Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Fortunate Son
2007-10-23 15:32
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Derek Jeter released a statement this afternoon:

"Out of my great respect for Mr. Torre*, I have refrained from comment until he had a chance to address the public.

"In my eyes, Joe Torre is more than a Hall of Fame manager. He is a friend for life, and the relationship we have shared has helped shape me in ways that transcend the game of baseball. His class, dignity, and the way he respected those around him – from ballplayers to batboys – are all qualities that are easy to admire, but difficult to duplicate."

This is classic Jeter. Scripted, predictably bland, but not phony. You get the sense that Jeter really does knows how fortunate he's been, and you know the bond between him and "Mr T" is genuine. Here's the beauty part, which gets to the heart of the matter:

"I have known Mr. Torre for a good majority of my adult life, and there has been no bigger influence on my professional development. It was a privilege to play for him on the field, and an honor to learn from him off the field."

I think that's the truth right there. Jeter, Posada--their baseball father is gone now. I often wonder how Jeter's career will play itself out. I could see him aging poorly, like Cal Ripken in his later years. I hope I'm wrong. Regardless, it will be fascinating to see how he goes about getting along with a new manager next spring. Not that it will necessarily change his game much (and it'll be easy for him if it's Mattingly of Girardi who takes over), just that it will be so new, so different.

Aren't you curious?

* For those of you with HBO, Joe Torre is being interviewed by Bob Costas tonight at 9.

2007-10-23 15:50:38
1.   yankz
I'm pretty sure it's "who."

Also, great writeup. Classic Jeter, indeed. He's my favorite.

2007-10-23 15:52:26
2.   yankz
Let's see. I'm assuming Jeter didn't know Joe before '96.

Does he really consider the day he became an adult the day he started SS for the Yankees?

2007-10-23 15:55:25
3.   yankz
Cal Ripken AGE-OPS+

Derek Jeter AGE-OPS+

It looks like the Captain's aging much better. All those consecutive games really seemed to take a toll on Cal.

Looking at these numbers- wow. Cal was downright mediocre to bad after age 30.

2007-10-23 16:00:31
4.   yankz
OK, wow. Nobody read 2 . It's idiotic.
2007-10-23 16:07:38
5.   tommyl
Pete's got Donnie's audio up now. Doesn't really seem as impressive as Girardi. Pete asked him what he'd do differently and he pretty much ducked the question. I loved him as a player, but so far he seems like Joe Torre lite. Pass.
2007-10-23 16:08:10
6.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
One of the reasons Joe had to go was b/c of his special relationships with the 4 rings crowd, particularly Jeter and Posada.

For example, isn't the heart of Olney's argument re the end of the dynasty that the 4-ring vets shut out new guys like Giambi et al, making for a bad clubhouse dynamic?

And, the new manager, sooner rather than later, is going to have to move Jeter from ss -- his fielding was atrocious this season, especially 2nd 1/2 -- and probably not too long after that move Jorge to dh. Think Joba is ever going to be comfortable throwing a slider to Jorge with a runner on?

2007-10-23 16:12:00
7.   ny2ca2dc
5 good characterization - like a poor man's torre... without the experience (even when torre was hired he had plenty of experience). I wouldn't say Donnie is a charichiture of Torre, but man, not impressed.

Also, how is it that these reporters don't ask "what is your managing philosophy; what do you think of the hit & run, squeeze, sac bunt; feelings on reliever usage, etc." Hardly one question about, oh, you know, actual in game baseball decisions. Pete Abe's question was bound to draw a 'pass' because he was essentially asking for a critique on Torre's recent postseason managing. Not one question on OBP or infatuations with base stealers, working the count, etc. Come on guys!

2007-10-23 16:15:22
8.   JL25and3
6 Nice idea about Jeter, but it's not happening in the near future.
2007-10-23 16:20:09
9.   tommyl
7 I think that's a product of their desire to write "mainstream media" type stories. You know, report on the details and get the one nice soundbite they need. For that story, you don't need a quote about Donnie's opinion on suicide squeezes and dry humps.

Now, I'm sure the Yankees FO people sure as hell asked him those questions. He sounded exhausted.

2007-10-23 16:22:41
10.   mike eff
if this is any indication of his future dealings with the media then i'd say he's not going to have an easy time. he comes across as dumb as a post; i know that he isn't but compared to girardi he was almost embarrassing. i don't think anyone can predict how either one of them will manage the team under pressure, but i think it's pretty obvious how they communicate. not something to be under-rated
2007-10-23 16:45:25
11.   ms october
Yeah great write-up.
It is obviously not typical to have the same manager for the first 12 years of your career and have such a positive bond - the closest recent thing I can think of is Tim Duncan and Greg Popovich and even that is pretty different.
I think it was a nice statement.

6 I think there is something to be said for Olney's argument - maybe its exaggerated but there is something there.

10 I would like to think Mattingly would communicate better with the team, but I cannot see him really ever becoming that comfortable with the media. After hearing Girardi last night, I didn't think there wasy any way for Mattingly to sound good- and poor guy, he didn't.

