Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2007-10-25 05:53
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Tony Pena interviewed with the Yankees yesterday; a decision is expected tomorrow. I expect they'll hire Mattingly. Hank Stienbrenner spoke to reporters yesterday. Joel Sherman thinks maybe it's time for Hank to stop talking publicly.

Comments (101)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-10-25 06:28:52
1.   Franl Leja
And the Tampa train wreck crew responds to Torre via Murray Chass....
2007-10-25 06:29:02
2.   RIYank
Ladies and gentlemen, the 2007 MLB Clutch Performer of the Year is...

2007-10-25 06:53:43
3.   williamnyy23
Here's an interesting take on the Torre departure. It seems as if Torre's support in the 3rd estate is eroding.

2007-10-25 06:59:09
4.   Sliced Bread
I deeply hate how Hamfisted Hank treated Joe, but listening to the big galloot, I must admit he does have a certain William Shatner'esque quality about him.

If the baseball ownership thing doesn't work out, might be interested. Maybe even a guest-appearance on "Boston Legal."

2007-10-25 07:00:39
5.   williamnyy23
1 combined with 3 is a pretty significant weight on Torre's credibility on this matter. It's too bad Heyman and Chass took so long to "uncover" this information, which we have been discussing here since Friday. Still, you have to give them credit for bothering to report these inconvenient truths, espceially Chass, who unconvered more detail than I was aware. It's also ironic that two bastions of the anti-stats brigade have decided to challenge Torre. Too bad they weren't at the press conference to challenge him.
2007-10-25 07:03:35
6.   51cq24
i think that by citing the 1996 team hank was obviously and trivially targeting joe torre. and i think with the anticipated blend of young and veteran players on next year's team, the contrast between 1996 and 2008 is especially dubious. i do think, however, that had he stopped at saying that the next manager has to be given a chance because it's a possible transition year, he would have been correct. we're going to have 3 rookie starters with innings limitations. this is very different than just adding them into the roster as torre did last year, and indeed different than the rookies on the 1996 team, though i'm not sure which is more threatening to a team's chances of reaching the playoffs. i'm as optimistic as i've ever been about the future of this team, but i wouldn't be at all surprised if the first year of having these 3 rookies as starters is a rocky one. hopefully it won't be.

speaking of rocky and 1996 comparisons, i hope the rockies are just continuing along the 1996 yankee trajectory. like the yankees, the rockies were just crushed in game 1 by a team that had come back down 3-1 in the lcs and outscored its opponent by huge margins in so doing. if the sox win again tonight, look for the rockies to win 4 straight.

2007-10-25 07:18:06
7.   Max
had he stopped at saying that the next manager has to be given a chance because it's a possible transition year, he would have been correct

I agree with this completely. I saw the comment about how "this is not the 1996 team" as a clear shot at Torre. Very immature.

I'm excited about next year, but I think the team could just as easily miss the playoffs as it could make a run at the WS. 3 rookie starters and a painfully thin Joba-free bullpen makes me very nervous personally.

2007-10-25 07:25:15
8.   Sliced Bread
5 Finally, the smoking gun you've been searching for! Provided by the legendary Woodward & Bernstein of baseball!
In your movie, maybe Hoffman plays Chass, and Redford is Heyman?

Spoiler alert!

Randy Levine was Deep Throat.

2007-10-25 07:33:37
9.   rbj
That one year extension was being discussed before this season started "that extension fell apart after Swindal was arrested for a DWI on Valentine's Day" which would have effectively given Torre two years -- 2007 & 2008. After the 2007 season Torre wanted two years (which LaRussa also wanted & got in his new contract) more than he wanted more money.
2007-10-25 07:36:15
10.   Felix Heredia
If Hank Steinbrenner says the organization will be patient with the new manager because, "We want to win the World Series every year, but we're not stupid enough to think we can do it every year," why were they impatient with Torre?
2007-10-25 07:38:28
11.   jonm
5 You are right that it is too bad that it took so long for this to come out. We've spent so much time discussing how the Yankees handled this and "insulted" Torre when we should have been discussing whether it was time for a change. Now, I think that the situation was fairly simple.

The Yankees held the lukewarm attitude that Joe should be back next year. They expressed how lukewarm they were by refusing to negotiate at all. Joe was hurt by this outright refusal to negotiate and made an emotional spur-of-the-moment decision (I wonder if the Yankees gave him a deadline?).

