Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Torre's Time Should End
2007-10-10 13:37
by Bruce Markusen
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

One year ago, I staunchly defended Joe Torre, proclaiming the seemingly impending decision to fire him and replace him with Lou Piniella as borderline ridiculous. Given that position, some readers might find it strange that I’m now calling for a change at the Yankees’ managerial helm.

So what has happened in the last 365 days to make me alter my opinion? Principally, a third straight defeat in the opening round of the postseason, with the Yankees once again losing to a beatable American League opponent. It’s not that any one or two strategic maneuvers by Torre resulted in them losing, but rather, it was the generally poor tenor of the team’s play. The Yankees didn’t play aggressively, failing to take chances against Victor Martinez, who has had a checkered career when it comes to throwing out baserunners. They once again lacked any killer instinct, failing to hit in the clutch against C.C. Sabathia in Game One and failing to tack on a second run against Fausto Carmona in Game Two. Again, these aren’t necessarily errors on the part of the manager, but they have become part of a trend of ineffectual play for the Yankees in the postseason, dating back to those final four games against the Red Sox in 2004. The Yankees just don’t seem to come to the postseason prepared the way they used to be. After awhile, the manager has to be accountable, at least in part, for a dreadful record of 4-13 in the team’s last 17 postseason games.

There were tactical mistakes, too, that may not have lost the series on their own, but certainly didn’t help matters. Torre should have called upon Phil Hughes as his first reliever in Game One, once it became apparent that Chien-Ming Wang couldn’t direct his sinker downward. Instead, Torre turned to the less experienced Ross Ohlendorf, essentially putting up a white flag on a game that was still in question. In Game Three, Torre didn’t need to put Joba Chamberlain in for a two-inning stint, not with a five-run lead. (Torre and the coaches also looked disjointed as they frantically waved their arms toward Robinson Cano, whom they apparently wanted to relay a message to the bullpen.) That misjudgment ultimately didn’t cost the Yankees, since Chamberlain wasn’t needed in Game Four, but imagine if the Yankees had held a one-run lead going into the seventh with a tiring starter on the mound? How would Chamberlain have responded to pitching back-to-back days after throwing 38 pitches? Torre also blundered in Game Four, when he failed to pinch-hit for Doug Mientkiewicz after Wang had been knocked out. Minky was playing only because of Wang’s groundball tendencies; once Wang went to the showers, the Yankees needed to immediately switch to a better bat, like that of Jason Giambi’s, to attempt a comeback against Cleveland. Instead, Torre stayed with Minky until the sixth inning, when he called on Shelley Duncan. Giambi remained on the bench until the eighth inning, by which time the Yankees’ season had nearly reached the stage of desperation.

Beyond the postseason failing, the Yankees’ poor first half of the season also stands as a black mark against Torre. Yes, there was a bevy of injuries to the starting rotation, but there was also listless play in the field, a lack of intensity during too many at-bats, a ridiculous reliance on Miguel Cairo as the everyday first baseman, a refusal to take an injured Johnny Damon out of the lineup, and continued mismanagement of the bullpen. Torre has to be accountable for some of those problems, all of which put the Yankees in such a hole that they would have to end up settling for a wild card instead of a division title.

Torre’s legacy will remain overwhelmingly positive and it’s only a matter of time before he takes his place in Cooperstown. But no one manages in one place forever. Not Joe McCarthy, who resigned under fire in the middle of his 16th season in New York. Not even Casey Stengel, who managed the Yankees for 12 years, just like Torre, but was eventually fired. In my mind, 12 years has been enough for Torre, too. There should be no shame in making a managerial change one time in over a decade. Let’s just hope the Yankees move decisively and don’t let Torre unnecessarily twist in the wind. He doesn't deserve that, and the team needs to get on to the business of player personnel as quickly as possible.

In addition, there are certainly some qualified candidates to choose from, making this the right time to make a change. Some are in-house, some are out-of-house, but all have their merits. Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities.

Don Mattingly:

A smart, overachieving ballplayer during his Yankee career, Mattingly has paid at least some of his managerial dues as a batting instructor and bench coach. Players raved about his work as a batting coach, citing his work ethic and breadth of hitting knowledge. On the down side, Mattingly has never managed in the minor leagues, has never been a third base coach, and has only a couple of games of experience as a fill-in skipper replacing Torre during suspensions. Mattingly also lacks charisma and flair in his dealings with the media, which could make him a target once things start to go wrong on the field. I’d feel a lot better about Mattingly if he managed a season at Double-A or Triple-A, but he’s never expressed an interesting in doing so—and neither have the Yankees.

Tony Pena:

He’s probably the longest of long shots, but figures to be at least one of the minority candidates interviewed by Brian Cashman. He’s a onetime American League Manager of the Year who has done good work in improving Jorge Posada’s defensive game. He also figures to communicate well with young Latino players like Wilson Betemit, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, and Edwar Ramirez, who represent a good chunk of the Yankee future. Unfortunately, Pena’s first managerial tenure in Kansas City ended quickly and badly, brought down by some serious personal problems.

Bobby Valentine:

He might be an even longer shot than Pena, but Steinbrenner has always been intrigued by Valentine’s personality and IQ, and would love nothing better than to take a shot at the Mets along the way. Valentine certainly has no fear of New York, has World Series experience, and knows the game as well as any manager or coach. Valentine’s problem has always been his ego—he thinks he knows the game better than anyone, always a dangerous thought—which could clash quickly with Cashman, any of his coaches, and the owner.

Tony LaRussa:

At first, the mention of LaRussa’s name seemed like a long shot, but George Steinbrenner likes big-name managers who have won elsewhere. (Dallas Green and Billy Martin are prime examples of that.) LaRussa brings several positives to the table, including a high intelligence, a willingness to buck convention, and a terrific pitching coach in Dave Duncan (who happens to be the father of the Yankees’ Shelly). Unfortunately, there are problems. LaRussa struggles in relationships with players (see Scott Rolen and Albert Pujols) and overmanages the bullpen, forgetting that he doesn’t have that great five-man bullpen in Oakland anymore. Yes, it’s been a long time since the days of Gene Nelson and Rick Honeycutt setting up Dennis Eckersley.

Joe Girardi:

This should be the man. He’s been terrific as a part-time analyst on the Yankees’ YES Network, but his primary passion remains managing. Who can blame him, considering the marvelous job he did with Florida on his way to winning the National League Manager of the Year? (I don’t buy this criticism that Girardi somehow "abused" his starters in Florida, when only Dontrelle Willis pitched over 180 innings and had no subsequent arm trouble in ‘07.) Girardi is exceedingly intelligent, well-organized, and highly driven, all favorable characteristics for a field manager. I’ve read some claims that Girardi would be a bad fit for the veteran-laden Yankees because of his hands-on, attention-to-detail approach that, in the minds of some scouts, makes him another Buck Showalter. Well, that assessment is bulldinky, to borrow some terminology from In Living Color. Girardi, already knowing many of the players in New York from his days as a coach and broadcaster, is smart enough to make the adjustment from leading a team of youngsters in Florida to managing more of a mixed bag in New York. Combining old school values of toughness and discipline with a new school understanding of statistics and computer technology, Girardi would be the ideal choice to succeed Torre in pinstripes.

Bruce Markusen is the author of eight books on baseball. He also writes "Cooperstown Confidential" for and contributes articles to the MLB Alumni Association. He can be reached at

Comments (135)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-10-10 13:55:33
1.   Yankees Chick
As a Yanks-loving realist, I do see the argument to replace Torre. Personally and sentimentally, I would like him to stay; I honestly think he is a good person, he motivates the players well, they respect him, etc etc etc. That said, I can see why some people are ready to get rid of him and maybe start fresh.

My main concern is that Big Stein will select someone that the players do not respect in the same way they do Torre. Promoting Mattingly or bringing in Girardi would probably be ideal, since they are respected Yanks and the players would be unlikely to take issue with playing under either of them. I think that problems might arise, though, if an "outsider" - regardless of his qualifications and talents - were brought in, simply because so many of the players have been playing for Torre for so long. I have a feeling that folks like Mo, Posada, Jeet, and other long-timers might not take too kindly to a manager with a completely different managerial style; the youngsters might be in for a bit of a rude awakening if they have to go from playing for such a gentle, encouraging guy to someone a big rougher.


2007-10-10 13:57:58
2.   yankz
You're going to be looking a long time if your goal is to find a guy who the current Yankees respect as much as Torre. He doesn't exist.
2007-10-10 14:06:41
3.   joejoejoe
I think Larry Bowa should get a look. He's a good change of pace (much more intense than Torre), he's on the existing staff, and you could keep Guidry, Mattingly, and Pena in waiting should Bowa fail.
2007-10-10 14:07:21
4.   Joshua Worley
As an outsider, that is a non-Yankee fan with no sentimetnal attachment to Joe Torre, I have to say that firing Torre and replacing him with Girardi is absolutely the correct move to make.
2007-10-10 14:09:45
5.   Raf
I can see the argument to replace him, I can see the argument to keep him.

IMO what has gone on in the postseason is a "correction" of sorts. Not every year is going to be like 1998-99 in the postseason.

WRT "trust" when someone tells him he is able to go, be it Cone, Rogers, Brown, or Clemens, he has to believe him. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Wang was considered the "ace" of the staff, but he stunk this series.

Since 2001, there has been a disconnect between the offense, the defense, and the pitching. A bounce here or there, the postseasons could have turned out differently. But they didn't and it didn't.

I'm not a Torre fan, but it's hard to blame him for what has gone on for the past few years. Especially in the context of the regular season. The pitching imploded (be it because of age, injury or ineffectiveness) in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007. They've won 101, 95, 97 and 94 games those years. The only reason they didn't win the East this year was because the Red Sox were hot all year.

Having said that, whomever manages next year, be it Torre, one of the other guys on the list, or someone not mentioned, I'd be willing to wager that the Yanks will still make the playoffs, as currently constructed.

