES postgame was very good. Not sure if too long is a problem when you can always end it anytime you want by turning it off.

2007-10-10 10:54:23
11.   Andre
0 - Arod isn't "waiving" anything - he's potentially opting out. There is a difference.

I thought the broadcast team was terrible. Caray was obnoxious. Gwynn's voice was like nails on a chalk board. I could have tolerated Brenly, I guess, if he was alone. I didn't listen to any of the studio commentary except after Game 3. Wasn't impressed. It's sick that I prefer Buck & McCarver, who I also detest as a broadcast team.

I would have liked Orsillo on the Yanks/Indians broadcast team. I like listening to him in the Red Sox booth. It would have been interesting to have Remy & Orsillo call the Yanks/Tribe series.

2007-10-10 10:56:20
12.   williamnyy23
11 Remy and Orsillo are both far, the best thing about Red Sox nation. I actually think they would both be professional calling a Yankee/Red Sox game.
2007-10-10 10:59:50
13.   yankz
I'll say it again. I'd rather listen to McCarver or Morgan than Chip Caray. I think that about sums it up.
2007-10-10 11:00:52
14.   Will Weiss
5 Thanks for the correction. ... 10 I watched the entire YES Post out of reflex, because I'd been a part of it for five years. I was also studying it to see how many angles they could, and would, take. If you can wrap up everything in a more succinct manner, why not call that to attention? And 11 ... it wasn't a "waive" versus opting out. Look at the headline again and tell me what's wrong with the usage of the word "waive." It's not a transaction terminology error; it's grammatical.
2007-10-10 11:00:54
15.   Will Weiss
5 Thanks for the correction. ... 10 I watched the entire YES Post out of reflex, because I'd been a part of it for five years. I was also studying it to see how many angles they could, and would, take. If you can wrap up everything in a more succinct manner, why not call that to attention? And 11 ... it wasn't a "waive" versus opting out. Look at the headline again and tell me what's wrong with the usage of the word "waive." It's not a transaction terminology error; it's grammatical.
2007-10-10 11:09:39
16.   Yankee Fan In Boston
14 should it read "goodbye to the bronx"?
2007-10-10 11:12:54
17.   Rob Middletown CT
Wave, not waive.

I thought the TBS crew was awful. Gwynn's problem is his voice, not necessarily what he says. That's not his fault, but it's there. Caray was a trainwreck.

But so are McCarver/Morgan/etc. Ugh. Thumbs up to Orsillo, btw. He's solid.

2007-10-10 11:14:31
18.   Rob Middletown CT
I loved how Caray was babbling about how Mike Mussina had never relieved in a game before this season.

Um, Chip? You're commenting on a post-season game, right? Ok, well, perhaps Mussina's (brilliant, game-saving) relief appearance in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS would be relevant? Moron.

2007-10-10 11:15:57
19.   Will Weiss
17 Thank you Rob from Middletown. Start applying for a copyediting gig.
2007-10-10 11:18:49
20.   Yankee Fan In Boston
there was a question about where speculation on talk radio regarding a $40M/year contract for rodriguez. mike lupica's column suggests $400M over 10 years.

no mention of flying pigs.

2007-10-10 11:23:41
21.   Rob Middletown CT
ARod has the Yanks over a barrel, and his agent knows it. So he's going to shoot for the moon. Why not? It worked before.

In Cash I trust.

2007-10-10 11:26:42
22.   williamnyy23
14 There's nothing wrong with pointing it out...I just don't think it's a valid criticism. Something tells me the length of the postgame was by design...perhaps YES would rather air a longer post game show than use the time for Guiseppe Franco infomercials? I think YES did a great job front loaded the show with the most pertinent information, and then dragging it out longer with less relevant info. It'd be one thing if they teased the viewer by saving Torre's interview for the end of the show, but they didn't do that.
2007-10-10 11:34:13
23.   51cq24
4 thank you i had fun putting it together. did you see the inherited runners and red sox stuff? he's so dominant.

i've been thinking maybe we should just have torre back. all the players love him, and despite his bad moves, they've made the playoffs every year and could well have lost the series they've lost even if he'd made the moves we think were right. i'm not sure it's worth getting rid of someone everyone knows and loves for someone who may not be well-liked and may not even make better decisions. i've thought he needed replacing for a while, but now that it comes to it i don't really know.

