Thursday, October 18, 2007

Take this job and...

Breaking News:
Joe Torre declined a 1 year $5 M contract offer (with bonuses based on playoff performance) offered by the New York Yankees. This officially ends his 12 years as manager of the club. During his tenure the Yankees went to the playoffs every year, and the world series six times. They won the World Series four of those six. Torre is universally recognized as one of the classiest men in baseball (unlike his employer). I suspect that all of the polite statements aside he may have finally had enough of Mr. Steinbrenner. Those of us who are not Yankee fans are going to have some mixed emotions to sort through over this. Clearly this is great news for the rest of the baseball world. But it is also the end of an era. I wish Joe the best in his future. But I somehow doubt he will remain unemployed for very long (unless he decides to go lie on a beach somewhere for a year).


Chris Jones said...

As a Red Sox fan, it's pretty much required for me to hate the Yankees. But that does not extend to Joe Torre, who is among the best managers in baseball (if not the best), a true gentleman, and a man of good character. He brought honour to the Yankees organization simply by being associated with them.

For this he has been repaid by being treated publicly with disrespect by his employer. For Mr Steinbrenner to state publicly that Mr Torre's job was on the line was inexcusable. And however disappointed the organization may be with the team's performance this year, for a man with Joe Torre's history of consistent performance to be offered only a one-year contract is an immense insult.

I hope Joe Torre ends up managing another AL East team and whips the tar out of the Yankees. And if he doesn't want to manage somewhere else, he would make a terrific commissioner of baseball.

Ad Orientem said...

Amen to everything you wrote!


Gabriel said...

Well, the good news from all of this is that the Yankees 12-year dynasty is over. Rivera is testing the market, Posada has expressed that he would leave the Yankees if Torre was gone, A-Rod is probably on his way out, and Petite may be going as well. In addition, Mussina is on his last leg, Clemens is gone for good (I hope!), and Wang has shown that he is not the big game pitcher to build a staff around. It's going to be the 1980's all over again for at least a couple of seasons.

As for the Red Sox, they got my love (and the nation's love) in '04. Beckett is too smug to like, Manny may be Manny, but his antics are still obnoxious, and overall the Sox are no better than the Yankees when it comes to spending big for a "dream team." Of course, my loaylties sit with the AL Central and anytime there's a chance that the East Coast dominance will collapse, I'm ready for it. I still won't be shocked to see Boston in the World Series, especially in light of the fact that the Indians two biggest guns couldn't get it done. With the word tonight that Beckett and Wakefield will both be in the pen along with the usual crew to back up Dice-K, I don't see the Indians taking this game tonight unless, of course, Westbrook has more magic up his sleeve and the Indians can get to Dice-K quick and early. Given what both teams can pull out of the bullpen, I would imagine that late inning scoring will be at a premium.

Wow, more Orthodox baseball fans...hooray!

Ad Orientem said...

Being Orthodox I am of course a fan of the (NY) Metropolitans ;-)


Chris Jones said...

I know this thread is supposed to be about Joe Torre, but I feel constrained to respond about my Red Sox.

It is true that the Red Sox have a big payroll (2d largest in MLB, I believe). But a big part of that is Manny's huge contract, which was agreed to under the previous ownership and is universally acknowledged to have been a mistake (look at how many times the Sox have tried to move Manny, including putting him unprotected on the waiver wire at least once).

But the truth of the matter is that while the Sox' payroll is large, it is not the payroll alone that is getting the job done for the Red Sox. The big-ticket players are contributing a lot, but the Sox would not be going to the World Series if all they had were big-ticket players like Manny, Papi, Beckett, and Daisuke. They are getting a lot of production from younger players and journeymen, too. Players like Pedroia, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Okajima, and DelCarmen aren't making the big bucks, but they are delivering.

The Red Sox are anything but a one-dimensional team of the best players money can buy. By any measure -- big money vs. small money, young talent vs. veterans, offense vs. defense, starting vs. middle relief vs. setup vs. closing -- they are the most balance team I have ever seen.

And I don't see why you think Josh Beckett is smug. But if he is a bit smug, who can blame him? He has earned it.