• The Truth Behind Torre Saying “Remain Calm. All Is Well!”

    Posted by on May 19th, 2007 · Comments (21)

    Via Jeff Pearlman (with a hat tip to BaseballThinkFactory.org) -

    Unfortunately for Torre, times have changed. With the departures of coaches like Stottlemyre, Willie Randolph and Don Zimmer, he is left with a cast of failed managers (Tony Pena, Larry Bowa) and future failed managers (Don Mattingly) as his assistants. Whereas once the Yankees built a team primarily through player development and small- and medium-scale trades, now it seems like the team (with rare exception) is built on other franchises’ blocks. When you nurture and develop the Jeters and Riveras and Jorge Posadas of the world, those men will live and die for those pinstripes. On the other hand, when you shell out fat wads of cash for Alex Rodriguez and Carl Pavano and Jason Giambi, are you buying skill and passion, or just skill?

    Watching the current Yankees — 9½ games behind Boston and going nowhere fast — answers that question. They are a flat tire, with nary a jack for miles. Here is a team in dire need of pizzazz, of intensity, of spirit, of soul.

    The Yankees, meanwhile, are blah. No spunk. No fire. No urgency. Torre is the best calming-influence manager in the game, perhaps in major league history. But when it comes to getting something out of nothing, he’s no different than Don Baylor or Bill Plummer or any other run-of-the-mill skipper.

    Amen.

    Did anyone see the Torre post-game on YES last night? Torre looked like he just got back a nice day shopping at the mall or something. All the while, he kept offering lines like ‘I’d be upset if there was a lack of effort. But, I’m not seeing that. The effort is there…it’s just that the results are not there.’

    Know what? Torre’s air and reaction would be great if the Yankees were 5 games over .500, three games out of first, and had just lost three in a row after having won six of their last ten games.

    However, when your team is 10 games out of first place on May 18th, four games under .500, and have lost 6 of their last 10, it’s not time to be “Joe Cool.” It’s time to say results are all that matter and that this situation is unacceptable and needs to stop, immediately.

    Of course, if Torre says that, and the Yankees continue to fail, Joe is setting himself up to be fired. See: Torre is smart. He’s not making these post-game statements out of ignorance to the big picture. He’s making these comments because he’s trying to protect his job.

    And, that’s why he should be fired now. Once a manager is more focused on offering excuses/rationalizations instead of taking ownership of the situation, admitting that it’s unacceptable, and committing to making a change, it’s time to get a new manager.

    Comments on The Truth Behind Torre Saying “Remain Calm. All Is Well!”

    1. Raf
      May 19th, 2007 | 10:09 am

      Ok, it appears the media’s running with the “Yankees have no spunk, fire, urgency, energy” talking point whilst beating it into the ground…

      Jaret Wright was passionate. Chad Curtis was passionate. Jeff Weaver was passionate. Kevin Brown had fire and intensity. Randy Johnson was/is a “nasty SOB.” And where’d that get them? Pavano could beat up water coolers, and throw hissy fits on the mound, and stare down his infielders and opposing batters, and he’ll still be a twit.

      How would you like them to show fire? By running extra hard on a routine grounder? Throw a bat after a routine fly ball? Break a bat after a strikeout? Maybe have the pitchers do a fist pump after a strikeout. Have them whine and bitch after every non strike call, so they can appear to everyone that they care.

      puh-leeze!

      Is Torre really protecting his job? IMO, he doesn’t need to. He isn’t that desperate, or shouldn’t be. He’s set; once he’s out of the game, there won’t be any shortage of things to do when he’s done, be it the banquet circuit, or consulting work, or whatever.

      What do you suspect him do? Air out the team in front of the press? Overturn a buffet table? You don’t think the team sees the standings? You don’t think they know that there’s a sense of urgency?

      C’mon!

      Ozzie Guillen will be available next year if the Sox don’t turn it around. He’s colorful, likes small-ball (supposedly) and wouldn’t stand for the “lackadasical” play of the Yankees this year.

