• Big Stein On Torre & A-Rod

    Posted by on October 7th, 2007 · Comments (8)

    From the Record:

    Joe Torre’s 12-year run as manager of the Yankees will likely end if his team does not rally to beat the Cleveland Indians in the AL Division Series, George Steinbrenner told The Record on Saturday night.

    “His job is on the line,” the Yankees’ owner said in a phone interview. “I think we’re paying him a lot of money. He’s the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don’t think we’d take him back if we don’t win this series.”

    Torre is in the final year of a contract worth $7 million this season. He has led his team to four World Series titles and 12 consecutive playoff appearances and was universally hailed this year for weathering a 21-29 start.

    “He’s been good for us over the years,” Steinbrenner acknowledged.

    If the bugs also messed up Alex Rodriguez, the superstar forever burdened by October angst, Steinbrenner said A-Rod’s struggles won’t temper his desire to re-sign the free agent-to-be, who will likely seek a contract worth more than $30 million per year.

    “I think we’ll re-sign him,” Steinbrenner said of Rodriguez. “I think he’s going to have a good run the rest of the [postseason]. I think he realizes New York is the place to be, the place to play. A lot of this [postseason] is laying on his shoulders, you know, but I think he’s up to it.”

    No matter what George says, I think there’s still just as much of a chance that Torre stays, and Alex goes, if the Yankees lose tonight.

    Personally, if they lose this ALDS, I’m like to see them both go – and try and reboot this team as much as possible. But, I think that Torre has enough backers in the organization that he’s safe, win or lose.

    Comments on Big Stein On Torre & A-Rod

    1. redbug
      October 7th, 2007 | 12:39 pm

      No matter what George says, I think there’s still just as much of a chance that Torre stays, and Alex goes, if the Yankees lose tonight.

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      I hope you’re right, Steve, but those are pretty strong statements from a man I though incapable of saying much any more.

      This report reminds me of the George I couldn’t stand. All bluster and full of nasty threats on the eve a potential elimination game. What a ridiculous thing to do. Hopefully the Yankee players who love playing for Joe – Jeter, Mo, Andy, Roger, Jorge, etc – know enough to blow this off.

      ARod and Boras must be thrilled to hear that the Yanks’ll pay him $30 – $35 mill a yr for the next 10 yr’s no matter whether he goes 0′fer whatever in the PS.

    2. Joel
      October 7th, 2007 | 2:16 pm

      The Yanks will rally and win this series and both Mr. Torre and A-Rod will be in pinstripes next year.

      I love Don Mattingly. He’s my all-time favorite Yankee. But is this the guy you Torre-bashers want managing the team next year? Because if Joe goes, that’s who probably gets the job.

    3. baileywalk
      October 7th, 2007 | 2:47 pm

      First of all, Joe should never have been brought back this year. Yeah, he gets into the post-season every year, but he has a 200-million-dollar team. Are you telling me if you stuck Tony Pena or Larry Bowa or Joe Blow in the same job they wouldn’t make the post-season with this team? Torre is still living off his four rings — but his last WS win came in 2000. We’re a long way removed from then. He was the manager for the worst collapse in post-season history. And now we’re looking at the THIRD first-round bounce in a row. Why should he keep his job? Frankly, Torre is the only guy in baseball who wouldn’t be an automatic fire in this situation.

      And I think you’re wrong on this, Steve. Torre had two backers last year — Cashman and Swindal — and now Swindal is gone and I don’t think Cashman can stop George from firing him. Everyone else in the organization hates Torre. They feel like he has gotten in the way of the team’s success.

      Even if they do manage to rally and come back, I still think Torre will be gone.

      And yes, I’d love to have Mattingly manage this team. He lives and breathes baseball. The players respect him. And he has the same calm, quiet, no-panic attitude that everyone loves in Torre. Maybe he can be Torre without the asinine bullpen moves.