All bets are off if they lose Posada, Rivera & ARod, of course.

2007-10-10 14:14:50
6.   standuptriple
Big shoes to fill, no doubt. I'm in the Girardi camp as well. He has a bit of the old guard in him and has proven himself at the major league level motivating young players (which we should be seeing more of in the next phase of manager). Once Joe got that last ring I'm not sure if the hunger was still there. Maybe it was the constant pressure, but nobody said leading the Yankees would be a walk in the park.
2007-10-10 14:22:03
7.   51cq24
i like girardi, but then what about mattingly? would he stay as bench coach?

this might be crazy, but what do you think are the chances that they could convince joe to just switch places with mattingly? would be be too humiliated to do that, or would it be a nice opportunity to settle into a zimmer role behind a younger manager?

2007-10-10 14:22:58
8.   Shaun P
Is it possible there are other candidates out there? It just strikes me that, given how differently Cashman has done things this past season, he might look outside the 'usual suspects' to find a manager.

I don't have any good suggestions for who an 'outside the box' candidate might be, outside of Davey Johnson, and he's not really outside the box. Anyone have any ideas? Who managed SWB this year?

2007-10-10 14:23:57
9.   jonm
A great post. I agree completely with Bruce's analysis.

Not even taking Torre's strategic faults as a manager into account, there is a good reason to dismiss him. The great stability in the managerial position has made the team complacent. This is not necessarily a criticism of Torre. Being a major league manager is a very difficult job. All managers come to a point at which a shake-up would benefit the team. Off the top of my head, in the recent past, only Weaver, Lasorda, and Cox have managed the same team for longer than 12 years. Torre has not met the Yankee definition of success (a world championship) in seven years.

If a new manager upsets veteran players, that's too bad. Their complacency is part of the problem.

2007-10-10 14:29:00
10.   yankz
7 I'd say the chances of that happening are about the same as Steinbrenner giving me the Yankees for Christmas.
2007-10-10 14:29:19
11.   Yankees Chick
51qc.... i like your idea of swapping the two in theory, but can you imagine big stein allowing that?! if he fires torre, he'd probably banish him from the bronx for life.

he's a maniac.

2007-10-10 14:32:21
12.   JohnnyC
Absolutely super summation, Bruce. You're dead on about "not being prepared." That comes from the manager (and the absence of Zimmer on the bench as well as the reduced contributions from Gene Michael and his scouts). And, jonm, I agree that it's on the veteran players to adjust and re-commit. Finally, my choice, like yours, Bruce, is to call on Girardi. I wouldn't be as happy with Mattingly but I'm willing to give him a try, especially if a solid coaching staff can be assembled to support him. As much as I like and respect the work Pena and Bowa have done, I think it's time for new eyes, new voices in the coaching staff as well. And I'd like to see Gil Patterson replace Guidry as pitching coach.
2007-10-10 14:32:33
13.   williamnyy23
11 I don't think Steinbrenner is a maniac. He has been a near model owner for almost 15 years now. What's more, he is clearly in declining health, so I am sure others in the organization are assisting in the decisions.
2007-10-10 14:32:46
14.   ChrisS
10 If he does, can you make me an asst. GM?
2007-10-10 14:36:38
15.   ChrisS
11 et al, just for clarification, Torre's contract expires this year. Technically he won't be fired, he just won't be re-signed.

Agree wholeheartedly. You have to wonder whether Giardi chose not to manage elsewhere this year because he knew there was a chance to manage the Yankees should they not renew Torre's contract. If he did take that gamble, I respect him a little more in a way.

2007-10-10 14:36:53
16.   Raf
8 Dave Miley managed SWB

9 Complacency hasn't been the problem. Hard luck and poor player execution has been. Two of the biggest failures in the postseason were Jeter and Posada, two players who have "been through the fire." I'd have a hard time believing those two were complacent, that they were just happy to be there in the playoffs.

2007-10-10 14:37:34
17.   Ali Nagib
I don't have much of an opinion as to whether or not Joe Torre should be fired, other than to say that his impact on the Yankees postseason winning and losing, 1996-present, has been greatly overstated by many.

That said, I think it's important to remember that Girardi only survived a year in Florida, despite winning Manager of the Year, and constantly fought with ownership and upper-management. It's easy to put the halo on Joe and blame all the problems on Loria and the Marlins; it would also be most likely incorrect. If you're OK with the chance of Joe getting canned after a year or two because he can't get along with Cashman, regardless of the team's on-field performance, go ahead and hire him. But you do so at your own risk.

2007-10-10 14:38:25
18.   yankz
14 I'm accepting
2007-10-10 14:38:39
19.   randym77
La Russa is certainly willing to buck convention. He bats the pitcher 8th, just like the stat guys say you should. Everyone else thinks he's nuts.

Of course, he also gets drunk and falls asleep at stoplights...

I like Girardi, a lot, but I have serious doubts about how well he'd fit with NY. He was fired because he couldn't get along with anyone in Florida. He couldn't deal with the politics. The politics in NY are a million times worse.

I really wish he'd taken a job in Washington or Cincinnati or wherever first. I think he needs some rough edges knocked off him before he comes to the Bronx.

2007-10-10 14:44:55
20.   jeterian swing
Frankly, I'm surprised more people aren't terrified by the prospect of Girardi as manager. It may not be a verifiable fact that Girardi destroyed the arms of his entire young pitching staff in FLA, but there is strong evidence suggesting he may have been a major contributor in that destruction, and many out there, beyond Jeffrey Loria, share in suspicions of such (Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus, for one). Anecdotally, I remember an '07 Yankee game wherein Girardi as broadcaster stated that he believed pitchers today are "babied." I would personally be sick to have him handling Hughes, Joba, IPK, et al. What's more, I'm not sure Cashman's increasingly vocal managerial presence (the Joba Rules, etc.)would jibe well with Girardi's old-school style. Anyway, all Girardi backers would do well to read the paragraphs below, copied-and-pasted from Joel Sherman's 8/26 "Hardball" column. Full story here:


'A frontrunner to replace Torre would be Joe Girardi, who in his NL Manager of the Year 2006 relied heavily upon young arms. In fact, the 2006 Marlins are the only team ever to have four rookies with double-digit wins. So how are those young arms doing this season? Not good. Is that coincidence, a normal fact of life when you are dealing with young pitching, or does it owe something to how Girardi used these pitchers?

It is a question the Yanks must get a suitable answer to before handing Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Chien-Ming Wang and Ian Kennedy to anybody, notably Girardi.

"We felt we had to protect them all," Girardi said of his 2006 Marlin rotation. "We had constant dialogue [on that subject]."

From the 2006 Marlins staff, Anibal Sanchez needed surgery in June for a torn labrum, Josh Johnson went for Tommy John surgery earlier this month, Ricky Nolasco has missed most of the year with elbow inflammation, and Scott Olsen and Dontrelle Willis have performed far worse this year than last year.

"I will never jeopardize a career for a game or myself," Girardi insisted. "I had my [playing] career. I would never take anyone's career away from them."

The data shows Girardi never used a Marlins starter on short rest or asked anyone to exceed 130 pitches. But there are points of concern. Johnson was used after an 82-minute rain delay at Shea last September, but so was Oliver Perez. Nevertheless, last month before Johnson's surgery, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria lobbed more public criticism at Girardi for that decision.

The Marlins were fringe contenders in September, yet Sanchez - already beyond his career pro high and with a history of shoulder problems - logged an MLB-rookie-high 43 innings in the month (and threw a no-hitter). Willis was viewed as the veteran horse, logging more than 110 pitches 18 times and 115 or more in seven straight starts leading into the All-Star Game. But he was just 24 and heavy workloads prior to age 25 are often considered a long-term concern.'

2007-10-10 14:51:49
21.   standuptriple
15 I could see the Yanks making a non-offer offer (1 year) and Joe "deciding" to walk away for "other opportunities". He's made too much $ and I imagine has too good of PR people to burn a bridge like this.
The departure of Zim gave Joe too many "YES"-men in the clubhouse and we need to prevent that from happening again. I'm afraid of that scenario most with Mattingly.
20 I'd take everything Loria says with a huge nugget of salt.
2007-10-10 14:52:42
22.   Knuckles
On a gut level, I tink Torre should go, for all the reasons mentioned above. However, looking at this from a sheer replacement-level POV, say the Yanks had Girardi as manager to start 2007- how many games would they have won? 3 more, 5 more, 3 less? I'll settle on 2 or 3 wins tops.
Now compare that against the incremental wins gained by having Posada, Mo, and possibly Pettitte, who all might go if Torre is jettisoned. Now I'm not one for the players being able to dictate who coaches them, but this seems to be a clear case of:

* Torre + Po + Mo + Pettitte = 95 wins (total guess) versus
* Girardi + Molina + Joba as closer + high priced FA SP = less than 95 wins?

Sump'n to think about...

2007-10-10 14:54:29
23.   JohnnyC
We're actually relying on the wisdom of Jeffrey Loria? THE Jeffrey Loria, the well-known bag man for Bud Selig in Montreal and the third corner of the infamous triangle of shame that engineered Montreal's demise, Florida's sale, and the Red Sox purchase...exactly as Selig orchestrated it? He and Selig are just lucky that those RICO charges against them never made it to trial. Oh, I forgot, George Mitchell was still in the senate at the time.
2007-10-10 14:58:36
24.   JohnnyC
I seriously doubt Jorge, Andy, or Mo are going anywhere. If the dollars are there (and there's no sign to say otherwise), they'll be strapping it on in pinstripes in 2008. Now ARod's a different story...but that has nothing whatsoever to do with who's sitting in the dugout.
2007-10-10 14:58:52
25.   bartap74
Is Earl Weaver totally out of the question?
2007-10-10 15:04:51
26.   markp
two things:

Why do the same people say Torre isn't responsible for what happened on the field from 2001-2007 give him credit for what happened on the field from 1996-2000? The 96-00 team was created by Buck and Stick. The 2001-07 was created by Torre and Cashman. He's a lot more responsible for what happened from 2001 on than he was for what happened before then.