    2. jonm
      May 19th, 2007 | 10:16 am

      Steve,
      I’m glad that you bring up Torre’s post-game press appearance. I have to say that his demeanor was unlike any time I’ve seen him in the past. He struck me as being very phony — as putting on an act. The explanation for that could vary, however. He could be very upset and, because of that, he could have felt the need to put on the chipper act. The fact that I’ve never seen him act that phony could be a sign that there is major trouble brewing.

    3. May 19th, 2007 | 11:18 am

      Raf – say you’re the owner of a business. And, say things are going very bad for your business. And, say the manager that you hired walks into the business, when things are at the worst, and says “Yeah, I know things are bad…but, it’s not my fault…it’s just that the results are not there.” Is that what you want to hear/see?

      Yes, there’s a thing called false hustle. The players call it “eyewash.” And, that’s not what you want to see either.

      What you want to see is Torre, and the players, being contrite over this situation…and not just saying “Well, we’re trying.”

      At times like this, it should be “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.’”

      And, if you’re not “doing” then you should be “going.”

    4. May 19th, 2007 | 11:23 am

      jonm – FWIW, I’ve seen Torre be upset in the YES post-game in situations much less worse than now. That’s telling to me too. It is as if he’s putting on an act. Seriously, how could you not be upset on the night that your team falls 10 games out of first after losing a close game? You’re either dead or you’re putting on a show to try and make it look like all is well.

      And, that’s an insult to the fans. When your team is 10 games out and playing like crap, all is not well.

    5. Garcia
      May 19th, 2007 | 11:39 am

      Good job, Raf.

      Seriously, this is f’ing bullshit. Sometimes I just don’t get you, Steve. Do you work in the real world? I do, and I’ve had managers try the whole get-angry act and that doesn’t get them anywhere. The bottom line, all parts of the game need to be playing well and they aren’t. We have pitching now, and no hitting. What the f- is Torre suppose to do? Please…instead of being so critical, give your opinion on how to fix the situation. It’s real easy to say, “Fire Torre”, but not come up with a solution is not going to fix anything. Last night, I felt the intensity, I felt the team trying hard as hell to win, but guess what….they failed.

      In my prior job, we weren’t selling any new software bundles and the sales force couldn’t get the old customers to buy the new product. Management gets us all in the room, starts their rah-rah bullshit. Saying such crap like, “we have to work smarter, we have to put in the time, the success of this division falls squarely on your shoulders, blah, blah, blah”. We were all the regular grunts, bottom line, the sale force couldn’t sell anything and a bunch of people not responsible for the selling were let-go. You can give all the Vince Lombardi speeches you want, you can act like a child and look all pissed, but the bottom line is that these are men and they know what they have to get done.

      If they can’t do it, this may come as a shock to you, but maybe they just aren’t that good. Why does it have to be a more complicated answer?

      Why can’t you name some players that you feel aren’t giving you their all? I see Melky busting his hump, I see Jeter trying, I see ARod playing a good 3rd, I see Posada trying, I see Abreu pissed at himself, I see Damon trying to use his bs arm to throw out Reyes. They are trying to use every ounce of them to succeed, but they aren’t winning….do you think another manager will come in and fix that? It’s called human ability. If they aren’t able to do it, then no manager can fix that. If the pitcher on the mound can’t throw a strike, the manager can’t fix that. If the batters can’t get hits, the manager can’t fix that.

      I just wish for once, if you are going to be critical…then please show us how you’d solve the problem. Firing someone for the sake of firing is not a solution, it’s a knee-jerk reaction.

      I’m tired of seeing the finger pointing. I want answers and solutions to the problems. If you say we need a new backup catcher, then show me what players are available and that we can get. Saying, “our BUC sucks and Cashman should be fired for that” or “Our first base options sucks, we need Mickeicizkz out of there”, doesn’t solve anything except get people all riled up like an angry mob. That sure is productive.

    6. jonm
      May 19th, 2007 | 11:40 am

      ~~And, that’s an insult to the fans. When your team is 10 games out and playing like crap, all is not well.~~

      Very well-stated. I completely agree. This is the bleakest in-season moment in recent memory for the Yankees.

