Another bad sign for Torre


Over at The New York Times’ Bat blog, Tyler Kepner has an interesting piece up about Joe Torre’s bullpen management. Kepner notes that on July 20, when Edwar Ramirez, after sitting for two weeks, couldn’t find the plate, Joe Torre finally may have learned how to manage the bullpen and that the Joba Rules reinforce that view.

I disagree.

Torre is under strict instructions from the Front Office to use Joba but to use him according to these guidelines, and someone up there must have told him to use Edwar more often than once every 15 days. It doesn’t take a good manager to know this about pitchers. Time and again, we’ve seen Torre misuse his bullpen and abuse pitchers he likes and pitchers who can get outs. I take this micromanagement by the Yanks’ baseball operations staff as just one more sign that Joe Torre is managing under a vote of no confidence.

If the Yanks manage to overtake the Red Sox, Torre will earn a lot of praise for turning this team around. The media will fawn all over him, but it’s still time for him to exit gracefully.

A successful postseason will allow the Yanks and Joe to present a good public image. Torre goes out on top; the Yanks give him the honorary position he deserves for leading the team successfully for 12 seasons; and a successor arrives. That’s the way it should be as more young players move up through the system and the Yanks turn away from the Experienced Veteran formula so favored by Torre.

Categories : Analysis
  • dan

    dead on. they are babying him through the process of learning how to manage the 21st century team. despite having an enormous payroll, its impossible for the yankees talent to be that much better than everyone else, and torre hasnt handled that well. if he’s back for next year it will be because of some front office shake-up that wants to keep him.

  • mg

    Yep. I couldn’t agree more. I’m sure eventually there will be a flame of disagreement but you’re dead on. It really should have happened after last post season but I’ll take it after this year. Time for modern management and a guy who will trust the kids.

  • Count Zero


  • raider


    KRam and Joba may be the future of the Yankee pen.

    Mo is sliding ,

    Last year Toree paniced in the playoffs

    Melky and Abreu were key to getting the division title but
    he plays Shef and Matsui (ugh) you saw the results

    Use the KIDS!

  • steve

    Come on, what manager wouldn’t have played Matsui in the playoffs?

    and i am not a Torre fan.

    Matsui came back from his injury and hit .396/.477/.585 in September.

    he should have been playing.

    Sheff, i am not sure about. that happened b/c Giambi got hurt. Sheff should have been in the lineup, but in retrospect it was kindof crazy to play him at 1B in the playoffs.

    the Yankees got knocked out last year b/c their pitching was horrible. Moose couldn’t hold a lead and then RJ and Wright were terrible.

    let’s not blame the “chemistry-monster”.

    and no, Joba is not the “future” of the yankee pen. he’s the future of the top of the rotation.

  • steve

    and yes, torre is gone next year no matter what.

  • Frank

    What if Mo and Jorge say they’re not coming back without Joe?

  • steve

    “What if Mo and Jorge say they’re not coming back without Joe?”

    they will come back if the yankees pay them the most money.

    and if they do say that, you have to call their bluff.

    i don’t care who they are, the players don’t get to decide who the manager is.

    after all, if they go to another team, they definitely won’t be playing for Joe Torre either.

  • Count Zero

    “What if Mo and Jorge say they’re not coming back without Joe?”

    They wouldn’t do it, but even if they did, then Steve is right — you can’t let the inmates run the asylum. The graveyard of franchise failures (in every sport) is littered with the bones of GMs that allowed star players to dictate to the FO.

  • Troy

    Now that Torre has a competent bench and a good mix of relievers (atleast for the moment) he seems to be making all the right moves. Soooooo, was it the lack of talent causing him to make poor moves or was it his incompetence?? Or Option C, has he actually learned a new trick? It appears that he gets it now about the Yanks organizational movement to using young pitching. Which Torre do you judge when you decide whether to bring him back next year? Assuming the Yanks make the playofs with a smooth run the rest of the way and have some success in the playoffs, do you figure all the initial problems weren’t the managers fault? Of course the one making the decision is the one whom the blame would then fall. Interesting.

