Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Irreconcilable Differences
2007-10-18 16:54
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Joe Torre Era appears to be finally over. Unless the Yankees or Torre have a sudden about-face, which seems unlikely, it's done. "And that's that," as Martin Scorsese's father said in Good Fellas over Joe Pesci's fallen, and bleeding body.

Torre became an icon as manger of the Yankees, a native son who was one of the most popular and famous coaches New York has ever seen. He was far and away the most successful manager under George Steinbrenner. And he managed more than twice as many games as anyone under the Boss. Torre made the playoffs in each of his twelve years in New York. But the Yankees have not won the World Series since 2000 and Torre makes more than twice as much as any other manager in the game. Today, the Yankees made Torre an offer he could refuse. It was not an outrageously insulting offer, but it is one they could reasonably expect him to turn down.

Torre did and now is out, but on his own terms. "He finally showed some balls," barked a friend of mine. I didn't think Torre would ever walk away from the Yankees, but I like him more for it. And he still comes out smelling like a Rose. To be honest, I agree with Joe Morgan and several other talking heads I've heard tonight in seeing both sides of the equation. I understand why Torre turned them down. After all of his success you'd think he'd get more than a one-year deal. But I also understand that the Yankees would still be paying more well more than any other manager is earning. It's not bad business on their part.

I don't know if the Yankees have any idea of what they are doing (Also, I find Randy Levine to be crude without having any of Steinbrenner's charm). It's funny, but even hardcore Yankee fans are skeptical about the idea of Don Mattingly as manager. Some are terrified. Which is about how I feel too, even though I loved Mattingly as a player. But I thought Torre was a bum when they hired him too, so one never knows...

I'd still expect to see Posada and Rivera back, even without Torre. Who knows with Alex Rodriguez and I'm not so certain about Pettitte either. I'm okay with the Yankees moving on. It makes things exciting. But it also feels uneasy. So much change: the loss of Bernie and now Torre, the decline of Steinbrenner. Who knows what the roster will look like on Opening Day?

I will also miss Torre very much. I grew accustomed to his face, as the song goes. I love watching him on TV--he gives great press conference--and am a flat-sucker for the Poppa Joe routine. I was 25 and had just moved to Brooklyn when he was hired. Torre looked like an undertaker or the butcher from the neighborhood. His time with the Yankees will always stand out as a way to look at a certain time of my life--from being single and working in the film business, to being married and writing about baseball. In fact, it was the great Yankee run of the late nineties that compelled me to start writing about baseball in the first place.

Torre has been a wonderful manager and I've never been especially bugged about his shortcomings, though I recognize he's got plenty. I'll especially love the days with Don Zimmer, not only because the Yankees were winning all the time, just because those two were so amusing. Torre sure loved being Yankee manager and without the pinstripes he may be a little bit like Superman without the cape and suit. But I'm sure he'll land back in the broadcast booth--if he doesn't go and manage the Dodgers or something like that--and still be appealing.

Thanks for the memories, Joe. You done good.

Comments (121)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-10-18 17:41:25
1.   idahoyankee
If anyone hears about Torre coaching another team - please let me know so i can go buy a hat and and follow Torre's team - has any coach ever ever ever taken a team to the post season 12 years in a row?
2007-10-18 17:42:51
2.   Alex Belth
Bobby Cox...
2007-10-18 17:48:03
3.   FirstMohican
Red Auerbach?
2007-10-18 17:48:17
4.   Flip Play
As an LA resident within ten minutes of Dodger Stadium, Torre as manager might be the thing that finally gets me to show an interest in my local ball club.
2007-10-18 17:48:25
5.   nemecizer
All of a sudden I am more nervous about next season that I was. But like you, Alex, I thought Torre was a bum when they hired him, and boy was I proven wrong. I'll give the new guy a chance.

This is going to be one of the more interesting off seasons in awhile.

Go Tribe, then Go Rockies.

2007-10-18 17:50:35
6.   ms october
0 Very nice write-up. I completely share your sentiments on the 2 main points:
I can see both sides of the equation - "It was not an outrageously insulting offer, but it is one they could reasonably expect him to turn down."
Also, we are being forced to move on from so many - Bernie was one of my most favorite Yanks. Whether he re-signs or not (and I really really hope he does) Mo will not be around that much longer. Torre is gone and so it goes. Change is always scary - it is harder for most people to believe in the possibility of better rather than the fear of worse. I am very excited to see Cano develop further and of course the young pitchers. I hope if Alex stays and he does have the ear of Melky and Cano they work out with him this winter and on their hitting. The future is promising and exciting - but it is hard to let go of a wonderful past.
2007-10-18 17:51:40
7.   Chyll Will
I was thinking the same thing: I'm okay with this. I had prepared a long epilogue for Torre, the recent events and how they relate to life, but my roommate erased everything I wrote when I strayed from the computer to answer the phone (grrr...) Just as well, since much of what I wanted to say was already said by Sliced, dianagrmr, Shaun P and even William.

I feel a strange tingle... is it the future? maybe, but as much as I will miss Torre, the decision was out of my hands and nothing I do will change anything, so let's go. Let us now address the rest of the needs, while respecting what has been accomplished.