    7. baileywalk
      May 19th, 2007 | 11:49 am

      I agree with Raf one hundred percent here.

      And to the original article and this stain Mr. Pearlman:

      “Unfortunately for Torre, times have changed. With the departures of coaches like Stottlemyre, Willie Randolph and Don Zimmer, he is left with a cast of failed managers (Tony Pena, Larry Bowa) and future failed managers (Don Mattingly)…”

      Now people are going to act like they LIKE Mel? How many times did Yankee fans and people in the media call for Mel to be fired because he couldn’t “fix” anyone?

      Tony Pena turned around a crappy Royals team (I guess a Manager of the Year award doesn’t count for anything to this guy) and why the slam of Mattingly? How is it a guarantee that he will be a failure?

      “Whereas once the Yankees built a team primarily through player development and small- and medium-scale trades, now it seems like the team (with rare exception) is built on other franchises’ blocks.”

      This is the biggest pile of shit I’ve ever heard — a cliche writers put out there when they’re too lazy to actually look at things.

      As it’s been pointed out a million times, the great ’90s teams weren’t homegrown; they had a few homegrown players sprinkled amongst a ton of free agents. And some of those players — like Cone and Clemens — were big-name stars.

      And didn’t the Yankees “nurture and develop” Cano, Wang, Melky, Proctor (sort of), Hughes and Wright?

      The idea that you have to be homegrown or from a “midsized” trade to “die for the pinstripes” is absurd. It’s dumb beyond description.

      “When you shell out fat wads of cash for Alex Rodriguez and Carl Pavano and Jason Giambi, are you buying skill and passion, or just skill?”

      It’s such a ludicrous thought — that people coming here from other teams don’t have passion. So I guess every player going to ANOTHER team in a trade is also passion-free? This is the most phony criticism I’ve ever heard.

    8. dereksTeam
      May 19th, 2007 | 12:02 pm

      Chicken little Steve. Ooh the sky is falling! Ooh the sky is falling.

      That was a well-played game yesterday.

      This is a team that can take the next 18 out of 21 ballgames. And the league leader is the epitome of dropping 10 out of 12 when the mood hits them.

      And now you and other nitwits are saying we lack “spunk?” is that some new PECOTA stat I’ve missed? Hey, let’s get Todd Helton for Kyle Farnsworth! Fire Joe! Fire Joe! Fire Joe!

      Please. Bronx Banter Lite.

    9. zgveritas
      May 19th, 2007 | 12:11 pm

      I think the reason he says Mattingly would be a failure is because he thinks any manager would be a failure with this team the way they are playing.

      For a while you could blame the Yankee performance on pitching woes like the loss of Pavano & Mussina to the DL. Kei Igawa didn’t pan out and that money could have been better spent on a proven commodity. Hughes hamstring injury was simply shocking for a youngster. But now the run production is simply awful.

      I would like to see some small ball. The management treats A-Rod with kid gloves because of the large investment in him. His stolen base figures are way down and he is perfectly capable of stealing a lot more. If opposing pitchers were worrying about holding runners on and playing the bunt I think they might make mental mistakes that the our hitters could take advantage of.

      I think Giambi should have started learning to bunt 3 years ago like Ortiz does to take advantage of teams in the overshift.

    10. baileywalk
      May 19th, 2007 | 12:30 pm

      I think Giambi should have started learning to bunt 3 years ago like Ortiz does to take advantage of teams in the overshift.
      ——

      Giambi bunts on occasion. But seriously — how many times has Ortiz bunted successfully in the last two years?

      On a semi-related note: the Yankees are basically two years away from really “rebuilding” — and you have to hope they do it correctly. They need to get away from guys like Giambi and Damon. Both perfectly productive players, but they’re old and injured all the time. The problem is there really are no replacements just yet in the system. The system is stacked with pitching for now and in the future, but outside of Tabata and some REALLY young kids, there’s nothing on the position-player side. Hopefully Cash has the long-term vision to look into trading some of that pitching for our next first baseman and centerfielder. If things remain the same, Cash should look to trade A-Rod for a few useful pieces at the deadline (just a thought, though A-Rod would probably never go for it).