2007-10-10 11:34:33
24.   spufi2007
In all of the hullabaloo about A-Rod's October performance, I don't know that I've ever heard anyone criticize another Yankee free agent in this regard:

Jorge Posada postseason career
96 games
322 AB's
.236 BA
.731 OPS
9 HRs
31 RBIs

That's a big sample size -- and pretty much a whole lotta nothin'.

Of course, it's not like we have a replacement for him. So, we'll wildly overspend again -- can't wait for those gaudy stats as a 40-year old first baseman and not as a C.

2007-10-10 11:36:51
25.   williamnyy23
At this point, I am more concerned about Mo than Arod. If you read Mo's quotes, he doesn't seem very happy with how he has been handling. Cashman had better smooth this over asap, or we'll be looking at another Pettitte situation.
2007-10-10 11:40:18
26.   williamnyy23
23 If all of the players are really so bent out of shape about Torre, I could live with the following:

Sign Joe to a one-year contract with the understanding that he will retire after the season and not politic for his job. As part of his contract, he would also agree to more organizational input in how players are used and try to use a more stats-based approach to managing.

If all those terms could be bet, I could live with a farewell season for Torre (which is saying a lot, considering how poorly I think he has managed over the past 3-4 seasons).

2007-10-10 11:44:54
27.   yankz
Where would Mo go? How many rich teams need closers?

LAD, NYM, BOS, and LAA all have closers (is Wagner a FA?). I just can't see Mo going to the White Sox or Cubs.

2007-10-10 11:45:21
28.   thelarmis
23 once again, i agree. sure, there are plenty of aspects of torre's managing style that we question and infuriate us, but i think it's gonna be a whole "don't know what ya got til it's gone" kinda deal.

i also think it would be easier to bring back Mo & Po and that Andy would be more inclined to stay, with Torre still aboard. i wish Captain would all-out lobby for his manager. won't happen, of course.

yes, Mo is the major priority. he has to come back. this is the offseason of Ca$hman's career - now's the time...

2007-10-10 11:46:46
29.   thelarmis
27 no, wagner is still under contract w/ the muts. he had some inflammatory comments about willie & omar in print recently, though. he doesn't seem to make life easy on himself in the clubhouse...
2007-10-10 11:46:50
30.   Raf
While I'm not the biggest Torre fan (methinks he's a bit overrated, IMO), I think to blame him for the lack of success since 2000 is a bit of a stretch.

"Firing" Torre is change for change's sake, which is no way to run a ballclub. And doesn't guarantee that the next guy will do a better job. The managerial musical chairs played during the 80's should've shown that.

2007-10-10 11:46:55
31.   yankz
28 Why not? Jeter called Steinbrenner last year when Torre had been "fired" and "replaced" by Piniella.
2007-10-10 11:52:03
32.   Bama Yankee
Caray was beyond awful. I'd rather listen to Tim McCarver doing an impersonation of Joe Morgan quoting Hawk Harrelson than be forced to hear one more inning of Chip "this crowd is up for grabs" Caray. They should have just went with the Indians broadcasters, they probably would have been less biased...
2007-10-10 11:53:41
33.   williamnyy23
30 I wont waste everyone's time by beating a dead horse, but there is a litany of post season screws-up since at least 2003. Replacing Torre isn't change for change sakes, but one could argue that keeping him is avoiding change for avoiding change's sake.
2007-10-10 11:54:18
34.   williamnyy23
32 Cleveland Rocks!!!
2007-10-10 11:55:29
35.   Cliff Corcoran
19 How can you be sure they didn't intend the headline as a pun, meaning they didn't misspell the word so much as get their facts wrong? It's obviously wrong one way or the other, but you can't really be sure which mistake they made.
2007-10-10 11:55:31
36.   cult of basebaal
hi, i'm Cult of Basebaal and I'd like to say that ... ummmm ... I ... yeah ... I'm okay with Torre coming back for another year, too*

*under circumstances similar to what william outlined, though i'm not sure whether torre would ever go for a 1 year contract ...