If you don't have starters throwing 180 innings, you're not abusing your starters.

2007-10-10 15:13:40
27.   OldYanksFan
13 "I don't think Steinbrenner is a maniac. He has been a near model owner for almost 15 years now."

Bill, please read my last post in the previous thread. In the past, George transcended maniac to being simply a purely destructive force. I agree that NOW George is pretty OK, I would say for the last 12 years or so (hmmmm).

Bruce... based on your statement that: "Players raved about his work as a batting coach, citing his work ethic and breadth of hitting knowledge"... mightn't he make a good batting coach?

As JJJ says, I believe that Bowa has by far the most experience both in baseball and as a manager. He is the opposite of Joe's mello, but as the players know (and hopefully respect) him now, maybe it might work.

Stepping into Joe's shoes will be tough for anyone. If there are any early 'failures', the media will crucify him. I think getting someone 'wet behind the ears' is not right now. Maybe in a few years. There will be tremendous pressure on a new manager the first year. The pressure in the PS will be INTENSE. We need to find someone who can take heat.

Bruce... if Posada doubles in the first game, or Matsui, or their are no bugs and Joba doesn't WP, if Wang pitches ONE excellent game.... if any 2 of a number of opportunities turned in our favor on we won the ALDS, would you call for Torre to go?

If we ended up winning the WS, would you call for Torre to go?

2007-10-10 15:17:59
28.   Yankees Chick
markp: very good point. i've said it a million times over on my bloggity: you can't have it both ways. either you give a credit for "creating" the winning AND losing teams or you hold the PLAYERS responsible for everything. you cant just blame a person when shit goes wrong.

personally, I think very little blame should really be placed on torre this year. the biggest mistake he made was mismanaging the bullpen, which, while a big mistake, is somewhat forgivable - look what he had to deal with?

2007-10-10 15:18:19
29.   unpopster
26 "The 2001-07 was created by Torre and Cashman."

First of all, I love Joe Torre and I also don't completely blame Cashman for our demise this year, but one thing that has been eating at me since Game 4 is the absolute horrid status of the Yankee pen over the last couple of years and 2007 in particular.

I knew that the Yankees wouldn't go very far this postseason exactly for that reason. Had the Yanks somehow made it past the Indians the Sox would have abused our pen. The 2007 NY Yankees bullpen was some variation of "Joba and Mo and Pray for snow".

That being said, the loss of Proctor -- and Torre's mismanagement of him -- may have directly resulted in the loss to the Indians.

How did that Betemit-Proctor trade work out for us in the post season? Did Betemit even sniff an at-bat? Had Cashman not made that trade, then we would have had a Scott Proctor ready to pitch in Game 2 after Joba and Mo instead of an obviously shaken and tired Vizcaino. Think about it folks, even though Torre had all but worn Proctors arm right off his shouler, I would have felt much more comfortable with Proctor pitching in extra innings at that instance than Vizcaino.

Cashman's trade for betemit may have cost us that game -- and maybe even the series. Am I crzay? Perhaps. But I do believe that it is a valid argument.

2007-10-10 15:20:26
30.   tommyl
I agree with the sentiments that the veterans don't really have as much right to complain. Of course they love playing for Joe, Jeter and Mo basically grew up with him as their manager in the bigs. By all accounts, he's loved and a great man, no one is debating that. I have the utmost respect for him.

Still, if Jeter and co. wanted to keep him so badly, they should have hit and pitched better. Yes, the players give credit for Joe pulling them out of a nosedive, but maybe another manager wouldn't have gotten the team into that spot in the first place. In two of the last three seasons this team has started off horribly slowly and put itself in a huge hole early on. Who's to blame for that? Who's to blame for Miguel Cairo, Tony Womack and Terrence Long getting substantial playing time? For watching Vizcaino pitch so much he was ineffective in the postseason? Ditto for Tom Gordon and Paul Quantril? For Damon not being forced into the disabled list? For Duncan getting almost no ABs in the ALDS despite hitting well? for not using Hughes in game 1 till it was garbage time? for not recognizing Wang's Home/Away splits and holding him back to game 3?

I'm not blaming Joe for all of these things, but to suggest that he is the only on who could have done the job as some players are seems a bit unfair.

2007-10-10 15:22:36
31.   OldYanksFan
Gentlemen... are you aware we have been graced not by any Yankees Chick... but by THE Yankee's Chick?
2007-10-10 15:23:18
32.   tommyl
29 And Proctor could have come in, and pitched so badly he lit his glove on fire after the game. What are you getting at? Scott Proctor is nothing more than a league average to slightly better middle reliever with a straight fastball. He's not Mo or Joba so suggesting he would have held the fort better than Vizcaino is pure speculation.

Let me ask you this. If Jeter goes down for a couple of weeks next year, who would you rather see playing short: Betemit or Miguel Cairo?

2007-10-10 15:26:09
33.   jeterian swing
21 ,23 I'm not suggesting you take Jeffrey Loria's word for it: The results speak for themselves. That ENTIRE pitching staff has fallen apart since Girardi managed it, partly because of several serious injuries. It's hard to judge a manager (or anyone) based on a small body of work, but are you really willing to take the chance that Girardi's decisions and the disintegration of that staff are only coincidentally linked? Really? Even though the Yanks' greatest strength right now is our young pitching, both in the immediate and distant futures?
2007-10-10 15:30:24
34.   Yankees Chick
Proctor was burned out - by Torre and simply because he just aint that good - and trading him was the right move. Betemit didn't see any playoff time, but had this team gone further than 4 games I'm sure we would have seen him. I like Betemit... he's essentially the same as Cairo except with a little more pop-power.
2007-10-10 15:31:49
35.   Schteeve
Look, I could really care less about whether or not Torre comes back or not. At this point, I'm just sick of it being an issue.

But if anyone really thinks that a new manager is going to make the hitters start hitting better with guys on base in the post season, they are going to be disappointed.

The Yankees lineup is super patient. They don't swing at much besides meatballs, they wait out good pitchers and hammer the mistakes made by great pitchers, and feast on marginal pitchers.

They see fewer mistakes in the zone in the post season. Then they get behind, then they start to press a little.

Now, the last two paragraphs I wrote could be bullshit, I don't have numbers to back them up. And it's not like the Yankees don't score at all in the postseason. Maybe it's just bad luck. Maybe you aren't supposed to win the World Series every year.

Wang was pretty consistent all year, but in two post season games he got lit up like the 4th of July. Bad Luck.

Joba was lights out all season, then the bugs attack and he loses command. Bad Luck.

Jorge was an OBP machine all year. For 4 games he couldn't get on base to save his life. Bad luck.

Maybe the tribe had the Yankees gameplanned perfectly and executed against that gameplan perfectly, but maybe it was just bad luck.

The post season is a crap shoot, if your team does well be happy and celebrate, but if your team spits the bit, well....we've spit the bit a lot less than every other team out there.

Whatcha gonna do?

2007-10-10 15:34:09
36.   standuptriple
33 I don't think the Yankees organization would stand by and let anybody, especially after the blatant over-usage of bullpen guys by Torre, run their young arms (the future of the franchise) into the ground. There may have been other factors that led to their collapse as a whole, but I'm not ready to put that much blame on Girardi. I've yet to hear anything of that nature from a player (or anybody other than Loria's lackies for that matter).
2007-10-10 15:35:11
37.   williamnyy23
27 I don't think Joe gets all the credit for Steinbrenner mellowing out. I think the suspension has a lot to do with that. He allowed Gene Michael to build the dynasty and have Showalter an impressive 4 years, which when judged by his subsequent tenures, isn't that bad.
2007-10-10 15:36:30
38.   yankz
Proctor threw 44 innings in 05, then more than doubled that total with 102 in 06. He was on pace for 108 this year before Cashman saved his career. No way in hell would he have been effective if Torre had continued to go to town on his arm like it was a Christmas ham.
2007-10-10 15:37:47
39.   standuptriple
38 And then he used Vizcaino almost as much.
2007-10-10 15:39:52
40.   yankz
39 What's the argument? That Joe Torre overworks his "guys"? We already know that...

More importantly, however, Vizcaino threw 32 more innings in 06 with the DBacks than he did under Torre. In fact, this was his lowest IP total since 03 with Milwaukee.

2007-10-10 15:40:30
41.   yankz
40 WAY wrong, don't read that, I'll correct in a second
2007-10-10 15:41:36
42.   yankz
Vizcaino threw 10 more innings in 07 than 06 for a total of 75.3. That doesn't even come close to what Torre did (and would have done) to Proctor.
2007-10-10 15:47:00
43.   ChrisS
33 He managed that staff, but by all indications - outside of one or two instances - he wasn't out there abusing the pitchers. They all stayed more or less at pitch counts. He may not have babied them totally, but he didn't out and out abuse them like others (Dusty Baker, Joe Torre, etc). Despite the posts about him breaking the "30 rule," without some data showing that he did indeed abuse those pitchers, I don't think anyone can pin blame on him for those pitching injuries.

With the research being done on pitchers and movement towards pitch counts, etc, One thing I would be interested in seeing is a breakdown of pitchers that were "babied" and those that were "abused" and whether there was a significant difference. There must be a few years worth of data by now.

2007-10-10 15:47:12
44.   standuptriple
No argument, just agreement. Joe runs guys into the ground. Should they maybe obatin more guys he can trust? Absolutely. But he's shown that he can't resist using his "Book" as a default to actual managing. There was no reason for Joba to appear in game 3. None. It's moot now, but his grasp of handling an entire staff has been suspect for a couple seasons now.
2007-10-10 15:50:37
45.   Yankees Chick
It goes w/o question that torre runs the bullpen into the ground. however, why doesn't the bench coach and/or pitching coach have more of a say in that?

that's not a smart-ass question, I am serious.