If this really is it, it's been real, Mr. Torre... and I hope we can maintain the qualities you brought out in this club that made you so intriguing to those who despised you and those who are grateful for you.

Now, it's all on you, FO. "Clueless Joe" has left and gone astray, and a weary fanbase turns to you in it's time of... need?

2007-10-18 17:52:21
8.   joejoejoe
It was a great run. I'll miss the stuff from Spring Training, the tales of car rides across Florida with Yogi in car asleep with a newspaper open in front of him and about 100 years of baseball experience and a dozen and half championships in the carpool. Thanks Joe!
2007-10-18 18:13:07
9.   Simone
Good for Joe. He knew that the Yankees really didn't want him so he told them to go to hell. The Yankees and his harshest critics won't have him to kick around no more.

I'm miss Joe. He was the Yankee manager of my generation and a damn good one which is why the constant picking at him ticks me the hell off. Joe won my heart by wearing his emotion on his sleeve. I have never thought that the manager does much beyond managing personalities and the pitching, but Joe convinced me that he did "something." I wish Joe all the best in his future endeavors.

2007-10-18 18:34:40
10.   thelarmis
1 it's college, but Joe Paterno took Penn State to a bowl game in 13 consecutive seasons...

Thanks, Joe. I will miss you...

2007-10-18 18:43:15
11.   ny2ca2dc
Thanks Alexandro, you really nailed how I'm also feeling. Torre even looks a bit like my Grandfather, and they have a lot of the same mannerisms (especially the cheek/head patting and misty eyes), both being lovable NY Italians. I really wish they could've worked out some kind of arrangement where Torre would remain with the organization somehow, consultant or something. I also like Joel Sherman's scheme.

I might add, though, that the reaction of the Pete Abes & Tom Verduccis of the world I could do without. What unbalanced windbags.

Go forth and prosper, Joe Torre, and on with the next chapter.

2007-10-18 18:51:26
12.   yankz
Alex, that pretty much sums up how I feel. As I posted in the last thread, it's a full dozen years. That's a long, long period of time in anything, especially sports.

Joe, wherever you are, I hope you're happy and I miss ya already. I just hope you taught Donnie or Girardi all you could while they served under you.

2007-10-18 18:53:42
13.   yankz
If you'll indulge me...

if Girardi becomes manager, I don't think Mattingly would stick around to watch a young guy manage the team he wanted. So, I would ask Bowa to be the bench coach.

In which case, Luis Sojo for 3rd base coach!

2007-10-18 18:55:04
14.   Zack
4 Be careful what you wish for. Right manager for the right team. Before the Yanks, Torre was an unsuccessful manger and was ridiculed when hired in NY. He benefited from being the right person for the right team at the right time in the right city. He might be good elsewhere, he might not. Who knows, but don't expect Joe Torre to suddenly turn things around. Remember, the Yankees made the playoffs the year before Joe was hired as well...

I'll miss Joe, and I appreciate what he has done with the Yankees. But I am having a very very hard time with this outpouring of grief and anger. People are acting like the Yankees owed Joe Torre a huge contract for lots of years. The same thing people said about Bernie--The Yankees owed him a few more years because of his past.

The Yankees owed Joe Torre a more graceful exit I suppose, but I am excited to move as well, with the new generation of talent coming up...

2007-10-18 19:01:09
15.   yankz
Via Pete Abe: "Meanwhile just spoke to somebody I know who is tight with Mariano Rivera. He said that Mo is more determined than ever to test the market after the developments of today.

Mo's comment: "The Yankees are one of 30 teams now." "

Cashman better have his A-game and a gigantic check ready.

2007-10-18 19:02:50
16.   Bama Yankee
Thanks for the memories, Joe.

10 Speaking of college football, Bear Bryant took Alabama to 24 consecutive bowl games. That's one of the major reasons why it has been difficult to replace him. I'm sure you guys are going to have a similar problem replacing Paterno at Penn State.

Hopefully, the Yankees will have an easier time replacing Joe...

2007-10-18 19:03:05
17.   Sliced Bread
Great tribute to Joe, Alex, and I think an accurate take on what went down.

I don't like the way they handled it, but like I said here the other day, Joe was going to come out of Tampa Tribunal '07 a winner no matter what they decided.
Way to go, Joe!

Nothing that happened this week will diminish what he accomplished. We will honor and thank him always. We will always wear our caps more proudly because of how he defined the club '96-'07. What more could we want from a manager?

Funny you mention where you were in your life when Joe came aboard, Alex. I've been thinking along the same lines tonight. I turned 30 in May of '96, got married in June of that year, moved from NY to Los Angeles in July. Then, there was that unbelievable October that started this unforgettable run. A dynasty. An era. Ours! and Torre was the lovable leader.

I've long since become a father to three sons, and moved back to NY.

So much life has happened to all of us since Joe came aboard. How many New York minutes in 12 years, and Joe was as steady and sure as the clock and calendar. Such is the burden of a cornerstone.

Most impressive of all though? Torre was a survivor. That's gotta be the Brooklyn in him. Joe from the streets survived George Steinbrenner, the military businessman from Ohio with all the money and balls. Walked away from him an all-time winner, too. 12 years later.

It may be a while before we see any more rings and parades around here, but the pride, we'll always have that, thanks in a very big way to Joe Torre.

Way to go, Joe!