2007-10-10 11:55:54
37.   cult of basebaal
35 yeah, that was my reaction to it as well ...
2007-10-10 11:56:19
38.   51cq24
25 and 26 i agree with what you say and your proposal. honestly, as much as i think it's silly for players to threaten to leave if torre isn't back, if that's what it takes to get mariano, posada and pettitte back, i'm more than willing to deal with another year of questionable bullpen management.

there is 1 decision torre made in the last few years that i think definitely led to their elimination, and that was leaving gordon in for too long in game 5 in 2004. but even there it wasn't hard to understand why he did it. mariano had blown the save the game before and had been shaky against boston all year. still the absolute wrong decision, but i'm over it.

as for game 4 of the 2003 world series, that was another wrong decision. but there is no way we can say for sure that we would have won that game or the series had mo pitched. he could have given up a rare run. and even if he pitches in the bottom of the 11th, yankees could easily have been held scoreless in the 12th, and then even if he'd pitched the bottom of the 12th, someone else would have had to pitch in the bottom of the 13th, either closing out the game or trying to extend it. still the wrong decision, but i think it's completely overrated.

let's just keep him and keep the major parts of this team here.

2007-10-10 11:57:03
39.   williamnyy23
35 I agree with Cliff...I think it is more likely a pun gone bad than a grammatical error.
2007-10-10 11:57:16
40.   vockins
I think there were about nine different statistics that were "all I need to know" or "the story of this series."

"The Indians have twelve extra base hits with two outs, and the Yanks have two - that's all you need to know."

"Cleveland relief has let just four men on base after the eighth inning - that's the story of this series."

"When Travis Hafner has faced a right hander born under the sign of Capricorn the evening after I've eaten an owl and pigeon egg omlette garnished with gold dust for breakfast, he's gotten the game winning hit - that's all you need to know."

2007-10-10 11:58:36
41.   Bama Yankee
34 LOL, I almost forgot about that one... Chip Caray, what a doofus (does he think he's Drew Carey?)
2007-10-10 11:59:53
42.   51cq24
and by the way, 1 team that has money and needs a closer is detroit.
2007-10-10 12:00:22
43.   Shaun P
25 Mo has been saying these kinds of things since pitchers and catchers reported. He's trying to obtain maximum leverage.

On the one hand, he's THE GREAT MARIANO RIVERA.

On the other hand, he's going to be 38, had something of an iffy year (at least in the public's mind, maybe in his own too), missed significant portions of both years with injuries, and has only gotten 64 saves the last 2 years - and none in the postseason. Saves may be a useless stat, but they're the big number when you're a closer seeking your payday. Mo (and his agent) know these are the kinds of things that will be brought up during the negotiating. They can't argue with the numbers and the facts, so where does their leverage come from? "I feel disrespected." "I'm going to test the market." "No guarantee I'm back with the Yanks next year."

Mo will be signed, no doubt.

2007-10-10 12:01:33
44.   williamnyy23
41 After that one, I went to mute.

Even more than his over exuberance, the most annoying thing about Caray is cadence. He seems to like to pause between most of his words, almost as if he is speaking in one word sentences.

2007-10-10 12:02:19
45.   williamnyy23
43 There is no other hand...HE'S MO!
2007-10-10 12:02:32
46.   Shaun P
Oh, and I agree - Chip Caray sucks. I hope the FJM boys turn their attention to him for the rest of the postseason.
2007-10-10 12:03:52
47.   Shaun P
45 I know. I feel the same way. I'd give him an ownership stake, a small country in the Pacific, whatever he wanted. But that's how negotiations go. Mo knows this, and Cashman knows it too. He'll get paid, and handsomely.
2007-10-10 12:04:25
48.   thelarmis
31 huh, really? cool, i didn't know that. well, maybe jetes will go to bat for Joe again, then...

38 yeah, the weaver one is big. buuuut, i remember being worried about it. but, iirc, weaver had an easy 1-2-3 like 11-pitch inning before that. so, maybe joe was gunning to get another out of him before wasting Mo. i can't remember what part of the lineup we would've had up in the top of the next frame had "light-hitting" alex gonzalez (who, i think had 18 homers that year) not gone yard...

2007-10-10 12:12:30
49.   rbj
Mo quotes from today:

NEW YORK - Mariano Rivera isn't happy that Joe Torre might be out as manager of the New York Yankees and said the team's decision will be factored into whether he returns.