2007-10-10 15:53:13
46.   yankz
44 Ah, ok. Yeah, he's clueless with the pen, I think even OYF will agree to that.

The question then is, will Girardi be better? I guess he can't be worse...

2007-10-10 15:53:33
47.   standuptriple
When Zim got shown the door I don't think there was anybody with either the tenure, history or BFOG+ to question Joe, IMO. Maybe it was done behind closed doors, but that's been my theory for awhile.
2007-10-10 15:55:10
48.   ChrisS
35 Well, unfortunately the Yankees aren't in the playoffs anymore, so we gots to banter about something. And like it or not, Torre's future is probably going to be decided first. We really can't speculate too much on A-Rod yet, nor Po or Mo.

36 Indeed, based on the implementation of the Joba Rules. Cash knew Joba could do well enough that Torre would be inclined to run him out there every day if he could to replace Proctor. Cash instead devised a plan to prevent that. Torre immediately took it to the press.

2007-10-10 15:55:59
49.   standuptriple
46 At the very least Girardi won't have the carte blanche that Joe had. It seemed like Torre's decisions went unquestioned regularly...until Cashman started removing them from the equation.
2007-10-10 16:10:46
50.   OldYanksFan
35 PERFECT! absolutely perfect. Baseball players have very little control over any 1 incident.

Jeter has 650 ABs in a season. He has 1000+ swings in a season. He hits the ball 500 times. Some go in the air 400' and are caught. Some go 330' into the stands. Line drives, ground balls, bloops, broken bats, ropes, swinging bunts.

At the end of the year he has 200 hits.
However, on any one swing, on any one AB, on any one day, he has absolutely no idea, no control over what happens. It is very, very random.

All we know is that over the years, some guys hit the ball more frequently, or more solidly, or harder, then others. Some guys strike out more, some guys run faster. And then, at the end of the year, we have a whole bunch of stats to play with.

This is not tennis or track, where an individual does have a lot of control over the outcome. This is baseball, and it is very random by nature.

How many games, and even WS crowns, were determined by ONE bad umpire call (Jeffrey Maier anyone).... or by a gust of wind... or by one 'flip'... or even by a swarm of bugs?

I root for the outcome, for the Yankee's to win. But it is so random. It is why winning a short series on a regular basis is so hard. There are too many random factors in the equation. It is part of the fun of baseball. It is so chaotic!

I don't think we should make too many absolute conclusions from any of these events.

I'll guess I have watched far too many episodes of 'Kung Fu'. Common boys and girls... Let's get Zen!

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-10-10 16:12:22
51.   OldYanksFan
37 Or maybe he just got old?
2007-10-10 16:16:28
52.   David
Great column, Bruce, I agree with you, except that I would have replaced Torre a year or 2 ago.

Based on the record and everything we know about him, Girardi is the best candidate. I think the Yanks can use a more detail-oriented approach.

I cannot imgine how the Yanks could fail to sign ARod. As I understand it, he gets $9m/year from Texas if he stays with the Yanks, but gets nothing from Texas if he becomes a free agent. So, if he becomes a free agent, he would have to get an extra $9m raise just to match what he gets by continuing his contract.

The Yanks can keep him for sure by giving him a $5m raise. Or, they can offer less and perhaps include a contract extention. Either way, the money from Texas means that ARod's best deal will be some sort of contract with the Yanks.

2007-10-10 16:20:02
53.   Yankees Chick
since mattingly has made it pretty clear that he would like to manage, how do y'all think he would handle it if girardi was brought in to manage? would he be bitter/resentful at all?
2007-10-10 16:20:56
54.   jeterian swing
36 43 I'm not suggesting outright culpability on Girardi's part, I'm merely allowing for suspicions of culpability (with little actual evidence on either side of the argument). I find it difficult to endorse Girardi as manager of the Yankees in 2008 when his managerial legacy to date consists of one season with the Marlins that yielded primarily, among other things, a decimated young pitching staff. THAT SAID, I have complete and almost blind faith in Cashman, and I expect that any man chosen for the job will have to execute his duties under Cash's strict parameters. Would Girardi be happy with that arrangement? I'm not so sure.
2007-10-10 16:22:22
55.   OldYanksFan
45 Who says this isn't a FO mandate? Maybe the TEAM philosophy is to wring every possible win for THIS year, or even this week? Who says the Yankees, or Joe, care if they burn out arms of dime-a-dozen middle relievers? Stanton and Nelson were productive for a number of years. Mo has lasted 12.

Why hasn't Mo been 'abused' by Torre? Any guesses?

What makes you so sure this is a 'mistake'?

Shit... are the Yankees trying to create the 'healthiest middle relievers' or win ball games NOW?

2007-10-10 16:28:53
56.   OldYanksFan
52 It is based on the remaining 3 years of his contract. I have read/heard this number to be $21 - $30m/ with $27m (As you said, $9m/yr/3 yrs) being the most common.

So... If ARod wants $300m/10 years, it 'only' costs the Yankees $273m.

However, we shouldn't forget that nasty 40% tax. For every team except maybe the Sox, ARod might cost $30m/yr. At 27m/yr for us, it actually costs $38m/yr.

2007-10-10 16:30:11
57.   OldYanksFan
56 And of course, that's based on signing a contract extensiton. That $27m is Texas money for the current contract. It does NOT apply to a new contract.
2007-10-10 16:32:36
58.   ChrisS
55 Read this:

And if the Yankees philosophy as a team is use relievers and throw them out, as a talented young reliever, would you be interested in signing with the Yankees?

There's been a lot of speculation I've read about Mo's resilience being due to his fluid mechanics and "easy delivery". If you stack up the relievers that Torre has overly depended on during a season that suffered serious arm trouble (lots) and those that didn't (Mo), Mo starts to look like an outlier.

54 Indeed, I think Cashman has a pretty solid understanding about abusing young pitchers, see "Rules, Joba". And I agree with you: if Girardi isn't interested in playing by Cash's rules that attempt to let young pitchers mature slowly, then I don't think he's the right man for the job. Considering that 3/6 of the 08 rotation could be under 23.

2007-10-10 16:33:39
59.   Yankees Chick
OldYanksFan... I thought the luxury tax expired? revenue sharing, of course, is still in full effect but i think the 40% luxury tax you're referring to expired in 2006...

if not, I need to fix my glossary!! :)

2007-10-10 16:48:32
60.   markp
Torre has never been accused of burning out closers, only set-up guys. And he has. Ask Nelson about that (or about a dozen other guys here and elsewhere.)

In re Vizcaino-it's not the total of IP, it's how he doesn't use someone for weeks at a time, then uses them 4 out of 5 days for weeks at a time. Vizcaino missed some of the season with arm problems and still pitched more innings.

It's not just his absurd use of the BP. It's Zeile and Sojo against a righty with Nick Johnson available. (Ditto him using Enrique Wilson, Tony Womack and several others with obviously superior players riding the pine).

It's bringing in Weaver in a tied play-off game with Mo available.

It's running out whatever lefty was available to pitch to a LHer time after time with no regard for the results.

Using 5-6 pitchers game after game instead of letting one guy pitch a few innings (especially in blowout games). Speaking of blowout games, how many times do the Scott Proctors of the world have to pitch with an eight run lead before somebody realizes he's costing the team wins in October?

But my biggest reason is, after a season in which he was raked over the coals by the media and the fans, he put Arod in the #8 slot in the batting order in a playoff game. Nobody was hitting in that series. To divert the attention from his own failures he made Alex an even bigger spectacle than he already was. That the media (and a lot of fans) regard that as Arod's failure instead of Torre's tells me that Joe must go because he can be mean and petty and get away with it. No way he should be managing the Yankees in 2008.

2007-10-10 17:22:17
61.   OldYanksFan

Summary of MLBPA-Major League Baseball Labor Agreement
1. Five-year labor contract.
2. Termination date - December 11, 2011.

Competitive Balance Tax
1. Competitive Balance Tax structure from 2002 agreement is continued.
2. Rates will continue at 22 ½ % for Clubs over the threshold the first time, 30% for Clubs over the threshold the second time and 40% for Clubs over threshold the third time.
3. Clubs that paid 40% in 2006 will face 40% rate in 2007.
4. Thresholds reset to $148 million in 2007, $155 million in 2008, $162 million in 2009, $170 million in 2010 and $178 million in 2011.

2007-10-10 17:26:55
62.   Yankees Chick
I DO need to update the ol' glossary then.... wasn't aware it was extended after the 2006 expiration. thx!!!
2007-10-10 17:37:21
63.   OldYanksFan
62 So did you think we were paying nothing this year? The whole thing about the Iggy deal was the money we saved vs signing a FA because the posting fee didn't count towards the tax... remember?

Geez... good thing you're so cute!

Hey... what do you think about Suzyn and 'CryGate'?

2007-10-10 17:54:27
64.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Check Squawking Baseball for an interview with Manny Acta which confirms that, yes indeed, he is the best manager in baseball.
2007-10-10 18:18:14
65.   Sliced Bread
I had a shit day, so I'm in the mood to say things I might regret.

Everybody wants Torre gone because he's so flawed, and has lost his touch? Fine. I hope you get your wish, and I hope Posada and Rivera stand by their manager and follow him out the door.

I hope Girardi and Mattingly tell the Steinbrenners where to stick it to boot.
Go ahead, George, bring in an asshole like Valentine, and start counting the days until you fire him. That'll give you something to look forward to.

A-Rod? Fuck him if he wants $30 million per. Go be a fucking Cub, or an Angel, or a Red Sock for all I give a shit. $30 million dollars.

Looks like we'll be rooting for a team something like the Blue Jays next year, but at least everybody will have a shiny new manager to kick around.

Oh, and fuck the new stadium. What a waste.

2007-10-10 18:30:15
66.   Orly Yarly NoWai
65 I don't think I'll touch this, then.