2007-10-18 19:06:24
18.   Sarasota
BLISTERING article by Tom Verducci......he gets'a about honesty and dignity........Randy Levine and the rest of those clowns have none.

2007-10-18 19:10:30
19.   thelarmis
15 ugh. Mo has to be back. he just has to. man, i'm no good with change... : /

16 it's gonna be an absolute mess when JoePa is no longer there. i shudder to think. he is an institution. he is Penn State. i was just there 2 months ago and it's still all about Joe there. gonna be weird that it's not about 'our' Joe in Yankeeland anymore... : ~

2007-10-18 19:13:12
20.   Zack
Looks like Josh is playing the game right yet again by mouthing off
2007-10-18 19:13:29
21.   thelarmis
HA! lofton going after PtGtRW. beautiful. lofton screamed a big "Fuck You" to fuckett, twice no less. gotta love it - go tribe!
2007-10-18 19:13:43
22.   monkeypants
18 Oh please. "Blood on their hands"--a little overwrought, don't you think?
2007-10-18 19:14:49
23.   monkeypants
19 " Mo has to be back. he just has to. man, i'm no good with change... : /"

In reality, no he doesn't. Posada and A-Rod, however, are much more sritical to next season's campaign.

2007-10-18 19:14:50
24.   Zack
18 I fail to see how Torre wanting more money makes him classier. I think he IS classier, but somehow Joe is coming out of this as a saint, which I dont buy. He turned down A LOT of $
2007-10-18 19:19:44
25.   cult of basebaal
18 blah, blah, blah ... bill plaschke could have written this shit ...

"Cashman has fancied himself a Billy Beane-Theo Epstein wanna-be, an intellectual GM known for running an efficient system, especially when it comes to player development, rather than just a guy who writes checks. He has traded veterans for prospects, embraced sabermetrics and surrounded himself with young number-crunchers who get jazzed about PlayStation tournaments. The more he has put his self-worth in the image of cutting-edge GM the less Torre and his old-school ways became relevant."

2007-10-18 19:19:51
26.   thelarmis
23 i agree, but pete abe's post was about Mo and so was yankz', so i was just commenting on that. good grief, it would be a total mess w/out Mo/Po/A-Rod, or 2 out of those 3 gone. i hope Andy comes back, too.

next ? -- who the hell is gonna hold onto to Jeter's bat in between ab's?!?!?! ; )

2007-10-18 19:21:33
27.   Zack
""Cashman has fancied himself a Billy Beane-Theo Epstein wanna-be, an intellectual GM known for running an efficient system, especially when it comes to player development, rather than just a guy who writes checks."

Hey Tom, Cashman was around BEFORE Theo

My God, Buck really really really really really really really like it when Beckett strikes a guy out. Judging by the way they are announcing this game, you would think the score was 12-0 and Beckett had struck everyone out

2007-10-18 19:23:51
28.   monkeypants
22 Well, at least the are talking about the game, rather than bemoaning the injustice committed against Joe Torre, as they did a couple of innings ago.
2007-10-18 19:24:20
29.   monkeypants
28 Whoops--that was meant for 27 .
2007-10-18 19:24:31
30.   ny2ca2dc
In other news, Josh Beckett is still a punk bitch.
2007-10-18 19:24:45
31.   Sliced Bread
24 Nah, he turned down the Steinbrenners, not the money. He has A LOT of $, and he'll make A LOT more regardless of the Yankees.

Team Steinbrenner didn't want him back, and didn't have the balls to say so. That was weak. What Joe did was the strong move.
Doesn't make him a saint. Doesn't make him a genius. But hell, moves like that can make you governor is bigger states than NY.

2007-10-18 19:26:37
32.   Zack
31 yeah, but the way its being covered, people are talking about the pay cut etc. I don't buy it though, Joe said he wanted to continue to manage the Yanks, I doubt he was turning down the Steinbrenners, he never had before. To me, just like with Mo, its all about the almighty $, on both sides...
2007-10-18 19:27:38
33.   joejoejoe
18 25 I thought that "PlayStation" crack was ridiculous. Hughes, Joba, Kennedy, Cano, Melky -- Cashman's player development is damn impressive. Verducci's piece was a childish rant.
2007-10-18 19:27:51
34.   51cq24
i didn't realize there was a new thread. here are my last 2 posts on the other one consolidated:

let me clarify what i mean about entitlement. the contract offered to joe torre is an insult if the baseline is his previous contract. if he uses that as the baseline, it is somewhat reasonable, but it does mean that he feels he is entitled to it. it is equally reasonable to put the baseline at 0, as in what he would make without a contract, or at whatever the average salary of a major league manager is, or at whatever the 2nd highest salary is if you like. if any of those are your baseline, then an offer of $5 million with up to $3 million in incentives is not insulting. remember how much money we are talking about here. the yankees did not have to offer him anything. if they didn't want him here anymore, they wouldn't have offered him anything- certainly not more than any other manager makes and more than what he makes if the incentives are included.

is he insulted by the incentives? maybe. but is it unfair to put incentives on making the postseason? why? they want him to lead the yankees to the world series. if he does that, he will make a ton of extra money.

again, he can only be insulted by this offer if he feels that he is entitled to what he had been making. otherwise he would take it as a wonderful offer, considering the team that he leads has failed to perform in the way the front office expects, and that he is still being offered considerably more than any other manager in the game.

let's say you're the president of a car company. as such, you make $700 million a year. over twice as much as the next-highest-paid car company president. you love your car company and all the people under you. but over the last 7 years other car companies have outperformed yours. you think you've done everything possible to dominate the car market. your contract is up, and your bosses tell you that they want you to stay, and they offer you a $500 million contract with $300 million in incentives if you lead the company to the top of the car industry. this salary is still considerably higher than the salary of any other car company president. is that unreasonable? is it so unreasonable that you would not take the offer out of principle?