    4. j
      October 7th, 2007 | 3:24 pm

      “Yeah, he gets into the post-season every year, but he has a 200-million-dollar team.”

      I love this stupid statement everytime I hear it.
      The Yankees opening day payroll was $189M, including pay outs to former players that total $9M and close to $10M of Carl Pavano’s salary. They added Clemens for $17M after prorating, so they’re at $187M, give or take. $13M/year is another player (like say, Gil Meche or Ted Lilly.) But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a great catch phrase statement – the Yankees as the $200M/year team sounds much better than the Yankees as a $187M/year team (and shrinking, while the Red Sox, Mets and Cubs are growing.)

      As for Mattingly, what could you possibly be basing your assessment of his ability to manage this team on? The one game he managed was the game where Bloomquist was out by 2 feet at 2nd base, and Donnie didn’t even pop his head out of the dug out to see what’s going on. Torre’s allegiance runs deep, exemplified by the list you can make where you know it’s a factor:

      Jeter
      Clemens
      Pettite
      Rivera
      Posada
      Bowa
      Pena
      Guidry
      Cashman

      Every guy on this list stands to play a role on the 2008 Yankees – don’t underestimate that.

    5. baileywalk
      October 7th, 2007 | 4:39 pm

      Oooooh, sorry, J, 187 million! Gosh, how does Torre get by with only a 187-million-dollar payroll? And he HAS had a 200-million-dollar-PLUS payroll and STILL lost. Saying “they’re not a 200-million-dollar team but actually a 187-million-dollar team” is like saying “I only killed two people, not ten.” It’s still by far the highest payroll in baseball. The Red Sox are the only ones even anywhere near it, and the Mets and Cubs aren’t even close.

      Let me repeat what I said about Mattingly:

      “He lives and breathes baseball. The players respect him. And he has the same calm, quiet, no-panic attitude that everyone loves in Torre.”

      Where in those three sentences did I discuss his in-game management or anything else involving gameplanning? All I’m saying is the guy loves every aspect of baseball, the players love him, and he’s a calm, non-fiery guy. What part of that isn’t true? What part of that couldn’t be gleamed from his time as a coach?

      Here’s Torre’s resume the same four years (with, yes, the biggest payroll in baseball):

      2004: worst collapse in post-season history.
      2005: first-round bounce.
      2006: first-round bounce.
      2007: (doesn’t win the division) and another possible first-round bounce.

      So tell me — why should George keep him? He gives him everything he needs, plus seven million bucks a year, and what is he getting in return?

    6. baileywalk
      October 7th, 2007 | 4:54 pm

      Because J likes to crunch numbers and doesn’t think a 189-million-dollar payroll has any advantage (if you’re not spendin’ over 200, you’re not spending!), here’s a breakdown of the Yanks over the last few years:

      2002: 126 million (18 million more than the next highest, the Red Sox).
      2003: when the team really got fat: 180 million (64! million more than the next highest, the Mets).
      2004: 188 million (53 million more than the next highest, the Red Sox).
      2005: 208 million (85! million more than the next highest, the Red Sox).
      2006: 194 million (74! million more than the next highest, the Red Sox).
      2007: 189 million (46 million more than the next highest, the Red Sox).

      At least Cashman finally got his wish and the team is getting younger and cheaper with guys like Cano, Hughes and Joba. Which means they’ll probably win again. And when they do win again, it will be without Joe.

    7. Santino53
      October 7th, 2007 | 5:28 pm

      I noticed Ian mentioned that Bobby V’s contract is up this year in Japan. Is the concensus that hiring him would be setting fire to the village?
      Curious of your thoughts relative to his game skills versus his temperament with this veteran team?

    8. RICH
      October 7th, 2007 | 6:10 pm

      “Let me repeat what I said about Mattingly:

      “He lives and breathes baseball. The players respect him. And he has the same calm, quiet, no-panic attitude that everyone loves in Torre.”

      Great. Why not Gene Monahan or Steve Donohue? They probably have those traits.

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