      We have some exciting outfield prospects in the system, and a catcher who’s tearing up high-A. But everyone is years away. You just have to hope Cashman truly wants to get young, and finds a way to bring in someone like Mark Teixeira, and starts to rid the team of its age, and creates a team filled with youth but sprinkled with vets, rather than the other way around. It’s not easy to do, but Cashman certainly has the resources to give it a try.

    11. May 19th, 2007 | 1:12 pm

      ~~~Please…instead of being so critical, give your opinion on how to fix the situation.~~~

      Well, you can’t change the players. So, you have to fire the manager and hope that the next guy can get this team to play better and try and win the Wildcard. It’s a risk. But, it’s a chance.

      You do nothing, and nothing will happen.

      If Torre had the ability to make this change, it would have changed by now. So, you take a shot with someone else to see if they can do better.

      That’s what I would do.

    12. May 19th, 2007 | 1:17 pm

      ~~~This is a team that can take the next 18 out of 21 ballgames.~~~

      Based on what, their level of play so far this season? Anyone who thinks this team can win 18 of their next 21 games is wearing size X-Large Yankees blinders and not seeing the truth.

    13. May 19th, 2007 | 1:28 pm

      Just an add-on: I invite you guys to read what Phil has posted at Inside the Stadium:

      http://www.insidethestadium.com/?p=448

      “It’s painfully obvious which team is the better team in New York right now. The cool, calm and collected Mets are 27-14. The Yankees are 18-22. After stepping into both locker rooms tonight after the Mets 3-2 win over the Yankees the difference is glaring. It’s not that the Mets were glowing because they have been winning and the Yankees were glum because they have been struggling. Oh, no. There’s a chasm between these two teams in terms of attitude, approach and cohesiveness. The Yankee players were at a job, the Mets players were hanging out and having fun.”

      That’s part of my point. The Yankees need an attitude adjustment…and that starts with replacing the man whose attitude they carry now.

    14. RICH
      May 19th, 2007 | 2:22 pm

      ~say you’re the owner of a business.

      I have owned businesses and what many Yankee fans are doing is overreacting to every high and low as if it was a football season.

      If you want to change managers for the sake of change go ahead but if that’s your plan it’s nothing more than hoping for a caffeine jolt at best. That’s not a plan.

      “There’s a chasm between these two teams in terms of attitude, approach and cohesiveness”

      If that’s causing the Yankees to be losing then which players have a bad attitude and/or approach? I don’t see any loafing going on.

      Cohesiveness problem? Do you want every Yankee to shave their heads as the Mets have done? I don’t mind anyone doing it but I don’t think it will help performance.

      People are mistaking cause and affect.

      The Yankees are losing games now because they’re not hitting even though their pitching and fielding have been pretty solid.

      This team’s roster has shown it can make up deficits though none as large as the current one is and I think this year’s team is better than the last few ones.

      If there was a glaring problem that could be fixed I’d say fix it but I don’t see a glaring problem.

      At the beginning of the season I thought the team would win about 95. It’s getting tougher to be able to reach that number but the ingredients are there to accomplish it.

    15. dereksTeam
      May 19th, 2007 | 3:04 pm

      Based on the fact that batting slumps are just that, batting slumps. That Robbie Cano is not a flash in the pan, neither Melky Cabrera nor Bobby Abreu. The latter two are showing signs of coming out of it. That Arod is Arod. That the Giambino and Damon are playing injured and that they will work out of it, as they always have. And they ARE due to be replaced. Make way for Teixeira; if I can spell his name, he’s practically here.

      The pitching shows weakness in middle relief, but whose doesn’t. The days of dipping into the minors to cover the front rotation will be over in mid June. In the meantime I’m looking forward to Tyler Clippard and I think Rasner has been great.

      I also know that Jorge is not going to finish the year at .350, so I’m not wearing blinders. The point, which YOU haven’t answered, is that you seem to believe that the sky has fallen. Giambi and Damon are old, injured and useless. It’s over for Abreu. And your nitwit list of failures and swooning grief goes on and on.