2007-10-18 19:33:34
35.   yankz
34 Multiplying the real numbers by 100 completely changes the game. You're being ridiculous now. Joe didn't turn down 500 million dollars.

And yes, I would be pissed if my boss questioned my desire to be the best and thought that more money would get me off my ass and make me try harder. Clearly, Joe was too.

2007-10-18 19:35:49
36.   Raf
Dear Indians,

Please score some runs against this twit


2007-10-18 19:37:21
37.   monkeypants
35 "And yes, I would be pissed if my boss questioned my desire to be the best and thought that more money would get me off my ass and make me try harder. Clearly, Joe was too."


Do you mean "thought that less money..."

2007-10-18 19:37:56
38.   Sliced Bread
32 I maintain it was the principle, not the money.
As much as I respect Joe, I didn't see his move coming.
I figured he'd do the Bernie thing, take a massive hit, but keep being the happy and productive soldier for as long as they'd have him.
Money guys like Levine, and ballbusters like the Steinbrenners have a way of making the simplest transactions acrimonious.
In the end, I'm guessing Joe just had enough. I very much respect that.

Not the end of the world by any stretch. I'm ready for whatever's next.

2007-10-18 19:38:00
39.   thelarmis
36 if that's a petition, pass the pen!
2007-10-18 19:39:30
40.   yankz
37 More (incentives).

Hey Joe, we know you need more motivation to win in October, so we'll throw some more cash your way if you do.

2007-10-18 19:43:11
41.   monkeypants
40 So really, they should have just offered him 5 million without incentives?

I'm being facetious, of course.

2007-10-18 19:43:51
42.   wsporter
These two idiots, Buck and McCarver, sound like they're going to end up with priapism if Papel-b strikes another guy.
2007-10-18 19:43:58
43.   cult of basebaal
if incentives are insulting, why are players so willing to allow themselves to be insulted with incentive clauses?
2007-10-18 19:44:45
44.   thelarmis
christ, get CC outta there. i have a bad 2004 feeling about this. boston wins tonite, i think they'll win the next 2 at home, then of course, destory colorado. tribe must somehow comeback tonite. cripes.
2007-10-18 19:46:15
45.   Zack
No idea why Sabathia started this inning with a well rested BP. Wedge just might have blown any chance they have in this game, and now, of course, going back to Fenway, lord only knows what will happen...
2007-10-18 19:46:33
46.   Shaun P
I wish the old man could have cried one more time holding the Serious trophy. I miss him, but life goes on.

If he doesn't take another job, when's the next time he'll be up for HoF election? I want to make sure I block out the appropriate July weekend to be there when he gets in. I hope I'll see some of you folks there.

11 Cot's Baseball Contracts says that the extension Torre signed in April 2004 included a 6 year consulting agreement. No further details, but that does sound promising. It might also have been the Yanks' way of making sure he didn't leave and, say, go manage the Red Sox.

2007-10-18 19:48:12
47.   Zack
Has anyone bothered to follow the game chats at espn? Don't if you haven't. They are hilarious. Poor Rob Neyer. Comments like "Pedroia is incredible" and "YOOOOUUUUKKKK" over and over again. I'm not sure I have seen a single comment relating to the Indians
2007-10-18 19:49:13
48.   thelarmis
45 i figured he'd be on a shorter leash if he started the inning. after the midget hit a leadoff double, i thought wedge would go to the pen. it was certainly a tough play, but sizemore could've caught it since he caught up to the ball. bollocks.

4-1, 7th inning. : (

2007-10-18 19:49:30
49.   cult of basebaal
45 well, it'll be carmona and westbrook vs schrill and dice-k ... so the pitching match-ups just slightly favor cleveland ...
2007-10-18 19:49:40
50.   thelarmis
45 i figured he'd be on a shorter leash if he started the inning. after the midget hit a leadoff double, i thought wedge would go to the pen. it was certainly a tough play, but sizemore could've caught it since he caught up to the ball. bollocks.

4-1, 7th inning. : (

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-10-18 19:50:47
51.   thelarmis
doh, not sure how the double post happened, sorry.

47 hell no! dude, you've got to have better stuff to do! anything! : )

2007-10-18 19:51:34
52.   Zack
The Indians chances of winning the next two games should still be high with the pitching matchups, but that stupid extra day of rest messes things up, as does going back to Fenway, where no lead is safe...
2007-10-18 19:52:40
53.   51cq24
35 right, because $5 million is clearly just a workingman's salary.

and what is this bullshit about the incentives? instead of just getting $8 million, he was offered $5 million plus $3 million if he gets to the world series. he's entitled to not making the 8 no matter what?