But come on. Think then post.

2007-10-10 18:34:23
67.   Sliced Bread
66 If you have something to say, have at it. But don't ever say I don't think.
2007-10-10 18:53:03
68.   OldYanksFan
65 The good news, I believe, it that every hour that passed without an offical announcement of Torre's 'retirement', increaces the chances that he will be back.

There were some very good suggestions here about how Torre could come back but have the FO have some input into managerial ingame decisions. The issues that Joe has are minor compared to the potential problems that might arise from having the 'wrong' manager. I hope the Yankees can be creative.

There are plenty of bashers here, and even people who think that Joe "must go because he can be mean and petty and get away with it", so I am happy to hear your passion.

But don't kick your dog and give your children a hug.

2007-10-10 18:56:27
69.   joejoejoe
65 "Oh, and fuck the new stadium. What a waste." I agree.

As for the team, I'm not going to cry if Posada and Rivera leave for greener pastures. I'm a Detroit Pistons when the balls get bigger and bouncier and Detroit fans are split 50/50 on whether Ben Wallace betrayed the team by leaving for Chicago dollars. Me, I'm all for players making whatever move suits them -- it's a free country. Big Ben hit the market at a good time and did what the overwhelming number of people would do in his situation - take the money that was on the table. Maybe the extra money allows Ben Wallace to push $14.99 sneakers to kids and teach them about value. Maybe Pedro's Met money is helping kids in the Dominican. Maybe Rivera signs with the Braves for more money and uses that money to help orphans in Panama. None of this 'Bring Joe Torre back or the world ends!' talk is nearly as dramatic as it sounds. Worst case scenario (and I mean worst) here are your '08 New York Yankees:

LF Damon
SS Jeter
RF Abreu
DH Matsui
2B Cano
CF Cabrera
1B Duncan
3B Lowell
C Molina

Bench: Sardinha, Miranda, Betemit

SP: Wang, Hughes, Joba, Kennedy, Mussina
RP: Farnsworth, Britton, Igawa, Ohlendorf
CL: Ramirez

Manager: Jim Tracy (just kidding)

I'll still be a fan. We'll be arguing more about than the strength of the BUC but it will still be fun to be a Yankee fan. I want Posada and Rivera and Pettitte to stay because they are excellent players but if they choose to leave I'll wish them well and root for the '08 team.

2007-10-10 19:01:20
70.   jonm
You do raise a concern of mine. If Mo and Posada actually leave that would be bad. But, ultimately, it comes down to a matter of organizational hierarchy. Are we as fans loyal to Torre and the veteran players or are we loyal to the organization? Torre and the vets have had their chance for 4 years now and, by Yankee standards, they have failed.

I suspect that, when push comes to shove, Mo and Posada, if given good contract offers, would stick with the Yankees. If they leave in a fit of pique because Torre is let go, it really does seem like they would be acting like spoiled children. Other players on other teams learn to live with other managers all the time. Joe DiMaggio and Phil Rizzutto had to learn to deal with Casey Stengel. Even Mickey Mantle had to learn to deal with Ralph Houk and Johnny Kean.

Why are Mo and Posada so special?

2007-10-10 19:04:17
71.   tommyl
69 We'll be arguing about the strength of the starting catcher ;).

68 I'd hardly call that good news, but I guess I've said my peace. I agree that whatever decision they make, they should do it quick. Whatever I think of Joe as a manager at this point, he's been nothing but stand up to the FO. They should treat him the same. I just don't want to see another season of some old BFOG vet trotted out so someone like Shelly Duncan can ride the pine. And then have everyone wonder why we've started so slow again.

2007-10-10 19:04:52
72.   Hugh Jorgan
Red Sox fan alert!! Good article and I can see your point, but I'm not sure if motivating the player for the playoffs is actually his job. If you can't get motivated by yourself when the playoffs roll around, then maybe its the player(s) that need to move on. Most teams(mine included), would love to have had the stability of Torre for 12 years; and the subsequent playoff oppotunities.
What I can see is that maybe with NY actually getting a lot younger in the starting rotation, bringing in someone who can manage that aspect a bit better. But blaming Torre for Jeter going 3 for 17 or Posada suddenly not hitting is just silly. The bottom line is NY has a chance to be awesome next year, but will generate those 95-100 wins in an entirely different fashion, it'll be fun to watch them actually win some 3-1 games.
2007-10-10 19:08:12
73.   tommyl
70 I think you hit the nail on the head there. I think with Mo, he's more upset with a pattern he's noticing in the treatment of Bernie and Joe, i.e. loyalty only lasts until the player is deemed not useful (this is BS of course, Bernie wasn't really too useful when he was brought back last year), but I can see where Mo is coming from. He's also upset they wouldn't negotiate with him in the spring, and I can see his point there. I don't think Mo would leave out of spite, its just not his style, and he's done nothing but say he respects the Yankees. If he leaves, it will be because most if not all the people he feels close to on this team are gone. That's his call, and I hope he doesn't do it, because he's leaving out the fans who have loved him for years.
2007-10-10 19:10:02
74.   tommyl
72 You make some good points. I think people here are more upset at moves like say, batting A-Rod eighth and benching Melky last year. In addition, in close games, Joe's poor in game tactics have a more substantial effect, hence he hurts them a bit more in the playoffs.
2007-10-10 19:11:18
75.   jonm
Thanks for doing that work 69 .

Where's Giambi?
Also, Sanchez may be able to add some depth to that bullpen.
Looking at it that way, the big worry is catcher, of course.

BLASPHEMY ALERT, but Mo is the most expendable of the big 3. His season, as far as win shares are concerned (take this with a grain of salt) has him as only the 14th best reliever in the AL this year.

2007-10-10 19:12:36
76.   tommyl
75 Well that's assuming we could sign Lowell. That's a pretty big assumption.
2007-10-10 19:13:30
77.   OldYanksFan
69 Dude... I seriously, seriously hope that post wasn't intended to make anyone feel better.

Duncan in the field everyday?
Ramirez CLOSING?
Hey... can we at least throw Giambi in there in hopes we break 100 HRs?

(Ramirez CLOSING? Good lord!)

2007-10-10 19:14:11
78.   Sliced Bread
69 Not suggesting the world will end without Joe, but the franchise is undergoing a soulectomy. This has to be acknowledged. These players and their manager are the soul of the team, and there is such a thing, and that's what's at stake.

I'm fine with the club getting younger, and different, but this pervasive "don't let the door hit you in the ass" treatment of Joe has to stop.

68 Yo, beagle's long asleep on the couch, and the kids already got their g'nite hugs, but thanks for lookin' out OldYanksFan!

2007-10-10 19:20:05
79.   joejoejoe
75 I forgot about Giambi. Move Damon to 1B, Matsui to LF, and Giambi to DH and the team gets better offensively. I always thought the Giambi move was horrible so I must have blocked him out of my mind. Veteran AL teams need available DH ABs to rest players and develop new talent. Unless you have an Ortiz I don't think you should invest money in a DH. It's better to overpay for good platoon talent and use that to soak up DH at-bats.
2007-10-10 19:20:56
80.   Bama Yankee
78 I'm with you, Sliced.

(Hope things are better for you tomorrow...)

2007-10-10 19:24:03
81.   joejoejoe
77 I was going to put Farnsworth as closer but I thought I might get banned from Banter.
2007-10-10 19:26:38
82.   SF Yanks
78 80 That makes three of us!
2007-10-10 19:28:19
83.   Sliced Bread
80 Thank you, Bama.

81 I can't wait until Farnswacker punches LaRussa (or Valentine, or both) in the head.

2007-10-10 19:29:18
84.   Bama Yankee
69 I posted a similar lineup the other day after looking at Cliff's updated sidebar:

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Giambi 1B
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
Betemit 3B
Molina C
Melky CF

BUC of the month club



It was just my thought of what the roster would look like without A-Rod, Posada and Mo. If those guys left and we were even able to keep Andy (and we didn't sign any free agents) then we would be left with the above. I figured that without Mo, Joba would end up as the closer (innings limit and all). If Pettitte retires... well, I don't even want to think about that one...

2007-10-10 19:33:40
85.   yankz
Boy, that lineup is terrifying. Consider that Molina played over his head last year.

Does having 3 rookies in the rotation not scare anyone else?

2007-10-10 19:40:16
86.   joejoejoe
84 Regardless of the moves (A-Rod, Posada, Mo, Pettitte, Torre) next year is going to be about young starting pitching. If the young SP is good the team can compete for a World Championship. If it isn't, all the hitting in the world won't help (see 2007).

I think Joba is a starter all year. Maybe you move him to the pen like Tim Wakefield if you make the playoffs but it makes no sense to prefer 90 IP or Joba relief to 180 IP of Joba starting pitching.

2007-10-10 19:40:42
87.   OldYanksFan
It is interesting that in the intellectual debate of 'should Torre go', little has been mentioned about the ATROCIOUS way this has come down.

It is like George used his last breath to remind us of what a destructive, vandictive asshole he can be. How easy it is for him to undermine.

Lets see... Posada has a bad series and fails in some critical situation. As a result, Torre is humiliated and fired. Boy, I'll bet Jorge's feeling pretty good right now.

Jeter too. "I blow chunks, team loses, Joe is treated like a syphilitic dog." He probably feels pretty good too.

And Wang probably feels he single handedly broke up this family. This should really help him next year.

And Bowa, Pena and long time Yankees Guidry and Donny must feel pretty good about the Yankee organization now. Must be feeling a lot of pride in their jobs... and their future.

Yup... ole George really knows how to rally
the troups.

2007-10-10 19:42:27
88.   OldYanksFan
Not to mention how Sliced feels (and the beagle who narrowly escaped a good kicking).
2007-10-10 19:45:49
89.   Bama Yankee
86 For the record, I don't want to see Joba in the pen. I just thought that without Mo, that's what we would get. Although with limited innings, it is going to be hard for Joba to be a starter for the entire season. Maybe we need to try a six man rotation?