"I don't feel good about it," Rivera said Wednesday, two days after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs. "I don't see why they're even thinking (about letting Torre go). I wish he's back, definitely. If you ask me what I would want, I want him back."

Rivera's contract also is expiring and he is eligible to become a free agent. He said whether Torre returns will help determine whether he remains with the Yankees.

"It might do a lot of it," he said. "I mean, I've been with Joe for so many years, and the kind of person he has been for me and for my teammates. It's been great. The thing is that I don't see why they have to put him in this position."

2007-10-10 12:16:03
50.   Will Weiss
35 39 I did consider your theory. But I've seen that error made so many times that I think it was a clear case of spellcheck missing it, or the headline writer getting the words mixed up. If it was a pun, I've written hundreds of pun-heavy headlines to think anytime you want to use a play on words, you'd draw more attention to it, rather than just have it hanging out there. Maybe I'm wrong.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-10-10 12:16:46
51.   ChrisS
In all seriousness, if Joe Torre is brought back to the Yankees to manage, I'll likely stop watching them. I'm sick of his mistakes being swept under the rug because he's a swell guy. It's not the 80s anymore and switching managers every ten years or so isn't musical chairs. I think he's had a great run, and it's time to for him to ride off into the sunset.

I can't see the point in bringing Torre back other than making Jeter and a few other players happy, which frankly doesn't mean all that much to me. Especially when his defense is sliding so much that it's lowering the value of his decent bat.

It's been a nice ride for Torre, but if the talent is there and everyone has a good year, there's plenty of guys that can manage a team to WS win (Ozzie Guillen being a case in point). Basically, I think a manager can do more to lose a game than to win one.

2007-10-10 12:16:58
52.   Raf
33 Agreed on the dead horse, but to be fair, there are moves that he made that made sense that didn't work out. Mo doesn't throw the ball away, or gives up a double to Woe-mack in '01, maybe things turn out different. Kevin Brown comes clean about his back in '04, maybe things turn out different. Rodriguez doesn't ground into a double play in '05, maybe things turn out different. Wang gives a quality start in '07, maybe things turn out different. So on and so forth.
2007-10-10 12:17:36
53.   thelarmis
49 i love that. not as a torre supporter or gunning to get him axed. i just know the players love him and it's nice to see a superstar like Mo expressing his feelings. i hope Boss George reads it and i hope more similar quotes follow. thanks for the post, rbj.

i'm out, gotta go teach all day/night. looking forward to reading the rest of the comments late nite. good day, all...

2007-10-10 12:27:19
54.   Raf
51 To be honest, I think Torre's overrated. I just don't think it's fair, or right, that he's catching as much heat as he has. I felt the same way when Showalter walked away too.

If people want to let him go because he's incompetent (Dent), a train wreck (Martin), or insubordinate (Green), I've got no problem with that. But to cut him loose because he has failed in the the postseason, where luck plays as much of a factor as it does, isn't right, IMO.

2007-10-10 12:36:13
55.   underdog
Vin Scully has done it by himself in the booth for 50 years. More is rarely better, but when you're someone like Chip Caray, who couldn't hold Scully's shoelaces, then you may need someone else in there with you just so you don't have to blather quite as much on your own.
2007-10-10 12:58:30
56.   jalexei
"A-Rod may waive Bronx goodbye"

Isn't this just a pun - he'll be "waiving" the remainder of his deal? Whether it's the correct term grammatically or technically, (opt-out?) I think it's clearly a deliberate construction.

Everything else? Wait and see - should be an interesting hot stove, to say the least...

OT - Having listened to a lot of Vin Scully over the last few years with Extra Innings, I have to say my biggest complaint is how the broadcast production team at Dodger Stadium really dials back the game and crowd noise. I'd started to think it must be a crappy place to see a game with quiet, disinterested fans until ESPN picked up the SF/LA games during Bonds Watch '07 - flipping between broadcasts, landing on ESPN was like coming out from under water - even the video looked better.

I expect the Royals games to be murky and grey, not so much a broadcast from one of two biggest media markets in the country.

2007-10-10 12:58:31
57.   joejoejoe
I think it's funny how Joe Torre gets all the "loveable old man" mojo and Steinbrenner gets none. Steinbrenner is older and in declining health. Big Stein obviously enjoys the back and forth with his manager. He's been denied that back and forth because Torre is so laconic and zen. Torre isn't Billy Martin. That's good and bad. Zoos are fun.