2007-10-23 16:55:01
12.   yankz
Wow. Put me in the Joe G. sounded better than Donnie camp.
2007-10-23 17:06:06
13.   yankz
I wonder if Pete read my comment from yesterday and got the idea.
2007-10-23 17:09:19
14.   ms october
13 Maybe. And I think he got your idea about the lunacy of Bernie as 3B coach and Paul O'Neill as hitting coach (or whatever the Lohudidiots were suggesting).
2007-10-23 17:11:53
15.   yankz
14 You've caught me...I AM PETE!
2007-10-23 17:22:26
16.   ms october
15 Ha! Damn you're busy.
2007-10-23 17:58:33
17.   Start Spreading the News
Listening to those interviews, I felt a little bad for the reporters. They have to wring water out of a stone to get any decent article out of the "can't comment too much" that was repeated ad nauseum by both Mattingly and Joe G.

No questions about if they would use Rivera in a baseloaded situation in the bottom of the 9th in Fenway. How would they handle the young pitching staff? Do they believe in bunting early in a game?

The reporters seemed more interested in being chummy with the prospective managers than anything else.

2007-10-23 18:09:34
18.   Alex Belth
Torre's one-on-one with Costas later this hour on "Real Sports." I think Torre will be more candid. Giving Costas his first on-one-one is a calculated move on Joe's part. I'm sure he'll have a couple of decent shots at the Yanks.
2007-10-23 18:19:22
19.   SF Yanks
18 Would you happen to be watching it right now? This segment on Iraqi sports and all the kids and coaches getting murdered is unreal. I don't even know what to think. I know this isn't the place for this, but sometimes we forget what actually goes on in other countries. Absolutely unreal. There are some twisted people on this planet.
2007-10-23 18:35:36
20.   RIYank
17 I was thinking along the same lines. It reminds me a little of the Senate grilling of Supreme Court nominees. They keep saying that they "can't" comment on how they would decide particular cases, so the questioning has to be on topics that are obviously tangential, marginal, vague, almost beside the point.
2007-10-23 19:03:24
21.   Sarasota
....Torre on Real Sports was riveting; each time he speaks the Steins looked dumber and dumber.
2007-10-23 20:12:21
22.   tommyl
21 I dunno, I think its time to move on. New manager and the FAs looming. We can worry about whether or not Joe will come back to throw out a first pitch later.
2007-10-23 20:28:20
23.   tommyl
Well, its certainly rare that I agree with Jon Heyman, but:

So Joe used how great he was in the PS to drive up his price when he was winning then says its a crapshoot when he's losing? Can't have it both ways.

2007-10-23 20:33:21
24.   yankz
23 I do believe that every person here has expressed and re-expressed opinions on the matter and I vote to let it die.
2007-10-23 20:33:52
25.   yankz
22 I don't see why this and 21 are mutually exclusive.
2007-10-23 21:09:51
26.   Shaun P
24 I second. "Dead horse" isn't a strong enough metaphor.

17 I wish the reporters would ask some of the question you mentioned. But something tells me most casual fans don't give a darn about that stuff. We'd use the info to gauge if the new manager gets 'it' - but we aren't casual fans. =)

20 I wonder if Cashman has vetted the candidates the way a White House would vet a nominee for the Court? The White House pretty much knows in advance how a guy is going to vote if they get on the Court (Souter being a rare exception). I feel pretty sure Cash gets 'it', so I'd hope whoever he hires, he'd make damn well sure that person also gets 'it'. We shall see.

2007-10-23 21:21:51
27.   Zack
Wow, you want a bad article, take a look at Donovan's latest (does he ever produce anything good?):

The Sox has the new "gold standard?" I mean, I am freely admitting that the Yankees are hardly the force they were and would be fine saying some other team was the class of the league, but the Sox? He admits in the article that in 2005 they lost in the 1st round and last year took 3rd PLACE! But that doesn't matter. Like most journalism these days in sports, its all selective. He sees 2004 and 2007 (so far) and skips over the rest, declaring the Sox somehow the best organization. Never mind that the Yanks have averaged more wins than the Sox over those years. Never mind that choosing 2004-now is a totally arbitrary cut off. If you went one more year back, than, well, you have the Yankees in the WS. Going back to 2002, you might say that the Angels are the "gold standard."

Never mind that in that same time period the Cardinals made it to the WS twice as well and missed the playoffs but once too.

I love this kind of writing, its just the "I think this and I am going to pick and choose whatever I want to make my point" style of lazy journalism (sorry to pick on your employer Alex!)

2007-10-23 21:45:42
28.   tommyl
24 25 Yeah, sorry about that. Mood swings and all :). Forgive?
2007-10-23 21:53:48
29.   thelarmis
11 yes, jeter rulz! and like yankz 1 , he's indeed my favorite.

but, the comparison you're looking for can be see with the Jones Boyz/Bobby Cox here in Atlanta... Pujols is on his way to a lot of years starting his career w/ LaRussa, but still has a ways to go to match Jetes/Mo and Chipper/Andruw...