The stuff that Joe said about years and incentives were ex post facto rationalizations. Joe refuses to say that he will come back to the stadium for events not only because he is mad at the Yankees, but also mad at himself for so quickly turning down the chance to manage for one more season (which he really wanted).

2007-10-25 07:39:49
12.   JoeInRI
[5, 8] I'm not sure I understand why it's necessary to make Torre the jerk here. We all get it, William, Torre Sucked! But you seem to get a great deal of glee from the fact that he's made to look like a manipulative self-serving bastard. While HRH just want to win, baby!


2007-10-25 07:41:04
13.   Simone
Why is always the same with the Yankees, some of their fans and the NY media? They always have to kick people out the door when they leave the Yankees. I remember the ugly rumors that were spread when Andy left for Houston. Let Joe or whoever have their version of events and leave with their heads held up high. Have some FREAKING class once!
2007-10-25 07:42:15
14.   JoeInRI
13 Perhaps they're taking their cue from the "new dynasty" in Boston??
2007-10-25 07:44:22
15.   Simone
Oh, my post above is directed at [5, 8] and his ilk. The man is gone. I swear, your obsession with irrationally attacking Joe will never freaking end. At least, when Mel left we got a break from the irrational Mel attacks. I swear, if you mention Joe's name once more, you should be committed to an asylum. Stop it!
2007-10-25 07:46:34
16.   JoeInRI
Simone, I understand and I agree with you. I'm just saying that up here, the fans and media couldn't wait to trash Fisk, Boggs, Vaugh, Clemens, Pedro, Damon and on and on. They've been pushing Manny out the door for at least 3 years. It's a perceived entitlement, I guess.
2007-10-25 07:49:35
17.   monkeypants
11 Both sides refused to negotiate, at least if we accept that the sticking pint was really the second year. The Yankees offered one, no budging. Torre wanted two, no budging.

12 Fair enough. But also why is it necessary to make the FO out to be jerks? From the very beginning this pretty much has been a white hat v. black hat discussion.

2007-10-25 07:49:59
18.   williamnyy23
8 Not really...I knew about and posted the same information. It's nice to see the madd media catching up. I guess the Joe after glow is wearing off?

9 Either way, he'd have been mamanging 2008 without another year. The extra year would have only been a comfort this season, not next.

11 Yep..that's pretty much how I view it too. I've said it before, but Joe cut off his nose to spite his face.

12 Not at all...I just think it's worth point out that Torre isn't the martyr that he was made out to be (and which a few posters here want him to be). Torre holds at least as much responsibility for his not being the 2008 manager as anyone else, and that's the point I am trying to make.

13 Class is a two way street. Joe and his supporters can have their version of events, but don't blame the facts for getting in the way.

14 Dynasty? Nah...we all know Boston is just lucky to make it to the World Series. It's all a crapshoot.

2007-10-25 07:52:35
19.   51cq24
13 torre is the one who decided to trash the yankee front office. as it turns out (as many of us guessed just by using common sense), he was full of shit the whole time. yes, let's ignore the facts and just let him have his version of events. ok, you can do that. some of us prefer to look at what actually happened.
2007-10-25 07:53:05
20.   JoeInRI
18 Crapshoot, hellz no!! They've had the best 6-9 in their lineup all season. Midges be damned!
2007-10-25 07:54:17
21.   Shaun P
To quote yankz from yesterday:

Is it last week again already?

Will someone PLEASE hurry up and leak who the new manager is, so this zombiefied dead horse aka "Joe Torre - insulted or not?" will finally, mercifully die?

2007-10-25 07:55:30
22.   Sliced Bread
18 oh, you're Deep Throat. Thanks for clarifying.
2007-10-25 07:55:34
23.   williamnyy23
15 I am sorry you are bothered by the facts. If they bother you so much, you don't have to read my posts. I wont be offended.
2007-10-25 07:55:48
24.   Simone
16 JoeInRI, unfortunately you are right that these Yankees fans and the NY media are similar to what happens in Boston. May it happens in every sport team, but it is really annoying.
2007-10-25 07:57:38
25.   williamnyy23
22 Wrong cover up on my end. Maybe you mean Verducci?
2007-10-25 07:57:41
26.   JoeInRI
19 Wait a minute . . . because he turned down a $2.5 M pay cut in the beginning of the season, he should have taken only a $2 M pay cut at the end of it? As I've said before, I think it was definitely time for Joe to be replaced, but he didn't do anything that anyone of us would have done in his shoes. Joe's no martyr, nor is he without ego. But I certainly would have reacted the same way in his place.
2007-10-25 07:58:15
27.   rbj
18 Not sure I follow. The original plan going into 2007 was 2007 + 2008. 2 years, because he didn't want the questions of "Is this it" for this year. (and then maybe state he's going out with the old stadium). Similarly he wanted 2008 + 2009. If he got that, he'd be managing 2008 with another year, to avoid the same question. Not an unreasonable position to take.