38 ballbusters? he (or his sons) fucking offered $5 million plus incentives. it's obviously about the money. the insult IS the money, if you think it's an insult at all.

2007-10-18 19:53:40
54.   51cq24
53 i put a "not" in by accident
2007-10-18 19:54:39
55.   cult of basebaal
53 well, we don't know if there were other clauses in the contract offer (as Graziano intimiated)...
2007-10-18 19:55:39
56.   cult of basebaal
from ESPN:

Trey Hillman, who has long been considered a possible sleeper candidate within the New York Yankees' organization in the event Joe Torre departed, is in serious negotiations to be the next manager of the Kansas City Royals.

2007-10-18 19:55:54
57.   Bob B
Alex, you're sounding kind of sappy. Smack yourself with some after shave, buddy. The real question is "does this increase the value of my Joe Torre Bobble-Head?"
2007-10-18 19:56:18
58.   Zack
56 Why in Gods name would he want to do that to himself!
2007-10-18 19:56:36
59.   yankz
53 You're not getting why the x100 thing is absurd. Torre is a rich man. He's made what, 30 million? And will certainly keep making about a million a year no matter what he does. He can afford to turn down 5 million if he felt like he was insulted.

But for 500 million, he'd probably manage every game naked.

2007-10-18 19:57:10
60.   Bob B
56 Does this mean we're on the same level with the Royals?
2007-10-18 20:01:07
61.   cult of basebaal
45 also, it'll be so much sweeter watching the fans at fenway watching the indians celebrate the ALCS on the field at Fenway
2007-10-18 20:01:54
62.   51cq24
59 no. if you want to argue that this is an insult to him, a necessary part of that argument is that the money amount doesn't really matter. because for almost every single person on this planet, $5 million is an absurd amount of money. the guy has already made more money than he will ever be able to spend. yet he is insulted by a dollar amount that, while still greater than any other manager's salary, is less than his old one. that is what is absurd. especially considering how he had tears in his eyes thinking he wouldn't be offered a contract.
2007-10-18 20:03:05
63.   markp
When you get offered a lot more than anyone else in your position makes despite not doing what you've been hired to do for seven years, it's not an insult.

How much does anyone think he'd be offered to manage anywhere else?

2007-10-18 20:06:33
64.   yankz
62 "if you want to argue that this is an insult to him"
When did I do that? I've said before that I can see where Joe is coming from, but nowhere in 59 did I defend him. (I'm referring to the pay cut; the incentives is a completely different debate.)

I'm only arguing that comparing turning down 5 million to turning down 500 million is absurd. Nobody would turn down 500 million. Torre can turn down 5 million.

2007-10-18 20:09:04
65.   yankz
Raf, I like your comment over at WasWatching. I don't think you can pin too much blame on Joe for the last few postseasons.
2007-10-18 20:14:21
66.   51cq24
64 well i agree with your premise. the dollar amount does matter. that's why $5 million should be considered a great offer.

but to say that he can afford to turn down 5 million but not 500 million is wrong. and to say that nobody would turn down 500 million is wrong also. i would turn down 500 million for a lot of reasons. but if he can afford to turn down 5, then he can afford to turn down 500.

2007-10-18 20:19:17
67.   yankz
66 OK, now you've lost me. Yeah, I would turn down 500 million. If they asked me to join Al-Qaeda or something.

"but to say that he can afford to turn down 5 million but not 500 million is wrong."


Actually, whatever. He wasn't offered 500 million, so this whole thing is getting ridiculous.

2007-10-18 20:23:11
68.   yankz
0 "Also, I find Randy Levine to be crude without having any of Steinbrenner's charm"

Spot on. I wonder how much power he has now, rather than the boys. Hasn't he disliked Joe for a while?

2007-10-18 20:23:59
69.   51cq24
67 because if he has enough money to not need $5 million, he has enough to not need $500 million. it is very simple.

just because you would want $500 million doesn't mean that everyone would. understanding your own desires as those of everyone else in the world is not a good way to live.

anyway, this all reinforces the point that it is all about the money. torre feels he is entitled to what he is making now, guaranteed. he ISN'T. and the fact that he was offered something less than that but still incredibly generous (as an offer to any individual, not as a portion of the yankees' wealth) is not an insult.

2007-10-18 20:24:14
70.   Raf
65 Thanks. I'm not crazy about the way things went down the last 7 postseasons, but it's unfair to blame Torre for the things that happened. Winning the postseason tourney is not that easy, making the playoffs even less so.

I also don't think it's right the way things went down between Torre and the Yankees, but it isn't anything I haven't seen before. Not that it makes it any more right, but Torre has been playing with house money since 2004.

At any rate, I wish him the best of luck in his new endeavor, whatever it is, and I wish the new manager luck. I still say that the Yanks win 90+ games no matter who's at the helm, provided they make some decent moves this offseason.

2007-10-18 20:27:39
71.   Raf
Ah, well, there's always next game... Hopefully there'll be a swarm of midges the bottom of this inning?
2007-10-18 20:28:08
72.   yankz
69 I should have clarified. "Actually, whatever. He wasn't offered 500 million, so this whole thing is getting ridiculous. "

meant I don't really care anymore. Nothing personal, of course.