      On the contrary, Pettite has been awesome (a lot better than I thought I’m embarrassed to say), Moose has had some great starts, same with Wang. You’re writing off bankable stars. Clemens will be Clemens (somewhere between the greatest show on earth and average) and THE KID will be back. Giambi will finish the year with 35+ HRs and Damon will put together another .290 + season. Same with Abreu. What do you want to do? Trade ‘em? These are veteran stars still in their servicable prime. You say NO? You want the little bouncy Dominicans from Shea? Ooooh Bouncy! Ooooh SPUNKY!

      Please, If anyone ever spots a “spunky” Yankee you have my permission to aim a rotten egg at him.

      We are not the Atlanta Braves, Francoeur’s comments to the contrary. What the fuck does he know anyways? Debuted in 2005, his first walk not coming until his 128th at bat!!! Started running mouth in 2006.

      I say you have the fatalism of a SAWKS fan and none of their hard-earned logic to back it up. They can prove it, to the tune of 1 out of 89.

      So where were you last year at this time? I remember dealing with Sox fans telling me it was all over, weren’t we 11-19 at some point, 8 games below 500, probably 10 game behind. I bet you would have traded Derek when he went 0 for 34, whatever. Show me your 11-19 comments, where were your predictions then. Face it Stevie, it’s easier to write disaster stories than it is to look for the positive in life or sports.

      The secret of being a good fan is to know talent. And stick with it, while others lose their heads. If these were a bunch of going-through-the-motions-aging-superstars-making-excuses, I’d be with you. Your shtick just ain’t sellin’ because they are simply not.

      Don’t worry, I’m not the kind of guy who writes you every year and says I told you so…he he he he. Remember ’07. The Mick Lives!

    16. baileywalk
      May 19th, 2007 | 3:11 pm

      The Yankee players were at a job, the Mets players were hanging out and having fun.

    17. May 19th, 2007 | 3:16 pm

      I hate it when people confuse success and effort.

      Just because a team isn’t hitting doesn’t mean a team isn’t trying or that a team doesn’t care.

      Firing Torre would be firing him for the sake of firing him.

      I can understand why the Yankees would do it (can’t fire the players), but that doesn’t mean that the Yankees should do it.

      Torre can’t make Abreu, Cano, Giambi, Matsui, Arod, or Damon hit.

      He can’t make his pitchers throw strikes.

      A new manager won’t be able to do any of that either.

      Any success a new manager would have is success that Torre most likely will get because Torre’s PLAYERS aren’t performing right now, and they will eventually. The lack of execution right now, has nothing to do with the manager.

    18. Raf
      May 19th, 2007 | 4:04 pm

      At times like this, it should be “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.’”

      And, if you’re not “doing” then you should be “going.”
      ============
      I’ve never been a business owner, but I’ve been one of the men in the trenches.

      Whenever management gets their panties in a bunch, we tell them what they want to hear, in order to get them to STFU. In reality we’d like to tell them to STFU, we know what we’re doing so they should get their fat @sses back in the office, but diplomacy prevents us from doing so. You hired me to do a job, let me do it.

      WRT the Yanks, evaluations come after the season, not during it.

    19. Raf
      May 19th, 2007 | 4:15 pm

      Based on what, their level of play so far this season?
      ============
      3rd in runs scored & avg runs scored
      11th in ERA
      8th in pitching runs allowed
      2nd in defensive efficiency

      Seeing as the pitching is coming around, I think they’ll be ok.

    20. Raf
      May 19th, 2007 | 4:23 pm

      oh boy, another pitching injury…

    21. snowball003
      May 20th, 2007 | 5:51 pm

      I see Melky busting his hump, I see Jeter trying, I see ARod playing a good 3rd, I see Posada trying, I see Abreu pissed at himself, I see Damon trying to use his bs arm to throw out Reyes.
      ————-
      Ditto. I’d never seen Abreu happier than when he hit that home run against Chicago. It’s not like he’s never hit a home run before, he was just happy to finally be doing something.

    Leave a reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.