• McPaper: Torre Is Mr. Bungl-tober

    Posted by on December 29th, 2005 · Comments (8)

    From Al Neuharth – the founder of the USA Today:

    While heartland sports fans in Illinois and Indiana will have plenty to cheer about, the curse returns to Boston. The Red Sox will miss the playoffs for the first time in four years.

    My beloved Yankees — with more talent than ever thanks to baseball’s best boss, George Steinbrenner — should breeze through the regular season to win the American League East. But Manager Joe Torre’s traditional playoff bungling from the bench likely will have them stumbling again in October, for the sixth year in a row.

    I’ve always thought that, at some point, the events of 1997, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 would start to outweigh the good stuff from 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000.

    In terms of rings, Joe is just four for ten – and oh’fer his last five.

    I think what really is the killer here is how close they were in 2001, 2003 and 2004 – with the choke in 2004 being a huge anchor on Joe’s rep.

    Funny, after the 2000 season, many were ready to put Torre in Cooperstown at that moment. I wonder if his final record is, say, 4 of for 12ish, would they be so quick – considering that the record probably should have been something like 6 or 7 for 12? Of course, then, what does that do to Bobby Cox? It’s all going to be very interesting when that day comes.

    Hopefully a ring comes this year and makes it all moot.

    Comments on McPaper: Torre Is Mr. Bungl-tober

    1. DownFromNJ
      December 29th, 2005 | 11:56 pm

      Torre handed the game to his closer with a lead in 1997, 2001, and 2004. 2004 he mismanaged a little bit, namely bringing in Mo in the 8th inning in game 5 with the bases loaded and no one out.

      2005 he managed terrible (in the regular season and the post season). I’m no fan of Torre, and I think that we would be significantly better if we had a Macha-type manager.

    2. December 30th, 2005 | 12:16 am

      You forgetting Weaver in 2003?

    3. DownFromNJ
      December 30th, 2005 | 2:45 am

      Ok… 2005 and 2003 :)

      Though still, the team failed moreso than Torre did in 2003. Wells went out. Pettite blew it. No one could hit Beckett. Torre just made the inevitable that much more inevitable.

    4. DaveD
      December 30th, 2005 | 9:30 am

      DownFromNJ, I actually thought bringing in Mo in the 8th in that spot was the right move. That inning was the game decider, you want the absolute best pitcher you have out there. And despite his oft-mentioned problems with the Sox, that was the right call. 2001 hurt the most, I’m sure we can all agree.

    5. MJ
      December 30th, 2005 | 9:43 am

      Torre’s biggest brain-fart in the 2004 ALCS wasn’t his deployment of relievers in Games 4/5 but his failure to internalize the lesson of Dave Roberts’ steal of 2nd base in Game 4. The very next night in Game 5, with Tim Wakefield throwing wild pitch after wild pitch to Jason Varitek, a guy that didn’t catch Wakefield on a regular basis, Torre sat there like a statue, not pressing the issue and advancing his runners on the errant Wakefield knucklers.

      If Kenny Lofton coming to New York was Steinbrenner’s/Cashman’s reaction to how the Marlins won in 2003, what, pray tell, was he doing on the bench in the 2004 ALCS when a dose of speed could’ve given us the one run we needed to end the series in Boston.

      That was Torre’s biggest blunder in 2004.

    6. Raf
      December 30th, 2005 | 10:52 am

      The very next night in Game 5, with Tim Wakefield throwing wild pitch after wild pitch to Jason Varitek, a guy that didn’t catch Wakefield on a regular basis, Torre sat there like a statue, not pressing the issue and advancing his runners on the errant Wakefield knucklers.
      ===============================

      There wasn’t an opportunity to run; courtesy of Retrosheet

      YANKEES 13TH: Sheffield struck out but advanced to first on a passed ball; Matsui forced Sheffield (second to shortstop); Williams flied to right; Varitek allowed a passed ball [Matsui to second]; Posada was walked intentionally; Varitek allowed a
      passed ball [Matsui to third, Posada to second]; Sierra struck out; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 2 LOB. Yankees 4, Red Sox 4.

      It was a pretty weird series all around; gm’s 4-6 all could have been won

    7. JohnnyC
      December 30th, 2005 | 6:45 pm

      Don’t you think that the almost total reconstruction of the coaching staff is a more than obvious attempt by the Yankees management to Torre-proof the 2006 season? It looks like it to me. And, hopefully, it works. For everyone’s sake.

    8. December 31st, 2005 | 1:53 pm

      ditto

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