And aside from LaRussa,
"Terry Francona, who has the highest winning percentage of any Red Sox manager since 1950 (375-273, .579) and is the first manager to take the team to the postseason three times, will be given a contract extension after the season, club sources confirmed yesterday.

Francona, whose contract was due to expire after the 2008 season, is expected to have at least two more years tacked on."

It seems that lots of managers like having that second year.

2007-10-25 07:58:37
28.   Simone
18 You need to be committed. Worse of all you have ruined the comment section of this blog with your obsession with Joe.
2007-10-25 07:59:54
29.   JoeInRI
21 The horse ain't dead till the fat lady buries it . . . or something like that . . .
2007-10-25 08:00:24
30.   Sliced Bread
25 Who should play you in the movie? Denzel? Pacino? Nathan Lane?
2007-10-25 08:04:28
31.   jonm
26 I think that 19 was probably referring to the incentives as insults rationale. And, if Torre had really and truly wanted to manage the Yankees in 2008, reason would have dictated that he take the offer.

In fact, and I'm just guessing here, if the Yankees had called back Friday morning and offered him say $5.25 million, I bet that he would have taken it.

Also, I disagree with those who condemn some commentators for beating a dead horse. The Chass column and the Heyman column do have new news about the events that transpired. That fact differentiates this conversation from last week's.

2007-10-25 08:08:51
32.   Alex Belth
Simone, I just feel the need to step in here before somebody says something they regret. I understand that you are extremely put-off by williamnyy23's take on the Torre situation. He does come on strong, but that is his right, just as it is your right to think that he is ruining the comments section. As he mentioned, however, you can simply ignore him.

One thing, as much as you may disagree with each other here (and you are both entitled to your opinions, of course), please refrain from hurling insults at each other. That hasn't happened yet, but I don't want this to get to point-of-no-return for either of you.

I know these discussions can get heated, but let's not get knuts...


2007-10-25 08:09:52
33.   JoeInRI
On a different topic, and maybe this was discussed yesterday, did anyone see the trade rumors posted on RLYW? Wanger, IPK and Melky for Santana? Thoughts?
2007-10-25 08:10:49
34.   JL25and3
Seriously, we need to stop flaying this particular horse. It's been going on for a week, and people are just saying the same thing over and over. By this point, everyone's position is well known, and there's absolutely no more insight being added, no new arguments being made, no one being convinced of anything. It's all been said - many, many, many, many, many, many times.

Please. Think of the children. Let's just agree to disagree.

2007-10-25 08:12:08
35.   JL25and3
31 You may feel the columns add some info, but no, this series of posts is indistinguishable from every other discussion in the last week.
2007-10-25 08:12:30
36.   rbj
33 I don't like that trade. Yes Santana is a #1 starter, but I think it's giving up too much for him. Maybe any two of that combo, but I'd rather stay younger & win with our kids.
2007-10-25 08:12:32
37.   JL25and3
33 Where do I sign?
2007-10-25 08:13:58
38.   williamnyy23
26 I can't speak for others, but I wouldn't have turned down my dream job simply because the level to which I was the highest paid in my profession was being reduced.

27 And I'm sure they'd like a 3rd and 4th year too. Also, it's proably worth noting that Torre's 1 year, without incentives, is probably worth as much as most other manager's two years. If Torre could manage 2007 without a safety net, he could have handled 2008 as well, especially if he is as beloved in the clubhouse as it seems. Do you really think a Jeter-led clubhouse is going to mutiny on Torre because he doesn't have a long-term contract?

28 I guess you can't tear yourself away. I am flattered. Thanks for reading.

30 about Tom Verducci? Then, maybe I can play him.