At this point it's like a bad marriage between Torre and Steinbrenner where everybody outside thinks Steinbrenner is the bad guy and Torre is so good. I think Torre is more than a little passive aggressive and that has to burn Steinbrenner. And now politics is involved with Giuliani and Bloomberg coming out for Torre? That stinks. I think Steinbrenner wants a little piss and vinegar in his relationship with the team, not more green tea. Steinbrenner's entitled to it if he wants it. It's his dime.

My fix: Make red-ass Bowa the manager, make red-ass Posada a co-captain (a snub to Jeter? respect for Posada? let the tabloids figure it out) and let's play ball in '08.

2007-10-10 13:00:32
58.   joejoejoe
54 Tell it to Dick Howser.
2007-10-10 13:05:23
59.   Yankee Fan In Boston
56 i still think it sounds like it was written by cookie monster.
2007-10-10 13:11:25
60.   Raf
57 It's not that strange when you think about it. Given the perception of Steinbrenner over the years, there was nothing "loveable" about him.

58 I was 6 when that happened. Having researched it a little bit (which consisted of a chapter of Madden's "Damned Yankees" :)), I thought that was a stupid firing too. IIRC, Steinbrenner regretted that firing.

2007-10-10 13:16:48
61.   Emma Span
Hey, thanks Will!

I just want to chime in on the Waldman thing -- you can argue that her level of emotion was unprofessional, but I was shocked by some of the comments about her on that AA post, and I'm not that easily shocked. People got incredibly hateful about her appearance, complained that women have no place in sports, used "get back in the kitchen" apparently without irony, called her a c--- and a bitch... just really, really ugly stuff.

Awful Announcing is a good blog, too (and did a the right thing, I thought, by removing some of the very worst posts this morning) -- yes I could do without the gratuitous cheerleader photos, but it's not like you'd expect an unusual proportion of their readers to be idiots.

Don't get me wrong, it's completely fine to trash her for the job she does if you don't like it, as I've seen people do here for years, and like we all did to Chip Caray this week. But a certain segment of fans seem to enjoy piling on Waldman in the most hurtful and crude way possible, and I find it really disturbing.

Okay, rant over.

2007-10-10 13:22:41
62.   OldYanksFan
Be careful what you wish for:

26 Hey Willy, I'm proud of ya. What you proposed is a compromise that encorproates the best of both worlds... and avoids throwing out the baby with the bath water.

A question I would have is how much the FO, Guidry, Contraras, Cashman, et al agree/disagree with Torre's moves. If they really disapprove of his moves, might they not give him feedback? In the form of 'or else your fired'? For the good of the team? Cashman rallied HARD for Torre last year. Would he do this if Torre was costing the team and therefore threatening Cashman's own position? I ask in earnest. I don't know myself.

I am a strong Torre supporter (That's news, eh) but I don't need to apologise for him any more that apologising for a player that makes an out 2 or 3 ABs. I don't think managing is about absolute right and wrong moves as much as it is about weighing options that have both positive and negative reprocussions, and making the 'better' call.

My issue is this:
"... maybe then there will be a semblance of Torre's legacy that will permeate the clubhouse.

Otherwise here's what you're going to get from the mega-buck, mega-ego superstars who remain: Back-stabbing, anonymous clubhouse snitching, all that great stuff that defined the pre-Torre era, all the bad-karma garbage that ended the 1996 day Clueless Joe and Derek Jeter took over a ball team that had won zippo since 1981 under Steinbrenner's impetuous watch. Or 1978, if you define winning by Steinbrenner's standards.

Here's the roster of men who inhabited Torre's office in between: Bob Lemon, Billy Martin, Dick Howser, Gene Michael, Lemon again, Michael again, Clyde King, Martin again, Yogi Berra, Martin again, Lou Piniella, Martin again, Piniella again, Green, Bucky Dent, Stump Merrill, Buck Showalter. There were eight managers in the 12 years before Torre, and one since.