I'm out. Good night all...

2007-10-10 19:48:18
90.   Count Zero
Hmmm...I think most of my thoughts are already here.

But in case no one else mentioned it in this thread, you really can't allow players (no matter how tenured/respected) to dictate to management. You ask them for their opinion/thoughts and then you make your decision based on what you think. And if any of them choose to leave in a hissy fit like little be it. Otherwise, what happens when you decide to trade away a popular player? They veto you again?

In the end, this is a business not a popularity contest. Revenge is a waste of energy and indicates a lack of common sense when you choose it over your own best interest.

2007-10-10 19:51:19
91.   joejoejoe
73 I think failure to bring Bernie back as a player/coach type in the 25th roster spot in '07 is going to cost the Yankees many millions of dollars. Mo and Jorge aren't going to forget.

I think the Red Sox/Tim Wakefield contract is a good way to handle veteran players. The contract is a modest amount but it's got a rolling player option so the player can play as long as he wants with the club. It relies on pride for the player to call it quits an offers unlimited security and loyalty.

Throwing Bernie under the bus (he was 101 OPS+ in 130 games in '06) was stupid, especially for a team that gave 168 ABs to Wil Nieves and Miguel Cairo.

2007-10-10 20:00:15
92.   OldYanksFan
91 If Bernie could catch or play 1st, 2nd and 3rd, it may have been a different story.
Man, it's amazing the legacy poor Miggy left us with.

"Joe Torre kidnaps small children and eats them during the 7th inning stretch... after all, he gave Cairo 100 ABs."

"Brian Cashman allows Al Kida to use the Yankee facilites to hold meetings... after all, he allowed Torre to give Caio 100 ABs"

2007-10-10 20:08:03
93.   Yankees Chick
"Al Kida" sounds like a japanese cartoon superhero - - kid by day, saver of the world by night.
2007-10-10 20:10:24
94.   yankz
Bernie was, at best, a part-time, platoon DH on the 2007 Yankees. Absolutely no room for someone like that. I love Bernie as much as the rest of you, but it was the right move.

Posada and Rivera, however, have huge roles to play in 2008.

2007-10-10 20:19:11
95.   Orly Yarly NoWai
65 66 67 And there is egg on my face. I thought you said "...rooting for the Blue Jays next year" NOT what you actually said.

My bad; I apologize.

Still, though. Are you so tied to Torre's managing that you'd wish for the ruin of the franchise? That's what you want?

If Torre leaves and A-Rod, Posada and Mo follow him, meh. They can go right ahead. Hopefully Jeter gets traded so we can get on with the coming reorganization that will blast the team back into the dark ages. I can't see those lasting long, though. With someone like Cashman in control and our resourcecs, no one is indispensable, not A-Rod, not Posada, not Torre, not anyone.

2007-10-10 20:21:06
96.   OldYanksFan
2007-10-10 20:22:17
97.   OldYanksFan
Oh my God!!!
I'm listening to Boston News and they just reported a Red Sox fan was serverly beaten in NYC!


Say it ain't so!!

2007-10-10 20:24:14
98.   OldYanksFan
That's right guys.
Let Mo and Po and ARod go.
Because Torre's killing our chances to win!
(HE GAVE CAIRO 100 ABs!!!!!!!!!!! )
2007-10-10 20:35:26
99.   monkeypants
I am really amazed by all the hand wringing for Torre, how he is not getting the 'respect' or 'treatment' he deserves, how if he leaves every player on teh team will follow, etc. Professional baseball is a business in more ways than one: the team wants to make money and the team wants to win (these are often, but not always) closely related. Very successful teams know when to make difficult decisions--like letting go of an aging Babe Ruth or parting ways with Tom Landry.

As for the practical matters at hand:

1] I am convinced that Torre's weaknesses as a manager have increasingly outweighed his strengths. The team will be better without him, assuming they hire a competent manager. I may be wrong on both of these assumptions, but that is how I see it.

2] It will be very bad for next season if there is an exodus of players, but that may be the price for moving forward. Frankly, Mo is a 38 y.o. closer who probably only has a seaon or three of excellence left in his arm. Posada is a 35 y.o. catcher who likely also has but a few great seasons left. If they will stay for a reasonable price, great. If they demand exorbitant money or 5-year contracts, see ya'. If they refuse to sign with the Yankees unless Torre stays, good bye to the lot.

3] The only player who warrants the Brinks truck treatment is A-Rod--he is the only position player on the team who is all but certain to play at a HOF level for another five years.

4] The future of this team is tied up in their young pitching, at least until (unless?) young position talent is acquired. As such, the coaching should be geared to developing and protecting that talent.

5] Organizationally, the team still has huge blindspots (related to #4 above), especially catcher. They need to try to build up talent in these areas. No, they will likely never replace Jorge. But, the organization should be in a better position to withstand the loss of key, aging players--they need to have a better plan B to insure against the threatened exodus.

2007-10-10 20:40:03
100.   monkeypants
92 96 98 Wow, OYF, you're fired up tonight. Are you really Mattpat in disguise?

For the record, it was 107 AB (70 OPS+) for Miggy this year, and 222 AB (59 OPS+) last year. But he sure could play lots of positions.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-10-10 20:41:24
101.   Raf
87 I've said as much here, and @ WasWatching. If you're going to let Torre go, let him go because he lost control of the team, or is a PITA, or whatever. Blaming him for postseason failures, when in fact many of the games could've gone either way, doesn't sit right with me. And I'm not much of a Torre fan.
2007-10-10 20:42:49
102.   Sliced Bread
95 Root for the Jays? Aw, man, you mistook me for a Canadian. This is such a shit day.

Look, we disagree on Torre. I don't think he's ruining the franchise. I think it's in the club's best interests to retain him as manager as long as Jeter, Posada, and Rivera are the core players. If they're not still the core, then, by all means, bring on a different manager.

By the way, Cashman (who I generally admire and trust) is more still more replaceable than Jeter (who I do not overrate).

97 I'm in NW Joisey. My hands are clean. At least they're not bloody. Uh, wait... nah, red wine.

90 The Blue Jays are also a business. What's your point? Also, revenge has nothing to do with it. Posada and Rivera would follow Joe out of loyalty. I'd say fraternity, but really Torre is more a favorite uncle to them. That's different from revenge or spite.

And who's to say it's not in their best interests to leave? Maybe they all go wherever and help lift another franchise over the top. Maybe.

2007-10-10 20:44:27
103.   jonm
91 Actually, Wakefield's contract has a recurring CLUB option at $4 million a year. It's essentially the reserve clause at a fixed rate.

I wouldn't expect any other players to go for such a deal.

2007-10-10 20:47:03
104.   Raf
90 Given that post, it makes the decision to pass on both Perdo and Manny even more baffling.
2007-10-10 20:47:24
105.   Raf
er, Pedro
2007-10-10 21:12:23
106.   OldYanksFan
100 It was either that or kick the dog.
However, the discussion here is WAY past not seeing the forrest for the trees.

In theory, we want Joe gone because 11 consecutive PS appearances isn't enough. We need to WIN in the PS.

So we need to dump Joe because he has such a direct impact on our winning... unlike guys like Mo, Po, Andy and ARod, who simply take up bench space.

And we don't need our excellent, proven vets any more because we got PhilJoIan... who between them don't have a single years worth of MLB experience... and because it's impossible that they, like many young phenoms, could have arm problems or suffer other industries.

(HE GAVE CAIRO 100 ABs!!!!!!!!!!! )

All of a sudden this team, that ONE WEEK AGO EVERYONE LOVED TO PIECES can be broken up because we can't have guys upset over our psychodic owners senility induced tantrum.

So screw Mo, and Po, and Andy and ARod and anyone else who is terribly saddened at this sudden turn of events, who may even feel some responsibility for it. And lets put George back in the saddle.

This is a business dammit! If Ford can roast people alive in their Pintos in the name of profit, why should the yankees care what the guys who are the core of one of the greatest baseball runs in history think!

This is a business! The Yankees and YES are only valued at 4 billion dollars!!!

Put Mo and Po and Andy and ARod in a god damn Pinto and let Jeter drive!


I watch too much Kung Fu and maybe... maybe dropped a little too much acid.

But really...
Look whats happening here.
Hell... the only voice of reason here is Sliced... and HE'S NUTS.

There is some good reading ar MVN/Off the Facade. Managers and Santana. Check it out.

And get some sleep guys.
Ya ain't thinking straight.
We got a manager who cries when he talks about his boys.
How can you replace that?

2007-10-10 21:17:23
107.   Max
I've posted before that I'm open to a change this year, and that as much as I've defended Torre in the past, I'm well aware of his weaknesses.

With that said, I'm not quite getting a central point of Bruce's column -- why Torre was worth defending last year but not this year. If anything, I thought the firing of Joe was much more justified last year (as well as 2004, obviously).

Yes, people are doing the usual second-guessing of Joe's decisions and demeanor, but I'd argue that this year's playoff exit had less of Joe's fingerprints than any other playoff series of recent vintage. If your "ace" can't even go five innings in game 1 or two freaking innings in game 4, if your $28 million man breaks down and can't give you a playoff start, if your Captain and your Career Year Catcher (both ardent Torre loyalists) spit the bit horrendously -- this is the manager's fault?

I expect Joe to be gone, and I still expect the majority of the protesting players to be back. But I actually thought Torre did a better job this year than he has done in a while, and he demonstrated more openness to youth and alternative approaches (albeit with a gun to his head or very strong persuasion skills from Cashman and others in the organization) than he has in recent years.

Yes, he still kinda sucks with the bullpen, but as has been argued eloquently by a few people here, the idea that he kills setup men is highly overstated, and the reality is that the quality of our starting pitching has fallen off a cliff since 2003, which has forced Joe to work with the bullpen in a less than optimal way for many years now -- the idea that Joe is that much worse than other managers when it comes to having to manage a motley crew of arms from the 5th inning on because a starter can't deliver a quality start...I don't buy it.

