Congratulations to Joe Torre for telling the Yankees to take their contract offer, and shove it up their hindquarters.
Seems the Yankees’ ownership overplayed a weak hand here. They issued an ultimatum — during the playoffs — to a manager who’d made the playoffs twelve years in a row.
Twelve. Years. In a row.
Chew on that for a while. Yes, it is the Yankees, so yes, expectations are higher. But how many other teams, in any sport, have ever made the postseason 12 times in a row? That’s gotta be a pretty short list, like the list of Famous Jewish Ballplayers.
I don’t care how dissatisfied they might be with the Yankees’ performance. Joe Torre is a class act, and deserves to be treated with more dignity and respect than this disgraceful performance. Has it occurred to the Yankees’ braintrust that the players are not good enough? When are they going to develop a pitcher or two? Is that Joe Torre’s fault too?
So, not a stellar move on the Yankees part. But, if they really wanted to fire him, they still could have done that without looking quite so stupid and ineffectual. Firing managers is something we all know does happen from time to time, even if it isn’t fair, and everybody understands that it usually is more of a forceful way of saying “the players need to perform better, but we did this first, as a warning shot across the bow”.
But what you cannot do is make threats, and then sit on them for two weeks, and then at the end of all that, offer the guy a contract that amounts to a game of “pick the date you’ll be fired next year”. And then to top it off, the cherry on the sundae? Expect him to just bend over and take it. Only an idiot or a desperate man takes that deal, and Joe Torre is neither.
So now they have to start fresh, knowing that their nucleus just isn’t that great any more, with lots of questions about pitching and their aging lineup, and a payroll of like $180M. But they probably don’t care, since they are more of a media concern now, with the YES network or whatever the bloody hell it is. Have fun with all that.
Yeah, the managerial candidates are probably lining up, down the hall and out the door, for that opportunity.
And a special note from Mike at badnewscubs.com about the national sports media, to which I would add this memo:
ESPNNational Sports Media:
Please shut up about the Yankees, already.
Just One of 280 Million Americans That, To Be Frank, Just Don't Care That Much About the Friggin' Yankees