Torre brought not only success, but he brought stability, calm and class the organization never had under Steinbrenner. He brought a right way to do things, and got rid of the wrong way. He brought a human element to the franchise, a gentlemanly way. After his admirable and beloved 1996-through-2000 four-championship team began to be taken apart in favor of higher-profile, higher-salaried mercenaries, Torre still found a way to make the stars at every position fit into a team theme, that no individual was bigger than the whole. It's a remarkable skill, truly. The next guy isn't going to have it, not to that degree."

The truth Willy is that I agree with you about a lot of Torre's ingame moves. Joba in the 8th really bugged me. But I lived through all the Steinbrenner years. There is no move that is nearly as costly as the perpetual termoil that was the Yankees. And at least when Torre makes a 'bad' move, there is a chance that a player will actually perform and bail him out.

For many years, even though I followed the Yanks, I was embarrassed to talk about them. It was embarrassing to be a fan.

I am now proud of being a fan, and proud of this team. And it is 100% because of Torre. And maybe that's why he has such undying support from his players. I mean every player is loyal to his manager to some degree, but not like this. Did you hear Mariano's voice when asked about playing for another manager?

For 23 years this was George's team, and it was a mess. Even winning in 78 was ruined by all kinds of garbage, including fistfights and inhouse fighting between Reggie and Thurman (a whole story in itself).

Now, miraculously, this has been Torre's team for 12 years, and it has been a heavenly run, PS loses included.

Yes, when you look close, Joe makes plenty of 'mistakes'. But when you step back (especially 40 or so years), you gotta see that this is Joe's team. Not Derek's.

This is Joe Torre's team.
And I don't really think we should fuck with that.

2007-10-10 13:29:08
63.   pistolpete
26 I think the players in question would see right through that as an underhanded attempt to get them all to re-sign...
2007-10-10 13:36:29
64.   Will Weiss
61 No problem, Emma. Strong post. I thought a lot of the posts were uncalled for. As her former colleague, I know how Suzyn can be at times, but I also know that she's a good reporter and who invests all of her energy into what she does. I'm glad that she was unapologetic in her response to the criticism. That was vintage Suzyn.
2007-10-10 13:39:46
65.   Sarasota
MO via AP: "I don't feel good about it," Rivera said Wednesday, two days after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs. "I don't see why they're even thinking (about letting Torre go). I wish he's back, definitely. If you ask me what I would want, I want him back."

Rivera's contract also is expiring and he is eligible to become a free agent. He said whether Torre returns will help determine whether he remains with the Yankees.

"It might do a lot of it," he said. "I mean, I've been with Joe for so many years, and the kind of person he has been for me and for my teammates. It's been great. The thing is that I don't see why they have to put him in this position."

2007-10-10 13:41:23
66.   Sarasota
.........finally a player with some back bone. Joe deservesd a better fate. Kudos to MO for putting his money where his mouth is.
2007-10-10 13:42:21
67.   Raf
62 Don't discount the work that Showalter and Michael did. They did a fair amount of restoring "Yankee Pride."

1993, they were in the race until Sept, 1994 they had the best record in the AL when the strike hit, 1995 they won the wild card.

Regarding the salaries, they had a high payroll then too;

1992: 4 (TOR, OAK, BOS)
1993: 2 (TOR)
1994: 1
1995: 2 (TOR)
1996: 2 (BAL)
1997: 1

One could argue that retaining their own FA's has caused the high payroll, but what has remained consistent is that the Yanks have been a dumping ground for other teams' large contracts; Sierra, Fielder, McDowell, Cone, etc, then, Brown, ARod, Lidle, & Abreu now.

2007-10-10 13:46:39
68.   yankz
Bruce has a new thread up about the manager issue.
2007-10-10 14:10:06
69.   weeping for brunnhilde
By the way, of all the things that aggravate me about Sterling, one of them is his obsession with attendance figures.

Does he get paid to dwell on the size of the crowd?: "The Yankees have drawn 4 million fans, isn't that *amazing?!"

God, it makes me crazy. Just call the game!

2007-10-10 14:17:23
70.   williamnyy23
62 I am glad you're proud...does that mean you'll stop calling me Willy?

I agree that Joe brought class, likeability and respect to the organization (watch the 1996 broadcast and you can imagine Braves fans tearing their hair out with the pro-Yankee/Torre sentiment). He should be commended for it. Having said that, I don't think it comes with a lifetime pass. I personally think Joe has already received a few years over his limit, so that debt has been paid.