2007-10-18 20:31:33
73.   yankz
I wonder if Joe sees it as just a ploy, not an insulting one, and he didn't want to be back somewhere where he wasn't really wanted.

70 I would think that a manager has far more to do with making the playoffs than what happens once they get there.

2007-10-18 20:38:57
74.   monkeypants
70 Is it possible, just possible, that the FO and/or ownership (except maybe ol' Big Stein) did not 'blame' Torre for the postseason, so much as they grew concerned or frustrated with certain managerial tendencies during the regular season. I mean, there are plenty of critics (myself included) who type repeated posts about the BP use, the reliance on trusted veterans over young guys, etc. Are we all just imagining things? Or we are the only ones who see these trends, but the FO is too dense to notice them?

And what about the over-discussed Joba Rules? That they existed at sugests on some level a mistrust of the manager. And wasn't Cashman upset that the rules were made public? And didn't Torre complain about them publicly?

2007-10-18 20:40:54
75.   monkeypants
Did McCarver just say: "if you can go into a tight game as a defensive replacement, in an elimination game, even with a ix run lead..."?
2007-10-18 20:44:53
76.   monkeypants
75 Whoa, how did I type that?

"...with a 6 run lead.."

2007-10-18 20:47:24
77.   thelarmis
okay, color me stupid...but, was it common knowledge that nomaas would sieze to be if/when torre was gone?! uh, i had no idea. i'm gonna miss that site. oh well, as long as the Banter always remains...
2007-10-18 20:51:13
78.   bbfan1
"cult of basebaal: also, it'll be so much sweeter watching the fans at fenway watching the indians celebrate the ALCS on the field at Fenway "

Wow, yankee fans actually hoping to live through sox misery. My how the times have changed :)

And it's nice.

2007-10-18 20:54:54
79.   yankz
It's confirmed, that moron only comes around here when the Sox are winning.

And no, nobody's "living through sox misery." Wanting to see a team lose =/= living. That role still exists solely with you douchebags who chant "Yankees suck!" at NFL games.

2007-10-18 20:55:03
80.   Raf
74 There is no such thing as a "perfect" manager. They all have their "quirks" for lack of a better term. Very few know how to manage a bullpen. Very few are willing to go with an "untested rookie" over a "proven veteran." It isn't just a "Torre" problem.

Despite Torre's maddening tendencies, the Yanks played near .600 ball...

2007-10-18 20:55:29
81.   yankz
Whoa, nomaas really is gone. Pretty pathetic- they existed just to pick on Torre?
2007-10-18 20:59:06
82.   SF Yanks
77 81 I think the site is still in active. If you click the link on the bottom, it takes you back to their usual shtick.
2007-10-18 20:59:57
83.   tommyl
What does nomaas stand for anyways? No more..?
2007-10-18 21:01:45
84.   thelarmis
82 well, i think after tonight, it'll be done. there are some new torre posts but i think that's that.

83 and a play on kevin maas...

2007-10-18 21:03:02
85.   Andre
The top 5 teams in payroll:
Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, Mets

Last 7 yrs postseason:
Yankees (7), Red Sox (4), Angels (4), White Sox (1), Mets (1)

Last 7 years make it to the World Series:
Yankees (2), Red Sox (1*), Angels, (1), White Sox (1), Mets (0)

Last 7 years win the World Series:
Yankees (0), Red Sox (1), Angels (1), White Sox (1), Mets (0)

Highest paid managers (don't have the history on this)
Torre, Piniella, Cox, LaRussa, Sciosia

Which of these managers made the postseason this year (and for the past 12)? Only Torre.

Cox, Sciosia & La Russa have had similar (but not nearly equal) success as Torre over the past 7 years but don't have to deal with the same kind of media attention, salaries (i.e. egos), or expectations.

As a reward for continued greatness, they offer to cut his base (read: guaranteed) salary and take the other half and turn it into an incentive bonus plan. I make decent $$, but if my employer did that to me notwithstanding a continuous period of high performance, I'd be pissed.

"But Joe makes $5mill, nothing is owed to him"

I say that's a red herring.

I would guess that everyone on this board makes more than someone else in the world, relatively speaking. If you had performed consistently well at your job (maybe not the best in the world every year, but in the top 5 in the world every year) and your bosses decided to take 33% of your base salary and turn it into non-guaranteed $$, wouldn't you be PO'd? Would you say to yourself "I should be happy - I don't NEED this much money. In fact, there are people around the world starving and living on 10 cents a day."??

Just seems like an odd way to reward continuously high performance in the aspect of his job that you would argue is most in Joe's control (the regular season).

I guess this wouldn't bother me so much if I thought there was anyone else out there that could do a better job.

2007-10-18 21:03:06
86.   SF Yanks
Cabbage Patch has the most ridiculous, fake, and disturbing "I'm tough on the mound" scorn that it's truly, truly pathetic.

Could he possibly force it anymore? Honestly, I have never seen anything like that. Pathetic.

2007-10-18 21:05:40
87.   SF Yanks
85 In short... I agree.
2007-10-18 21:06:09
88.   tommyl
84 What play?
2007-10-18 21:06:22
89.   thelarmis
86 it is very forced and fake. can't feel very good either. looks stoopid as hell. irregardless, his team is still alive in the playoffs and we're a mess as an organization...for the moment. i'm sure things will be pretty solid by the time opening day comes around.

go tribe at the fens!