2007-10-25 08:16:05
39.   williamnyy23
33 I think that would be a bad deal for the Yankees. Johan has one more year of control, and then you have to break the bank for him. Wang, IPK and Melky, on the other hand, have 3,5 and 4, respecitvely. That's way too much roster control (and young talent) for one pitcher, even one as good as Santana.
2007-10-25 08:17:27
40.   Andre
34 really need an ignore feature in here. Not because I don't want to hear dissenting opinions. Just because I don't want to hear them from certain people.
2007-10-25 08:18:11
41.   williamnyy23
32 Absolutely. Thanks Alex.
2007-10-25 08:18:26
42.   rbj
38 It's less the clubhouse and more the media questioning him. At least, that's what I gather. And Torre was only talking about two. It was less the money (he did agree on $4.5 mil) and more just having the security of a second year.
2007-10-25 08:18:46
43.   51cq24
26 "he didn't do anything that anyone of us would have done in his shoes. Joe's no martyr, nor is he without ego. But I certainly would have reacted the same way in his place."

just because YOU would have reacted the same way doesn't mean that any one of us would have. i for one would have taken anything i could get to manage the yankees. and if i were joe torre i would have taken such a nice and reasonable offer, even if for less money and years than i wanted, if it meant i could continue with the job i profess to love so much.

and the one or two year thing is a little crazy. so would he have quit after 1 year so that there wasn't a question of whether the 2nd year was his last? should he have quit before this year? it doesn't make sense.

2007-10-25 08:19:26
44.   Shaun P
39 And, you have to sign an old, expensive free agent to play CF, because its pretty clear Damon can't play CF regularly anymore.

I believe Cashmoney is still in charge, and I don't think he'd do willing do that.

2007-10-25 08:21:11
45.   williamnyy23
34 That's fine by me...but does that mean we also don't have to read about how Hank is a dipshit, Levine is a moron and Cashman is a traitor?
2007-10-25 08:22:27
46.   monkeypants
45 See 17
2007-10-25 08:25:36
47.   51cq24
it does seem like this issue is pretty much done since no one seems willing to actually change his or her mind. but this is the first managerial change in 12 years. is it that crazy for any facet of the issue to be discusses for a week?

i think melky ipk and wang is too much for santana. but i do think now might be a good time to trade melky. his trade value is probably as high as it will ever be. i go back and forth with him. he has that great arm and he seems to make contact a lot. but i don't see him ever developing much more power, and i'm not sure if he makes enough contact to be a .300 hitter. maybe i'm wrong, but i think he's a little overrated right now.

2007-10-25 08:25:53
48.   JoeInRI
[43}OK, one more whack at equus . . . I agree, I would take anything to manage the Yankees . . . because I'm sitting in room full of cubicles in the middle of RI. But if I had managed a team to 12 straight post-seasons and had four rings to my credit, my ego might be just a bissel more demanding.
2007-10-25 08:26:44
49.   51cq24
2007-10-25 08:28:03
50.   standuptriple
I just want them to announce a new manager so I can have my old BB back. Come on Tampa! Do it for the sanity of "The Banter"!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-10-25 08:29:57
51.   51cq24
50 i for one would like them to take as much time as it takes, and not hurry just to make a quick announcement. in general i think it's best for them to think things through.
2007-10-25 08:30:08
52.   monkeypants
47 I think that it's not a bad trade int he abstract, but it's not a very good trade for the Yankees in their particular situation. Melky may not be great, but if they lose him they will have to vastly overpay for one of the aging CF FAs. If the farm was better stocked with position players, then maybe the Yanks could make a real run at Santana.
2007-10-25 08:31:08
53.   jonm
Do you think that the media would have portrayed Joe as a wimp if he had taken the offer? Do you think that the players would have thought that?

My guess is no on both counts.

And, yesterday, I said that I would not make that Twins deal, but today I'm re-thinking that given Nate Silver's analysis in Baseball Prospectus. He claims that power pitching is one of the three vital factors for post-season success. In that case, maybe the difference between Santana and Wang in the post-season would make it ok.