Finally, "Joba in the 8th really bugged me" struck me as a terribly painful play on words.

2007-10-10 14:22:22
71.   weeping for brunnhilde
32 "Caray was beyond awful. I'd rather listen to Tim McCarver doing an impersonation of Joe Morgan quoting Hawk Harrelson than be forced to hear one more inning of Chip "this crowd is up for grabs" Caray. They should have just went with the Indians broadcasters, they probably would have been less biased... "

ha ha hah ah ah ah a ha hah a!!!

God, Bama, what a hell you've painted. Cringe.

Put it on the boaaarrrrrrrrd, yeah!


2007-10-10 14:24:27
72.   weeping for brunnhilde
40 h ah aha ha ha ha!
2007-10-10 14:31:31
73.   OldYanksFan
57 "I think it's funny how Joe Torre gets all the "loveable old man" mojo and Steinbrenner gets none. Steinbrenner is older and in declining health."

But George wasn't always old. And while he has done many altruistic things, George is power hungry, infantile, and I think pretty disturbed. I guess only history will tell.

"We plan absentee ownership. We're not going to pretend we're something we're not. I'll stick to building ships." - Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, 1973

... changed managers 19 times and general managers 10 times in 21 years.
... hired and fired Billy Martin as manager FIVE times
... In July 1978, Martin said of Steinbrenner and Reggie Jackson, "One's a born liar and the other's convicted."
... was indicted on 14 criminal counts on April 5, 1974, then pled guilty to making illegal contributions to Nixon's re-election campaign and obstruction of justice
... On November 27, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspended him for two years, but later reduced that amount to nine months
... On July 30, 1990, commissioner Fay Vincent banned Steinbrenner from baseball for life after he paid Howie Spira $40,000 for "dirt" on Dave Winfield.
... Winfield sued him for failing to pay his foundation the $300,000 guaranteed in his contract.
... Subsequently Winfield chose to enter the Hall of Fame as a San Diego Padre. (I guess I'm not the only one embarrassed)
... At Yankee Stadium, where a ballgame was being played, word of Steinbrenner's banishment filtering over the transistor radios resulted in a standing ovation from title-starved fans.
... public chastising of Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter for "partying too much,"
... Steinbrenner is also known for pressuring and changing off-field employees (including various publicity directors), sometimes chewing them out in public
... In 1997, Baseball's executive council voted unanimously to immediately remove Steinbrenner from it's ruling body
... On April 7, 1984, just five games into the season, Meacham made a key error that led to a Texas Ranger victory... After the game, Steinbrenner went apoplectic, and demanded that Meacham be sent down to AA Nashville. The demotion of Meacham was ordered despite (manager) Yogi Berra's wish to have him on the team.
... George Steinbrenner, who said two months ago that Yogi Berra would be the Yankees' manager for the entire 1985 season no matter what, dismissed Berra today, just 16 games into the season. The bad news is delivered to Yogi by pitching coach Clyde King‚ and a furious Berra vows to never set foot in Yankee Stadium as long as George Steinbrenner is the owner.
... one of the Yankee players was asked what he thought about the possibility of Billy Martin returning as the Yankee manager for the fourth time. "That," the Yankee player replied "is what the guys are afraid of."
... Enraged that P Hideki Irabu fails to cover 1B on a ground ball hit during an exhibition game‚ Yankees owner George Steinbrenner calls him a "fat pussy toad."

2007-10-10 16:53:25
74.   nemecizer
62 73 Amen, brother!

Torre sometimes infuriates me, but to blame him for the lack of success the past 3 years is, IMHO, utter bullshit.

I blame this:

1996 109 T-3rd
1997 115 2nd
1998 117 1st
1999 108 2nd
2000 107 3rd
2001 111 T-4th
2002 113 4th
2003 109 3rd
2004 96 9th
2005 98 7th
2006 99 9th
2007 96 T-10th

It's not Torre's fault that the front office decimated the farm to trade for expensive free agents and ignored pitching in favor of the futile quest for a 1,000 RS team.

I'd give Torre another year or two, maybe adding some "Joba rules" to his use of the bullpen. We have another dynasty coming. I feel it in my bones. Someone has to teach all those young kids how a proper team behaves.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.