I think Cashman is being given much too much of a pass in this whole discussion, given four years of patchwork solutions involving mediocre, aging pitching, with occasional lightning in a bottle (Chacon, Small, Lieber etc) and some true disasters (Igawa, Pavano). But we've covered this ground before.

2007-10-10 21:23:52
108.   markp
If it was just Cairo this year, you might have a point.

That's not even close to the truth-it's Sojo playing a lot of 1B with far better options available. Ditto Zeile and Enrique Wilson. It's Terrence Long and Gil Heredia and Tony Womack.

Trying to make it sound like people are reacting to the (idiotic) use of Cairo at 1B earlier this year is disingenuous. The use of Cairo wasn't anything like an isolated incident. In fact the opposite is true, it's de-rigueur for Torre to do things like that.

2007-10-10 21:28:27
109.   monkeypants
107 Many good points. I thought Torre should have been gone last year (as my numerous posts throughout the year confirm). I agree that this year's PS loss had little to do with Torre's tactical tendencies, though I would also contend that the same poor tactical patterns were still there. I am not convinced that Torre's managing this year was substantially better than last year, however. His integration of youth had more to do with Cashman taking all of his toys away (namely Cairo) than with any new-found creativity with personnel. Finally, I agree on Cashman, though I tend to be more of Cashman apologist.
2007-10-10 21:31:47
110.   monkeypants
108 Indeed! In fact, the strident reaction to Cairo's usage this year (my self included) was a direct result of such repeated tactics over the years. The CAIRO!!!!!! comments in early season threads didn't come out of nowhere--they were, as you point out, rooted in a historical context.
2007-10-10 21:44:51
111.   Orly Yarly NoWai
106 "However, the discussion here is WAY past not seeing the forrest for the trees. In theory, we want Joe gone because 11 consecutive PS appearances isn't enough. We need to WIN in the PS."

You're making it sound like all of us are just pissed at this season and this postseason. For me at least, it goes back to the aftermath of the 2001 season, when Torre became completely unable to use his relievers without destroying them.

"So we need to dump Joe because he has such a direct impact on our winning... unlike guys like Mo, Po, Andy and ARod, who simply take up bench space."

Joe DOES have an impact on our winning and anyone who watched Games One or Four knows that. No, he doesn't have as much impact as a player, but he's not completely blameless either.

"And we don't need our excellent, proven vets any more because we got PhilJoIan... who between them don't have a single years worth of MLB experience... and because it's impossible that they, like many young phenoms, could have arm problems or suffer other industries."

Excellent, proven vets? Like, say, Giambi? Mussina was pretty excellent this year, right? Cairo was and is pretty proven. Maybe we should get Richie Sexon for 1B and David McGrittyHustleVet Eckstein to take second base from young, unproven Robinson Cano. Barry Bonds can take over from Melky.

Young players are important. Of course they could get injured. That happens to a lot of players, including vets like Damon, Giambi, Pedro, Johnson and Moose. Things happen. That doesn't mean we should discount them. Prospects have to make an impact eventually, and for Joba, Kennedy and Hughes, that time is now.

Of course, we can't field a team entirely of prospects, but we can't write them off either.

"All of a sudden this team, that ONE WEEK AGO EVERYONE LOVED TO PIECES can be broken up because we can't have guys upset over our psychodic owners senility induced tantrum."

Let me revise that:

All of a sudden this team, that one week ago most people thought was quite talented but also quite flawed, can be broken up because the flaws need to be addressed.

"So screw Mo, and Po, and Andy and ARod and anyone else who is terribly saddened at this sudden turn of events, who may even feel some responsibility for it. And lets put George back in the saddle."

How does this make any sense? He's the owner. He gets to make the decisions. In this case, I agree that looking into replacing Torre is a good one. I think something needs to happen quickly, and I don't like leaving everyone to twist in the wind, but I still think it should happen. As for Crazy George, by all accounts this is the first time all season he's been lucid.

"This is a business dammit! If Ford can roast people alive in their Pintos in the name of profit, why should the yankees care what the guys who are the core of one of the greatest baseball runs in history think!"

Look, what do you expect? You really think the players are going to come out and say that Torre's a horrid guy who they can't wait to get rid of? Torre's a great player's manager, and he's built a rapport with the players. Last time I checked, though, managers were hired for being good managers, not because they were nice guys.

"This is a business! The Yankees and YES are only valued at 4 billion dollars!!!

That's reductionist and silly. Of course we have to worry about the players, but they don't run the store, either.

2007-10-10 21:47:08
112.   monkeypants
106 "This is a business dammit! If Ford can roast people alive in their Pintos in the name of profit, why should the yankees care what the guys who are the core of one of the greatest baseball runs in history think!"

I hardly think that gross industrial negligence compares to "mistreating" a manager by deciding not to renew his contract which had expired after paying the man millions of dollars. Similarly, I'm not sure how paying a player tens of millions of dollars and then deciding that it is not a smart baseball move to resign said player in his mid- or late-30s for an expensive longterm contract equates with "WE CAN"T AFFORD TO WORRY ABOUT THE PLAYERS!!!" Frankly, I 'worry' about most professional athletes quite little--they seem to have things worked out pretty well for themselves.

2007-10-10 21:50:51
113.   OldYanksFan
A manager, over the course of 162 games, makes how many moves we see? 500? 750? 1000? More? So you can quote 20 or 30 or 50 moves you think are stupid (even though other managers and Cashman might disagree with you).

So what. You think this is science?
I live in NH, and until 2 years ago when I got MLB.TV, I watch all the Sox games. I've probably watched 140 Sox games a year for 6 or 7 years. Post game shows too.

Wanna guess how many time the Post Game team, the media, the fans questioned managerial moves?

Do you have friends who are fans of another team and have watched all their games? How many 'bonehead' managerial moves can they count?

This year, I can document 100 shitty ABs for Posada. Ks, DPs, bad swings, swinging at ball 4, etc. Does this make Posada a terrible hitter?

There is something most people here don't get. We see Torre maybe 15 hrs/week. What we DON'T see is the other 65 hours that Torre works. We have no clue what he does. Yeah, he handles Steinbrenner, the media, the players, yada, yada, yada.

But thats the REAL work a manager does. Thats why the players and coaches support Torre, because they are there are they see that stuff. They understand what it takes.
I don't think Torre can be replaced.
MVN said it well. Torre was born to manage in NY. We know there are many who can't.

107 Very fair analysis Max. One good game from Wang, a few hits from Po and Jetes, and they're building a statue of Torre outside the new Yankee Stadium right now.

2007-10-10 21:55:24
114.   Orly Yarly NoWai
113 By the same token, the players are smart enough to know that criticising the manager openly is not generally a good idea. I'm not saying they're upset and concealing it, but if I don't know the inside scoop, I don't see how you can.

As for Posada, yes, he's had 100 shat ABs. So has every other hitter on his level. What matters is what he does with the rest. The same deal with Torre and his moves. 90% of the things managers do are done by every manager. What separates the good from the bad is the other 10%.

2007-10-10 22:11:09
115.   OldYanksFan
114 I wasn't picking on Po. I was trying to demonstrate that even great hitters make pleanty of outs. And all managers, even the very best, make many questionable moves.

The fact the we can document many questionable moves by Torre, does not make a case to me that he's a bad manager. Especially because the things he does really well are not really visible to us.

2007-10-10 22:16:55
116.   monkeypants
115 You make good points about the hidden contributions of a manager. The only problem I see with this approach is that it basically makes it impossible to criticize any manager, since we never get to see most of what they do? How is a manager to be judged, then? Soley by the loyalty of his players? But clearly the willingness of followers to do what a leader wants is not proof that what he wants is the best course of action--that goes for politics, business, war, etc.
2007-10-10 22:30:53
117.   weeping for brunnhilde
35 "Maybe the tribe had the Yankees gameplanned perfectly and executed against that gameplan perfectly, but maybe it was just bad luck."

I think this is a great analysis, Schteeve.

Byrd came right the fuck after our guys with his slop and we just took it all for strikes. Then, amazingly, when the chips were down, we still saw a fair number of meatballs and inexplicably failed to "take care of them," as Flaherty would say.

I think that's in part what Bruce means by "the killer instinct."

There's simply no excuse, as far as I'm concerned, for such "good hitters" to be so flummoxed by Byrd's performance. Byrd outfoxed them, he didn't overwhelm them. Being "outfoxed" to me suggests the necessity to adjust with a "see-the-ball,-hit-the-ball" approach, which it doesn't appear to me that they did.

"Good hitters" should be adept at both patience and contact. These are major league hitters, we shouldn't have to choose.

It's hard for me to believe they're simply not skilled enough to do this. Rather, I heartily believe there's a failure of coaching somewhere. A failure to stress versatility of approach over perfection of one approach, in this case, patience.

The hitters let the perfect (the fat pitch you can drive) be the enemy of the good (the pitch good enough to hit hard somewhere).

From my perspective, this is often their undoing and good coaching should be able to remedy this.

2007-10-10 22:34:18
118.   yankz
117 I would say it's impossible for a team to lead the league in H, AVG, OBP, SLG, and HR while lacking some knowledge of hitting. I mean, to lead the league in every one of those categories requires them do hit good, strike-throwing pitchers at least some of the time.

But, after the past few Octobers, who the "codswallop" knows.

OK, goodnight all.

2007-10-10 22:39:30
119.   OldYanksFan
116 Thats true... but managing in NY, and managing a group of high paid, high profile players is especially hard. Throw in steinbrenner, and you have a real challenge. We know this by how many have failed. We had 19 managers in 21 years before Torre. That says something. How a manager is able to interact with players, coaches and management tells some of the story. Comments by other managers says something.