2007-10-18 21:06:51
90.   thelarmis
88 oh, just a play on words...
2007-10-18 21:08:31
91.   yankz
90 A double play?

IF this was indeed a ploy (BIG IF), then I think Marchman puts it well:

"The honorable thing to do, when you want to fire someone, is to fire them. Torre is a grown man who's been in baseball for 47 years. He would not have jumped off a bridge had the Yankees told him they didn't want him back. Nor would the team's fans have been unable to accept that the Yankees had decided the time for change had come. Making an insulting offer and then pointing out how wonderful it is, as Levine did when he noted that under the contract Torre would have remained the highest-paid manager in baseball, is a rather inept way to pretend you haven't sacked someone."

2007-10-18 21:10:25
92.   yankz
I'm pretty worried about the offseason right now. Marchman's last few paragraphs terrified me.
2007-10-18 21:11:03
93.   yankz
I hope Joe has a nice champagne and Sinatra on right now. "My Way" and "New York, New York"...damn, it'll never get old.
2007-10-18 21:13:13
94.   tommyl
89 I really don't think we're a mess. If the FO moves forward decisively, picks a good managerial candidate and resigns the FA we are not a mess.

Look, at some point (this year, next, the year after) Joe was going to go. In some ways, he's not replaceable, but I remind everyone how upset most of us were when Buck was fired and Joe was hired. At that point, Buck had finally brought the Yankees back to the postseason, they were on the upswing and a great team was being built. One bad loss in Seattle and he was gone. In some ways, Buck was fired for sticking with McDowell and not bringing in Rivera. A single questionable move. Then a guy who could best be described as a perenially losing manager is brought in, one who half of us had never really heard of. That worked out pretty well didn't it?

The only thing I regret was how this was carried out. Its become a huge story and makes the team look callous. If they wanted him out, they should have fired him. If they wanted him back, then you make an offer and negotiate. Levine just strikes me as really slimy.

2007-10-18 21:14:01
95.   tommyl
90 LOL, yes but I don't get the joke. Why is Kevin Maas so important?
2007-10-18 21:14:27
96.   yankz
94 How are you so sure that's not a giant fucking if in the first paragraph? I'm not questioning you, just looking for reassurance. I think it's pretty easy to see disorganization and gross backhandedness today.
2007-10-18 21:21:33
97.   tommyl
96 Oh, its a huge if. If they hem, haw drag this on and pick some idiot, then yes we are a mess. I just meant we're definitely not a mess right now. Give this a couple of days to settle and lets assess.

I do wish George had just fired him. Somehow it would be appropriate, his last managerial move was to bring in Mariano and he should have gone out with either a WS win, a choice to retire or the Boss flashing his old self.

2007-10-18 21:22:51
98.   tommyl
96 Also, the Yankees suck at PR sometimes. I mean, yes, today was slimy, but compared to say Dave Winfield? This was nothing.
2007-10-18 21:24:07
99.   thelarmis
95 that's okay, i never really got it either! : )

94 i'll certainly feel better if i know mo, po, alex, andy and boBBy are all coming back. i'll have to be cool w/ whoever is managing whether it's donnie or bowa or whomever.

i had always known of torre, however. in fact, i met him and was in his office at Shea Stadium when i was a little boy. he was wonderful. great player, too. he'll be fine, but i'll feel a void without him. first bernabe, now joe, probably andy next, but hopefully after next season...

2007-10-18 21:24:30
100.   Raf
95 nomaas = No Mas = No More

As for the player, Kevin Maas was the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal 1990 season... Remember how Shane Spencer was hitting HR's in bunches? BTDT with Maas.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-10-18 21:24:37
101.   thelarmis
and, yes, randy levine seems like a total slime ball.
2007-10-18 21:28:56
102.   tommyl
From Damon:

"We kind of thought something was going to happen after we didn't win," left fielder Johnny Damon said last night. "They gave Joe an opportunity, but with a pay cut and with the pressure that, if you win, here's more money — which was pretty decent."

2007-10-18 21:33:25
103.   yankz
102 Let's hope everyone else feels that way, thought I doubt it. We already know Mo doesn't, if you believe Pete's "source."
2007-10-18 21:37:25
104.   tommyl
103 I still think Mo is more upset that they wouldn't extend him in March than anything else. He sees what happened to Bernie and I can't blame him for not wanting to just be cast aside when his WHIP gets a bit too high. Of course that's the right baseball decision, but from his point of view its very troubling.
2007-10-18 21:49:39
105.   monkeypants
80 I never said Torre (or his replacement) is/is not/was/was not perfect. My point is that we assume he was, not, offered an "insulting" 5 million dollar contract...because he did not win the WS, but perhaps the FO made their decision for more complicated reasons--perhaps even some of the same reasons cited by many Torre critics on this site.

That does not make the decision correct or not. I am only raising the possibility that we are oversimplifying the decision making process and motives.

2007-10-18 21:55:58
106.   monkeypants
82 Yeah, NoMaas still seems active. The site has gotten old, and the graphics (and humor) less creative--but I still think "Torre discovers fire, burns bullpen" from 8.07.05 (the old days) is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

Maybe that says something about me...