  • steve

    “Assuming the Yanks make the playofs with a smooth run the rest of the way and have some success in the playoffs, do you figure all the initial problems weren’t the managers fault? ”

    i never thought all of the initial problems were torre’s fault. or cashman’s fault.

    it was the fault of the same exact players that are performing now who weren’t performing before.

    they stunk because the following players stunk:
    mariano (very briefly, but he still cost them 3 games)

    the rest was a ridiculous string of injuries (wang, mussina, hughes, giambi) and crappy luck.

    i didn’t blame torre, though he did make some absolutely maddening decisions.

    that said, i just think it’s time.

    his contract is up and he’s not going to be here forever, so now is as good of a time as any to go in a different direction.

    now, if they win the WS and he comes back, i won’t be upset b/c THEY WON THE WS. that’s all any of us really want. but anything short of that, he has to go.

  • brxbmrs


    Matsui came back and hit those numbers against teams that were out of contention and were more interested in getting the season over with than playing competitive baseball. Yanks also had decimated Boston w\o him and had a comfortable lead.

    Also, Matsui’s first game where he went 4 for 4 was a bit of a sham as 3 of those hits were bleeders and bloops.

    Don’t you find it interesting that Matsui is in another power outage now that we are facing good pitching?

    If you saw yesterday’s game he got 3 RBI’s but through 2 sac flies and his usual grounder to the right side – that wen’t thru this time thanks to the drawn in infield. Left 5 guys on base as well.

    Matsui is a good player – shaky defensively but adequate if he hits.

    He’s lucky he’s on the Yanks with 3 guys ahead of him with .400 OBP.

    The Matsui I evaluate is the guy who is 1-9 in our last two elimination games in October.

  • steve

    my point was that 30 out of 30 major league managers would have re-inserted Matsui into the lineup and we should stop blaming Torre for that. there are plenty of other things to blame him for.

    “Don’t you find it interesting that Matsui is in another power outage now that we are facing good pitching? ”

    here are the pitchers Matsui has taken deep this year:

    Scott Kazmir
    Cha Seung Baek
    Oliver Perez
    Curt Schilling
    Dustin McGowan
    Tom Gorzelanny
    Livan Hernandez
    Rodrigo Lopez
    Johan Santana
    Pat Neshek
    Ervin Santana
    Casey Fossum
    Andy Sonnanstine
    Josh Towers
    Jason Hammel
    Brian Stokes
    James Shields
    Jimmy Gobble
    Brian Burres
    Jose Contreras
    Gavin Floyd
    Gil Meche
    Roy Halladay

    there are some pretty good pitchers on that list. so i’m not sure what you are talking about.

    “The Matsui I evaluate is the guy who is 1-9 in our last two elimination games in October”

    of course, you wouldn’t be a sports fan in NY if you didn’t ignore his 2500 other ABs in favor of the 9 that prove your point.

  • http://none chris g

    i think steve phillips is the worst commentator in all of sports..
    he pretty much has put the yankees under the bus all season long and its been fun watching him make excuse after excuse why the yanks have some back and spanking the american league i wish thsi guy who by the way destroyed the new york mats for years..he could handle a gm jib and thats why hes a commentator cause no one is baseball thinks hughly of his baseball iq…just seeing if anyone aggrees with me…what a moroon this guy is…i cant wait for them to win the al east to see why teh got lucky and so on..hes a jerk and im tired of hearing him

    espn should fire him..hes horrible..

    just so he knows…

    we have the best offense in the league and how he likes to say the yankees are always good because they over pay for players all the time…

    cano is home grown
    jeter is
    pattite is
    pasada is
    cabrera is
    shelley duncan is
    and now instead of spending money and aquiring big names..weve built one of the best farm systems in all of sports..
    now our new homegrown talent is igniting our balclub…welcome to the new up n comers like

    joba chamberlain..who by the way has been better than eric gagne…a allstart player.
    phil hughes..
    ian kennedy
    edward ramirez
    and we have a bunch of kids taht wiull make a huge impact over the next 5 years…

    so steve phillips shut ur mouth and get ur facts straight…..ur the worst commentator in all of sports..and get a clue!

  • Relaunch

    Dude, learn how to spell