2007-10-23 22:01:47
30.   yankz
28 Of course.

29 Well, just Chipper now...

2007-10-23 22:06:10
31.   Start Spreading the News
23 I hadn't seen the Heyman article until tommyl mentioned it.

If Heyman is saying the truth, then I have no sympathies at all for Torre. I wouldn't have minded if he stayed, but not crying either.

2007-10-23 22:08:43
32.   51cq24
23 must-read, i think.

i do, however, agree with 24 . torre's gone and there are a lot of things to do and discuss.

2007-10-23 22:10:38
33.   thelarmis
30 yeah, and chipper was up a year earlier, i'm pretty sure...

hey yankz - if no one minds the OT: you oughtta take a quick break from youtube if you're in a drumming mood... go to , click on "Solo Of The Week", scroll down and to the right of the video screen, click Papa Jo Jones. then spend 5 minutes with your jaw dropped - it's awesome! : )

2007-10-23 22:12:08
34.   thelarmis
well, apparently i was wrong about nomaas - they're still up and running and they've got a post about the heyman article, too...
2007-10-23 22:26:46
35.   yankz
33 Good lord, thanks for that! I'm jealous. He'd make a damn fine surgeon.
2007-10-23 22:27:53
36.   thelarmis
hey bama - if you check out donnie's audio, pete abe has your poster up at his blog!

speaking of donnie's, uh, er, not so good. : ~

2007-10-23 22:29:25
37.   thelarmis
35 very cool you watched that! i'm telling a bunch of my students to watch it this week while it's up... you should pick up stix one day, bro!
2007-10-23 22:36:24
38.   thelarmis
i know it's silly, but i really really hate when people say "came" instead of "come." donnie keeps saying how he wouldn't have "came" here (tampa) if...

i hate the whole went/gone thing, too. okay, long day, sorry for the basic grammar rant //

2007-10-23 22:50:52
39.   thelarmis
oh, and...GO ROCKIES!!!
2007-10-24 04:51:10
40.   OldYanksFan
I think Heyman had an ax to grind.
Lets review what we know based on Torre's statement.
1) He agree that he would have taken $5m if it was 2 years. ANYONE would feel a little insulted with a pay cut. Thats human nature. Every single apect of the deal was part of it... and a cut hurts... but overall, it was NOT about the money
2) Again, the 2nd year gets a Yes. So in practical terms, that was the kicker. In a one-year deal, he can be fired at ANY TIME, without the Yanks losing much money or face. George promised Yogi a full year, and fired him after 16 games. 16 GAMES! Was 1 year really worth that?
3) In everything I read, including Torre's own statements, the incentives is what pissed him off. They were asinine. Too asssume that Torre didn't want to win? Someone here really thinks Torre needed an incentive to win? And that HE ALONE has the magic power to keep Wang from pitching like shit, to WILL the team to bat over .200? To smite the Midges with a glare?

I don't give Torre that much credit for winning or losing. But looking at the 12 years in it's entirity... how many managers could have done better?

And after that 1996-2000 run, the Yankees were really bringing in the money. If Joe wanted a raise, for ALL the reason he might have, is using his 'winning in the PS' as a bargaining chip that crazy? What would YOU have said if you were in the same position?

Even with Torre gone, and in this shitty manner, his detractors will continue to look for ways to make Torre bad (or at least 'less good')

2007-10-24 04:57:30
41.   OldYanksFan
33 The Link worked, but the video wouldn't play. It keep looping on the 8 second 'intro'. Bummer.
2007-10-24 05:51:02
42.   Sliced Bread
I thought the Jeter statement was great.
He's no poet, but his remarks were touching in their sincerity.

He'll have no problem getting along with, and supporting the new manager. He'll just keep doing his thing, leading mostly by example.

Who knows how he'll age? He's an extremely impressive athlete even with all the miles he has on him already. At some point, he'll have to acknowledge that he needs to rest more than he does. Should he switch to third base? I suspect that position will open up sooner than most others here believe.

Unfortunately, I think the team is going to struggle more next season than it did this year (especially if there's a job opening at third base/cleanup). The young pitchers will go through their growing pains, and the veterans will be another year older, and wiser to the fact that they're playing a young man's game.

Hamfisted Hank Steinbrenner is right. "Nothing lasts forever." Especially in baseball.

For the record, my tempered pessimism regarding the 2008 Yanks probably has more to do with the change of season, the coming of winter, and the start of a World Series I'd rather not watch, but probably will.

2007-10-24 15:05:51
43.   yankster
5 Thanks for the tip, and I agree. Donnie didn't sound too convincing on the call. "In my own mind" is an interesting expression to use repeatedly. The greeting, "What up?" is pretty fun but surprising for a lot of reasons.

"I talked to someone that worked at Accenture" - I mean really? That's how you prepped for the interview? I'm just now realizing that Donnie's probably never interviewed before, at least not successfully unless he had to interview for batting coach, which I doubt.

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