2007-10-25 08:31:46
54.   williamnyy23
47 Does Melky have that much trade value right now anyway? Even If he never develops beyond a league average hitter, Melky plays a strong CF and has a very low price tag,. That commodity will be very valuable to the Yankees over the next 2-3 seasons. Now, if Arod opts out, well, that might be another story.
2007-10-25 08:33:03
55.   williamnyy23
51 I fact, I think that's one point where the brass deserves some criticism. The search for the next Yankee manager should have more than 3 candidates.
2007-10-25 08:35:27
56.   51cq24
53 no, it would have portrayed the front office as insulting and joe as a part-martyr for taking the pay cut and staying with the job he loves, but not the full martyr he is now for keeping his dignity. you would have gotten a taste of it had you been listening to mike and the mad dog last week when they reported that joe had in fact taken that offer for a one year deal, despite the fact that they later said that no one could have been fooled that it was anything but a de facto non-re-signing.

maybe the difference between wang and santana. but the difference between wang/kennedy and santana?

2007-10-25 08:35:35
57.   williamnyy23
53 The postseason angle is relevant, but I am hoping Hughes and Chamberlain will fill that void. Also, losing IPK, Melky and Wang could make it more difficult to make the post season, especially after allocating 10% of the team payroll to Johan. With the Yankees on the verge of committing big dollars to Arod, Mo and Posada, I don't think they can afford to give up good, young, cheap talent.
2007-10-25 08:36:28
58.   jonm

One possibility is that they sign Andruw Jones to a one-year contract, hope that he improves, and hope that Austin Jackson can take over in 2009.

There are a lot of suppositions there, but I have heard that Boras does not want to lock Jones into a long-term contract given what a disappointing season that he had.

It still amazes me that 2008 will only be Jones' age 31 season. He's not that aging.

I would rank the CF as follows
1. Jones with a short deal
2. Hunter with a long deal
3. Jones with a long deal
4. Rowand with a long deal

I would really miss Melky though.

2007-10-25 08:37:02
59.   williamnyy23
57 can't afford.
2007-10-25 08:37:03
60.   JoeInRI
57 I agree.
2007-10-25 08:37:25
61.   51cq24
52 54 yeah i guess there is basically no one else to fill in since jackson is not ready. what ever happened to gardner?
2007-10-25 08:38:34
62.   williamnyy23
58 But would he take one year? I think all three of the names you mentioned will want big fat long-term deals, and all three will probably long outlive their usefulness well before the deals run out.
2007-10-25 08:39:29
63.   51cq24
the other thing about santana is that i don't like the yankees just going out and getting everyone else's superstars. it hurts our image, and it isn't worth it. i like that we're developing our own pitching for once.
2007-10-25 08:39:38
64.   williamnyy23
61 He isn't viewed as a quality prospect...maybe a 4th OF'er.
2007-10-25 08:43:51
65.   jonm
57 At the end of the day, I agree with you. This deal makes the roster less flexible and expends too many resources on one guy (Santana) who could get hurt.

People projected Kennedy as a MLB third or fourth starter at best coming into 2007. But his K rate went up this year in the minors and it looks like he has his "stuff" back (he lost it a bit in his last year at USC). Under Sickels' grading system, he's probably an A- now.

2007-10-25 08:47:00
66.   JL25and3
45 I wasn't speaking to one side or the other in particular, just addressing the whole discussion.

47 No, it's not crazy to discuss it for a week, except that for the last few days we've been doing nothing but repeating ourselves. Everybody ends up pissed off, which might be OK if there were any substance left. But there isn't.

2007-10-25 08:48:43
67.   williamnyy23
66 At what point does talking about how talking about Joe Torre has become a deadhorse become a deadhorse? :)
2007-10-25 08:52:05
68.   51cq24
66 i think there actually is more substance in the heyman and chass articles. but i understand your point.
2007-10-25 08:54:18
69.   dianagramr
I wonder if the next Yankee mgr. will have an "incentive-based" contract?


2007-10-25 08:57:49
70.   JoeInRI
69 Don't YOU start!!! . . . :-)
2007-10-25 08:57:53
71.   williamnyy23
Want to start another contentious debate? Read the following quote from an AP article on Barry Bonds:

"I would consider DHing for the Yankees. Unfortunately, the Yankees have two DHs, so that dream would never happen," Bonds said.

Dream? Hmmm? Barry is wrong about one thing, however. The Yankees have 3-4 DHs, so what's one more. If Arod opts out, Bonds would be one way to replace some of that lost offense. Heck, even if he stays, Arod/Bonds would rival Ortiz/Manny. At what point do you put principle aside?