But it is hard to judge. Maybe that's why managers move around a bit. It may be easier to know when you have a good one, rather then when you have a bad one.

I still think that managers get to much credit for both team success and failure. Torre says his job is to deflect distractions and allow his players to be able to play the best they can.

But the loyalty that is being displayed for Torre is not average. All players stand up for their manager to some degree, but the tone from our guys is different. And coaches see managers come and go all the time. Yet it seemed our guys are very moved/disturbed at losing Joe.

I really don't know how you judge. My feelings come from looking at the Yankees as a team before Torre and during Torre. And that's night and day.

Did you read this?

2007-10-10 23:04:41
120.   monkeypants
119 Decent article.

It's tough to compare the Torre Yankees to the pre-Torre Yankees. They are very different, as you say. But Torre's arrival corresponded with the arrival of a massive influx of talent (really, the talent started to arrive a year or two before)...and it really is hard to determine, then, if they won because of talent despite Torre, regardless of Torre, because of Torre, and so on.

The loyalty they are showing IS unusual, but then again, the circumstances are unusual. How often in modern professional sports does such a significant core of a team stay together under the same manager for many years? This in turn raises a couple of interesting questions/observations:

1] For all the criticism of Steinbrenner, it was his money and (relative) patience that allowed Bernie, Jeter, Mo, Posada (and to some degree Mussina, Giambi) and Torre to all work together so long. Big Stein gives and he taketh away.

2] It hasn't all been unqualified loyalty--what about Sierra (part 1), Lofton, Sheffield, Womack, and especially Buddy Groom, who all complained about the way they were treated by Torre. Ys, most of these guys either stunk or are crazy. Still...Groom's case is particularly intriguing : complaining that Torre had a few "boys" that he trusted, while refusing to use other players. Maybe Torre garners such loyaly from his "boys" at the expense of marginalizing other players?

2007-10-10 23:12:01
121.   monkeypants
119 An interesting and relevant counter-snippet, by Bill James via NoMaas (a site that carries the Fire Torre campaign a little too far):

"In 1997, Bill James researched the impact and effectiveness of MLB managers. Here are some excerpts from his Guide to Baseball Managers:

'All managers, as a group are most effective in their early years on the job. I did a study of 103 managers who managed at least 600 at least 600 major league games, a group basically including all twentieth-century manaters who had significant careers and are now retired. The study documented something which is apparent if you just look at the records. A huge percentage of managers have their best seasons a) when they first get a chance to manage, and b) in their first years on the job.

Nonetheless, the most obvious fact about managers is that almost all managers become ineffective after two or three years in a position.

The most important question that a manager asks is "What needs to be changed around here?" Any manager, over time, loses the ability to see what needs to be changed.

There is the manager's loyality to his players. A new manager owes nobody nothing. He can bench or release unproductive players without apology. An established manager can't do that - not only because of his own reluctance to break faith with players who have given him their best efforts, but because of what it means to the rest of the team.'"

2007-10-10 23:34:27
122.   joejoejoe
119 I like Torre and I'll be fine if he comes back but it's over-the-top to suggest 'If Torre goes, the team will blow up'. There is a greater tradition in NY than Joe Torre alone.

New York will still be the biggest market. The Yankees will still be the most recognized team. The team will still have 18 players under contract no matter what happens with the free agents. There is a lot of stability there that isn't getting mentioned.

As for old Yankees, Torre's calm and class isn't translating into any higher rate of championships than Martin's piss and vinegar. Billy Martin, nobody's model of stability, won 2 World Championships in 941 games as manager. Joe Torre has won 4 World Championships in 1942 games. Dick Howser, Gene Michael, and Lou Piniella were all different personalities and excellent managers. The great Casey Stengel, with 7 titles in his 12 years to Torre's 4, was let go after going 97-57 and losing in the World Series to the Pirates in 1960. The biggest tradition of all is nothing lasts forever. Not everybody gets to stick around one more year to win and depart as a champion. Paul O'Neill didn't, Bernie didn't, I'm not sure why it's any sadder if Joe Torre can't either.

If Torre leaves, he leaves beloved, rich, and well-respected to an ocean of other offers. His sad departure would be better than most people's wildest dreams.

2007-10-10 23:36:22
123.   marc
119 great article. I think this rush to dump Torre by this owner with fading mental abilities is pathetic. Torre made it clear in the post-game interview that he still wants to manage. I have to say I won't feel too bad if he comes back on a different inferior AL team and gives the Yankees fits. I suspect it's George's money that has made it so difficult to win let alone repeat a WS. Revenue sharing, luxury tax and whatever has produced parity and even a bigger crap shoot in the post season than before. A manager can reasonably be judged on 162 game season. On that level Torre could end up 1st or second for manager of the year. He can't reasonable know his ace is going to be complete crap or just when his set-up man pitches the wind would stop and a swarm of bugs would decide that Joba's head, eyes ears, nose and mouth was their home and the wind wouldn't start blowing again until it's too late.
2007-10-11 04:30:54
124.   randym77
121 That's really interesting. It makes sense to me. IME, it applies in many areas of life, so why not in baseball? You need to shake things up once in awhile.

That's really why I think Torre should go. He's simply been there too long. It's time for a change.

I don't really blame him for this post-season. (2005, yes, I do blame him for that.) But this season...I did not "love this team to pieces," ever. I loved some things about it, but it was clear to me even in spring training that this team was going to struggle. In fact, before the season started, I told a Boston-fan friend of mine that this year was probably the year the Sox were going to take the division. For one reason: pitching.

2007-10-11 04:37:19
125.   Raf
119 Can't really compare the two; only a handful of the 19 were really any good
2007-10-11 04:56:47
126.   JL25and3
109 "His integration of youth had more to do with Cashman taking all of his toys away (namely Cairo) than with any new-found creativity with personnel."

Revisionism. I'd argue that he used Cairo this year when he had no good options. But in any case, Joe stopped playing Cairo - by choice - long before Cashman traded him. Within a few days of when Andy Phillips came up - in late June - Cairo was on the bench for good. After that, virtually all of his appearances were as a pinch-runner, or as a late-inning replacement for Jeter in blowouts.

2007-10-11 05:27:44
127.   monkeypants
126 Perhaps--I'd have to review the game logs more closely, but a quick perusal shows that he was still starting games into July, after which his playing time was cut. By then, of course, Torre's little protest had resulted in the release of Josh Phelps (whether that was a good thing or not). Moreover, Phillips was called up in mid-June, but did not begin starting regularly until late-June/early-July, after he got hot. The big gap in Cairo's playing time in August was due to injury, if I recall correctly.
2007-10-11 05:58:17
128.   Rob Middletown CT
I'm neutral on Torre. He has clear faults (bullpen, inexplicable use of bench players), but also has strengths. More importantly, I worry that the devil we know is better than the devil we don't know.

The players should not run the team. However, if Posada & Mo both leave (setting aside ARod for a moment), the Yanks are not going to the playoffs next year. Not even if the young pitching does well. So I am concerned about the scenario where Torre leaves and those guys bail too.

There is no point in "blowing up" this team. There is no prospect coming up to replace Posada. ARod's replacement would be either Betemit (ugh) or possibly Lowell (meh). Mo's replacement would likely be Joba, meaning his potential to be a #1 starter may never be realized (ack!).

2007-10-11 06:09:18
129.   JL25and3
127 It took 9 days. Phillips was called up on 6/19, and on 6/29 he was the first baseman. His first few games there he was 1-for-8, but he stayed there. (Cairo did start two games a week later, when Phillips had a sore neck.)

The big gap in August wasn't because of injury, it was because of Betemit. Again, once Torre had a better option, he stopped playing Cairo entirely.

2007-10-11 06:10:11
130.   JL25and3
129 Dumbass. That was 6/28. Nine days.
2007-10-11 06:13:36
131.   OldYanksFan
Does it matter that when Cairo was in, and played regularly, he played pretty well? He wasn't Bonds, but he wasn't a black hole either.

And can we forget about Cairo and substitute DougOut? People were ready to set themselves on fire over Torre playing Dougout. But after a 1 month slump he started hitting, and played excellent defense. By PS time, there might have been those that were glad to see him on the field.

But DougOut was yet another poster boy for the Fire Torre/Cashman cabal.

Am I a big DougOut fan? Not! But these are the reasons people think Torre should go?

I don't think Mo and Po will go. ARod is my only worry. How well everyone plays next year under a new guy will have to be seen. But if we go back to the 'circus days', I will be more bummed then I can express.

We have it really good. I think we can tweak what we have, Torre has already shown change on the way he handled the kids this year.

And lastly, this would all be 'mute' if we has won. If we had won one in 2000-2006, I don't think it would be an issue.

Big Steins action is based solely on not winning in the PS's of the last 7 years. And certainly, the last 4 years is on the players.

2007-10-11 07:18:39
132.   Raf
131 DougOut was a bad signing, Travis Lee redux. That it worked out this year, doesn't make it a good signing.
2007-10-11 07:58:52
133.   monkeypants
129 Fair enough.
2007-10-11 09:26:45
134.   wsporter
131 OYF I wish this nonsense was all "mute". I'm in lock step with Slice on this and can't believe I'm quoting Gammons to sustain a point but here goes ... "After 12 years of respect, competence and dignity, Joe Torre is almost certainly out as manager,..."

It's still a shit day and this is still a shit topic. Look at the alternatives to Mr. Torre and try not to giggle when you imagine one of them locked in the manager's office in the midst of a 5 game loosing streak in August with the Malignant Dwarf pounding on the door. Yeah he definitely has to go; it's the only way to save the franchise from ... well ... respect, competence and dignity I guess.

2007-10-11 16:10:04
135.   Schteeve
117 Yeah but the problem with the "see the ball hit the ball" approach is that it doesn't tend to work so well in the regular season, Exhibit A the Cubs. Those aren't the kind of hitters we are built around anyway. So it would require a fundamental change in approach, not just a tactical change once October rolls around.

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