2007-10-18 22:12:16
107.   yankz
106 I was a big fan of "Randolph Johnstone," though I don't miss him.

How do you access the NoMaas archives?

2007-10-18 22:16:47
108.   yankz
106 OK, got it, thought it's pretty unorganized. Look at 8.31.05- NoMaas lauds the Lawton and Bellhorn acquisitions. Cash has come a really long way.
2007-10-18 22:19:10
109.   monkeypants
107 Whoa, that's totally weird. My cache must have cleared, because when I clicked on NoMaas I got a blue screeen saying farewell.

Anyway, click on the link to get the old NoMaas page, then scroll to bottom and click the link to "past headlines".

2007-10-18 22:28:15
110.   thelarmis
yeah, that's what i'm saying - it's a blue screen and they seem done with continuing the site. we'll still be able to access all the old stuff with a simple click. but i think after tonights posts about torre, they are through putting up anything new...
2007-10-18 22:35:02
111.   monkeypants
103 Speaking of Pete Abe, have you seen is latest post? He's really drinking deep from that pitcher of kool-aid.
2007-10-18 22:41:17
112.   yankz
111 Yeah, I hope it's the NY media in him trying to create a stir. Though this bit worries me, because it has to be true (you can't make this shit up, I don't think):

"Meanwhile Randy Levine grabbed every second of airtime he could on the conference call today. This is the same guy who gathered the writers during spring training and tried to get us to do a story on all his accomplishments. Nobody was interested."

What an asshat. I seriously, seriously hope he doesn't get too much power.

2007-10-18 22:42:03
113.   yankz
Oh Steve Swindal, why did you have to be such a jackass!
2007-10-18 23:07:49
114.   Zack
I am 100% confident that Rivera has a case of a bruised ego. He's kind of pulled this before and all his language really indicates nothing more than being ticked at the Yanks for not showing him the $$.

Look, the FO was already on Torre earlier in the year, remember all of those reports about being unhappy with his BP management etc? The Joba rules? The trade of Proctor? Torre was given a pay cut for the regular season as much as the postseason, and I suspect that most of the FO isn't terribly sad to see him go. With a bunch of young kids coming up and the vets on the way out, Torre simply wasn't the right fit anymore.

I give him lots of credit for doing things this season that I never would have imagined him doing in terms of playing time, but who knows. Don't worry, I promise you come spring time that the Yanks will have a manager, happy campers on the field and in the stands, and all will be well...

As for Pete A., hes been insufferable the past few days. I'm not sure when it happened, but at some point he started acting as if he is much much better than all "this" and that he is the possessor of all baseball knowledge, lore, and customs. Thanks Pete, but I don't need you to tell me how the Yankees SHOULD do things or for you to get on your high horse about Joe Torre, just stick to giving us the inside dish...

2007-10-18 23:12:43
115.   Raf
105 Fair enough.
2007-10-19 01:39:45
116.   Cru Jones
This probably has been said in the hundreds of posts, but I think we dodged a bullet by Torre declining the offer.

Guaranteed money is one thing, but a cool 3 million riding on his bullpen management? Could you see Joba surviving a run to the playoffs and a postseason under Joe's "guiding hand"? No way.

Performance incentives of such a magnitude are a bad idea for a manager. Unless, I suppose, you think your player development system is so great that you can just keep bringing up live arms year after year to get burned out. Or management forces "Joba rules" on every reliever.

No matter what, the pressure is squarely on Cashman's shoulders.

2007-10-19 01:44:05
117.   Cru Jones
And another thing....F Mo!!! Since when did he turn into such a crybaby? Us fans made him into a (very rich) god.

Sorry, had to get it off my chest. Mo is the best, yes, but enough is enough. I want him back, yes, but sans all the drama.

I mean, Mo as a Philly? Give me a break. If that's what he wants, good riddance. I'm sure it won't be a question of money at that point. I think he owes Yankee fans more than that, regardles of how much his poor feelings have been supposedly hurt by Levine and co.

This all being said, please, Mariano, come back. I love ya.

2007-10-19 06:39:43
118.   Raf
117 He saw what happened with Bernie & Torre, and wrong or right, perception or reality, he's taking that into consideration.

Not that it's as bad as Bill Lee - Rodney Scott, but it's something to take note of.

2007-10-19 07:28:36
119.   Zavo
Right, but it isn't like Bernie or Joe got cut or fired while they still had a contract. It's not the same thing. Mo's contract is up and the Yankees want to re-sign him to, what I would imagine will be, his last baseball contract.

He won't have to deal with with Bernie and Joe went through unless he wants to play past this next contract until he is 42.

I love Mo, and I really hope he comes back, but it does bother me a little that he is more loyal to Joe than the organization and the fans. Not terribly surprising, just a little disappointing.

2007-10-19 10:02:26
120.   weeping for brunnhilde
I can't believe any of this.

A poignant essay as always, Alex. And oddly stoical.

I thought I was mentally prepared to deal with life without Joe but evidently not. Lots of emotion, disorientation and even fear, especially about how this impacts Andy, Mo and Jorgie.

So long, dear Joe, and thanks for all the fish.

2007-10-19 10:44:07
121.   rbj
Very nice post Alex. It about sums up my feelings too.

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