2007-10-25 08:58:06
72.   JL25and3
63 What, if the Yankees sign another superstar, fans of other teams might not like them anymore? Like they do now?

I'm not concerned at all about whether it hurts the team's image, just about whether it helps the team.

I'm still not entirely sold on Melky. He's fun to watch and his defense is good, but he's still below average offensively. Nor was there really much improvement from last year to this, even if you discount his slow start somewhat. His walk rate actually declined quite a bit, which doesn't fill me with confidence.

I make the deal in a heartbeat.

2007-10-25 08:59:25
73.   JoeInRI
66 29
2007-10-25 09:01:15
74.   JL25and3
67 Fair point. If the other dead horse stays dead, this will be my last mention of it.

Except to say that 68 , I didn't see anything in those articles - especially the Chass article - that we haven't been saying here for a few days.

2007-10-25 09:02:16
75.   51cq24
72 personally i feel better about a team that doesn't have a payroll twice as big as the next. in the late 90s the yankees didn't even always have the highest payroll. it seems a little less legitimate, don't you think, when you just collect all the all stars from other teams by using your extreme financial advantage? i don't like giving other fans more reason to dismiss the yankees, and i don't like myself feeling like we almost cheated.
2007-10-25 09:03:48
76.   51cq24
74 that torre already had incentives not only for the playoffs but for the amount of regular season wins? i hadn't seen anyone mention that. i didn't know it.
2007-10-25 09:04:51
77.   williamnyy23
75 That doesn't really bother me either. The Yankees aren't doing anything illegal (in fact, they are sending money pouring into MLB coffers around baseball). The history of MLB has been about the Yankees using their extreme financial advantage, so why stop now. In many ways, I embrace the Yankees U.S. Steel image.
2007-10-25 09:13:20
78.   JL25and3
75 Make no mistake, the Yankees did that with the championship teams as well. That's how they got David Cone, Chuck Knoblauch, and Roger Clemens (off the top of my head), in addition to the free agents they signed.

And no, I don't consider one way of building a championship team to be morally superior to another.

2007-10-25 09:20:51
79.   jonm
77 "The history of MLB has been about the Yankees using their extreme financial advantage, so why stop now."

That's true of the Yankees in the 20s and certainly true of the Steinbrenner years, but I would not say that's true concerning the team from the 30s through 60s. Remember, of course, that the reserve clause was in place. The Yankees had a great minor league system that cost money, but, then again, so did the Cardinals and the Dodgers. The Yankees in this era were just brilliantly run. The dominance would have carried through the late 60s if the team's racism had not finally, and justly, caught up to them.

2007-10-25 09:33:13
80.   JoeInRI
79 Jon, I beg to differ . . . the Yankees had the financial advantage of being in NYC, and an owner who leveraged that advantage, enabling them to basically ravage the Red Sox in the 20's and early 30's. And while the Dodgers and Cards had great farm systems, the Yankees spent more, mostly by nickle and diming their talent in terms of salaries.
2007-10-25 09:40:39
81.   RIYank
I make the trade for Santana, easy decision.
Replacing Melky: not easy, not cheap, but perfectly possible.
Replacing Wang and Kennedy: not an issue having got Santana.
So, I think we'd end up with a much better roster. Costing more. But as far as I'm concerned, it's great to spend lots of money, if you're getting lots of baseball player for it.
2007-10-25 09:46:12
82.   JoeInRI
81 I should have mentioned above that the follow up to this trade is signing Aaron Rowand . . .
2007-10-25 09:51:41
83.   rilkefan
The Santana trade doesn't make the team much better in the regular season (assuming our fifth starter otherwise wouldn't be great - see SG's analysis at Replacement Level) but he'd be a difference-maker in the playoffs, so I don't see how to turn it down if that's what the Twins wanted, which seems unlikely - owls to Athens. I wouldn't like the trade from a loyalty and sports-aesthetic POV.
2007-10-25 09:56:23
84.   jonm
80 Joe,
First, I acknowledged in my initial post that the 20s Yanks were built up through money. The ravaging of the Red Sox had stopped by the early 1930s -- the last significant Red Sox player acquired was Red Ruffing and he was a terrible pitcher for the Red Sox. It was not as if they were buying an all-star.

Second, your reference to an NYC advantage is an anachronism in this context. NYC is an advantage now largely because of the value of cable rights (something that didn't exist from the 30s until the 60s).

Third, a NYC attendance advantage did exist somewhat, but remember that the Yankees at this time were competing with two other NYC teams not just one. The Yankees led the league in attendance consistently, but it was not constant and the margin was not overwhelming (winning will do that for a team).

Fourth, your last sentence contradicts itself -- what advantage would there be to the Yankees "spending more" if they were "nickel and diming" their talent?

Any "financial advantage" that the Yankees had in signing talent was built upon the fact that World Series bonus money seemed like a given. But that type of financial advantage resulted from the Yankees' intelligent management.

2007-10-25 10:06:51
85.   thurmtheman
79 80 Furthermore the Yankees kept the A's as a defacto minor league team through the 40s and 50s and often bought other teams aging stars such as Mize or Slaughter for role positions. Probably a greater reason than their racism catching up with them was the fact that ownership knew they were going to sell the team and they dramatically reduced the resources spent on the minor leagues for several years leading up to the sale to CBS.
2007-10-25 10:10:47
86.   JoeInRI
80 I didn't disagree with your first point in my post.

NYC media advantage, believe it or not, existed before the advent of cable television, but, in this case, the financial advantage NYC from both an attendance and advertising standpoint was in existance even during the Depression.

The Yankees were outdrawing those two other teams by significant margins, which was the at least one of the main reasons why the Giants kicked them out of the Polo Grounds.

Salaries were nickle and dimed. Money spent on scouting and player development was unequaled in baseball.

While the success and reputation of the team's success was certainly a major factor in attracting young talent, it still took a great deal of money to support the scouts, teams, ball parks, etc. necessary to develop that talent.

2007-10-25 10:17:12
87.   JoeInRI
85 Agreed.
2007-10-25 10:29:00
88.   pwicked
Rough night for the god squad, eh? I hate the BloSox but sweeping those Rocky Thumpers makes them positively evil... no?
2007-10-25 10:44:03
89.   Max
The horse has been flogged, but I can't let 17 go by since I've seen this position constantly flaunted as an "objective" position. It wasn't a question of two sides not budging. One side was made an offer after dangling for a week, and that side requested alternatives. No alternatives were presented, not even a variation on a one year deal. Saying Torre "wouldn't negotiate" is a falsehood.

The stuff that is coming out doesn't suddenly shift the axis of good and just adds nuance. It also doesn't change the questionable nature of management's statements to the press or the way they chose to manage the process. But it seems this sort of nuance is beyond the people who want to en-noble management and vilify Torre.

People always want to kick the guy going out the door. In this case, we seem to have people who were so anxious to see this happen, that they're kicking with so much enthusiasm it's amazing their legs don't go flying out of their sockets.

2007-10-25 10:50:42
90.   Zack
I'd make the trade in a minute, but of course, we all have to know that it ain't happening. The Twins probably don't want anything to do with Wang and have a lot of good young pitching coming up. They might take Ajax, Melky, and Kennedy, but even that might not be the best offer out there.

If the Yanks could land Santana AND keep Hughes and Joba, you HAVE to make that trade. You are talking about a big three for the ages going forward. Throw in Pettitte/Moose for another year and you have to believe that the rotation could carry the Yankees pretty far...

Look, with a big three like that, your job is much easier. Its a lot lot lot lot easier to find #4 and #5 starters than it is to find a #1. The Yankees could come out of that trade with 3(!!!) #1s on their roster next season, all for the price of a good but not great pitcher, a kid who likely won't be nearly as good as his season was this year, and a young CF prospect who declined offensively and has shown little power or discipline...

2007-10-25 10:52:08
91.   Zack
But like I said, that trade isn't happening. I don't think the Dodgers will trade for him b/c their problem isn't pitching. I doubt the Sox would trade for him b/c the ONLY thing they really can offer is Ellsbury and Buchholz.

The team that should really make the trade is the D-Rays. They won't, but they could and that would give them a really good rotation...

2007-10-25 11:16:54
92.   51cq24
89 actually, i had come to the conclusion that it was probably best to bring torre back, despite all his past mistakes, because he was probably the best person available. that was until he turned down the offer and labeled it an insult, which i think is a huge insult to people all around the world who are routinely "insulted" in ways joe torre can't imagine. this has nothing to do with kicking someone on his way out the door. torre claimed to be insulted by many different things, and it seems that it came down to the fact that he wanted 2 years and the front office only wanted him for 1. i think he should have taken the 1 and been happy with it. but he only wanted 2. in that way, he refused to negotiate, just as the front office did.

"The stuff that is coming out doesn't suddenly shift the axis of good and just adds nuance."

i believe that that is what monkeypants is saying. there were all these nuances, it wasn't just a black and white issue. those of us who are criticizing torre are not necessarily in love with the front office. but we think that in this circumstance the front office was well within its discretion to decide to offer joe something less than what he wanted but more than not offering anything at all. it seems to me that it's the people who are criticizing the front office who don't see the nuances and just want to vilify.

2007-10-25 11:20:02
93.   monkeypants
89 Sorry Max, but leave that horse alone.

"after dangling for a week..."

I reject this phrasing as distortion. The only people "dangling" were the media who demanded an instant story and, when denied this, created their own.

2007-10-25 11:21:33
94.   monkeypants
92 Thank you--more articulate than I would have been.
2007-10-25 11:46:54
95.   jonm
80 If you look at the year links in this chart,

you'll see that the Yankees were consistently high in attendance, but that they often weren't number one. In the mid-late 50s, for example, their attendance numbers were blown away by the Milwaukee Braves!

Also, I've never seen any evidence that the Yankees blew away the competition in terms of financing their minor league teams.

One piece of evidence that would support the claim that the old Yankees bought pennants would be a lot of "bonus babies" like Kirby Higbe on the roster. The Yankees never had a lot of those either.

Well, they had a financial advantage it was slight and even that was overcome by the cheapness of the Yankee ownership group. The Yankees never really outspent someone like Tom Yawkey.

2007-10-25 12:19:13
96.   Raf
55 For a couple of years, it has been speculated that either Girardi or Mattingly would take over for Torre. The cynic in me says that Peña was interviewed to satisfy the minority requirement. If would be a shame if that were the case.
2007-10-25 12:20:39
97.   JL25and3
95 As was pointed out earlier, the Yankees often took advantage of their financial superiority - if not over the Dodgers and giants, then certainly over the weak sisters of the league (read: Athletics). The Athletics were perennially cash-starved, and they'd make trades either for cash or for unequal (but cheaper) value. That's how the Yankees got Maris, Boyer, Bobby Shantz and quite a few others.
2007-10-25 12:27:27
98.   JL25and3
91 Zack, that's a great call. You're absolutely right, the D-Rays are a perfect fit. They've got boatloads of young, cheap, very talented players that they can afford to give up. They can start a deal with a choice of B. J. Upton or Delmon Young and go from there. Meanwhile, Santana would instantly improve their record by, what, 10 games? More?

I know they're cheap and starved for money, so it'll never happen. But if they had enough vision to pull it off, it could change their franchise.

2007-10-25 12:29:13
99.   JL25and3
90 And yeah, I also agree that Wang + Melky + Kennedy probably doesn't get the deal done - especially since Wang is arbitration-eligible. Twins will want Phil or Joba.
2007-10-25 14:05:04
100.   Max
93 And I reject your characterization, unless the feelings of Torre are considered completely immaterial.

Just because you don't like the way the media is hungry for a story doesn't mean that management shouldn't be sensitive to how a long-time manager and media icon is treated before he is made a final offer. In other words, Torre should have been given some consideration, whether they decided to make an offer nor not, and not left to hang for a week. That's "dangling", plain and simple, not a media construct in your meta-narrative.

How ironic that some were pleading for people to allow management to take their time in deliberating and making the right decision, mocking the idea of any sense of urgency..meanwhile, management this week now seems to be speeding through the process of hiring a new manager and demonstrating the proper sense of urgency. More than a few contradictions and distortions in the way this has all played out.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-10-25 14:50:10
101.   monkeypants
100 By using provocative terminology in a decalrative/indicative sentence, you are attempting to shape the discourse. Now, if you want to say that "Torre felt that he was left dangling...", fine. If you want to say "I feel that they left him him dangling...", fine. But it is by no means so clear cut to warrant the indicative verb that you used.

Moreover, I have not read anything where Torre complaind about "dangling" (he may have--I don't know). Rather, the "dangling" reflects your own projections.

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