Torre, discussing the end, leaves the door slightly open

A very boring DotF
First three candidates ready their résumés

Joe Torre is still fielding questions about his meeting yesterday with the Yankee executives. But his prepared comments are over, and Joe pretty much spoke as you would expect him to do. He was fair and kind toward the Yankees, and it’s clear he still considers himself to be part of the organization. The door is also not yet fully shut if the Yankees come back and make him another offer.

Torre did not have an easy time of it. “I just felt the the terms of the contract were probably the thing I had the toughest time with,” he said. “The one year, for one thing. The incentives, for another. The fact that I had been there 12 years and I didn’t think motivation was needed. I felt pretty well renewed every year, and we knew exactly what was expected here.”

He also spoke about how this decision would impact the players. While he appreciated the sentiments, he did like how the Yankees players were pressing because they felt they were playing for his job in the playoffs. It created too much pressure on the team. “I didn’t think it was the right thing for me,” he said. “I didn’t think it was the right thing for my players.”

He spoke about how the guys in Tampa didn’t want this to be a negotiation. It was a one-time offer, and in response to Bob Klapisch’s question about whether this was an offer he was supposed to refuse, Torre was non-committal. It’s up to us to decide that he said, and I’ve decided that he probably was supposed to refuse it.

I know many of you have spoken about the money, but Joe said the money, while it weighed on him a little, was not the motivating factor. He was simply insulted at the belief that the Yanks would make the playoffs and literally give up. He was insulted over the performance-based clauses. He feels that the first six years – making the World Series five times – put undo expectations on the club. It’s hard to disagree with that.

Later on, Torre said that it was not about the money. A two-year, $14-million deal wouldn’t cut it. He wants the commitment from the Yankees execs that they won’t mess with him, and he wants them to have faith in his ability after 12 very successful years at the helm.

Torre questioned the time frame for the decision during the question and answer session. He wondered why it took the Yankees brass two weeks to decide that they wanted him to be in charge. It made him a little suspicious of the offer once he heard about it. That’s yet another notch for the argument that the Yanks never wanted Joe to take this offer. I wonder how public response to this move and Torre’s press conference will impact the Yanks.

There is no doubt that Randy Levine and Joe Torre do not like each other. Torre’s vague answer during the press conference and laugh said it all.

A very boring DotF
First three candidates ready their résumés
  • Jamie

    Joe is just pure class.

    • Jersey

      And Randy Levine is pure not-class.

      • kris

        Levine is just pure crass.

        • Jersey

          lol even better

  • Tk_NYY

    Randy, Hal, et al are filling with feelings of dread. I can see these suits thinking it’s a good idea to lace Mattingly’s first contract with similar incentives.

    It’s not a good thing when non-baseball people try to make baseball decisions.

    • steve (different one)

      and why would that be bad if they did that for Mattingly? i don’t get it, what has Mattingly earned?

  • dan

    Is the whole video not there? I didnt hear any questions from reporters (its about 5 mins in length)

    • Ben K.

      The video is just snippets. Doesn’t appear that we can get the full 70 minutes on video.

  • marc

    is this not the crappiest time of year or what.

  • Patrick

    Watched the entire thing. Is anyone else a little embarrassed to be a Yankee fan right now? Wow. Unbelievable.

    • kris

      I feel the ownership just punched me in the gut. I wonder how smart people like the Steinbrenners can really believe fans would put up with Levine’s PR stunt. I feel insulted that the ownership is treating us like morons who will believe anythng the ownership says.

    • Yankee Fan in Chicago

      Uh no. Not embarassed one bit to be a fan.

      I am a little embarassed for Torre though. A 70 minute presser? For what? To wring that last drop of sympathy out of an adoring press? Puh-leeze.

      As one commentator at nomaas quipped:

      “Last question – Joe, will it be hard to leave this room while you’re nailed to that cross?”

      • Giuseppe Franco

        That’s unfair, YFIC.

        Did you see the media stake-out his house the last week and chase this guy with choppers flying overhead last night?

        Torre is a stand-up guy and this was his opportunity to say goodbye and answer all the media’s questions so that there is no speculation as to why he did what he did.

        I have no problem with it whatsoever.

        • Yankee Fan in Chicago

          He could’ve released a statement.

          • dan

            But then the press still wants to ask their own questions. It was a good thing to do, just not for 65 minutes

          • Giuseppe Franco

            That’s ridiculous.

            Legendary coaches for the most storied franchises in the history of sports don’t just release statements when their tenure is over.

            If he had done that, the media would have still staked him out for more info and not given him any peace.

            This way, he did it on his own terms and left few questions unanswered.

            Hate him all you want, but give the man some respect.

            Besides, it’s not his fault their starting pitching has sucked since 2003 and is the primary reason why they haven’t been to the WS in 4 years.



  • Jamal G.

    If you want a villain, and trust me there is one, it’s Yankees President Randy Levine. Learn that SOB’s name Yankees fans because this MOFO is trying to exert his power as George’s power is transitioning to his sons, Hank and Hal. There are rumors going around that this prick is the one who let that reporter know where George was so he could call him and get that statement out of The Boss where he threatened to fire Mr. T. Levine knew how pissed The Boss was about the Game 2 loss and the bugs so Levine wanted the reporter to get him while he was in that mood. Everyone knows Levine has wanted Torre out for years, now the prick got his wish.

  • Jamal G.

    “It’s too bad,” said Bobby Cox, whose second tenure with the Braves began in 1990, giving him the longest current tenure among Major League managers. “I thought [Torre] was the Manager of the Year in the American League this year. I’m not running their organization. But I would have taken him back in a heartbeat.

    “It’s going to be strange [if he’s not managing anywhere next season]. We associate Joe with the Yankees. You just never know in this game. I hate to see it. Joe is a top-notch quality person and top-notch quality manager.”
    -Bobby Cox, Atlanta Braves Manager

    Piniella, when reached at home by phone in Tampa, said he wasn’t surprised at the turn of events.

    “Not really,” said Piniella, a former manager, general manager and player under Steinbrenner. “The reason I say that, is it just dragged on too long. I knew that the chances of everything coming together were remote. He’s done really nice things over there. First of all, he was a heck of a baseball player. His early managerial career wasn’t all that good, but when he went to New York [with the Yankees], things clicked. He’s made himself a Hall of Fame manager, that’s what he’s done. He’s had a lot of success.”
    – Lou Piniella, Chicago Cubs Manager

    “I’m sure [Torre] was frustrated with the whole thing, especially after Steinbrenner said, ‘Win this game or you’re gone.’,” said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, when reached by phone at his home in San Antonio. “He’s accomplished too much and he’s too distinguished a guy to put up with that. He’s not some first-timer rookie out there. Who knows what all went into it? Who knows what he was looking for as opposed to what they offered? He’s accomplished way too much. If he didn’t feel good about it, then he did the right thing.”
    – John Gibbons, Toronto Blue Jays Manager

    “I just actually heard about it a couple minutes ago,” Francona said. “I guess I hope that however it came down — and nobody knows except Joe and whoever he was dealing with — I hope Joe is happy. He deserves respect. And I think you’re going to hear people in baseball, in every area of baseball, say very, very kind, respectful things about Joe the next couple days. They’re all deserved.”
    – Terry Francona, Boston Red Sox Manager

    “I’ve got all the respect in the world for him as a person, player and manager,” said Wedge, whose Indians beat Torre’s Yanks last week in a four-game AL Division Series. “I believe a person who’s accomplished all he’s accomplished should manage as long as he wants to. He’s one of the greatest managers of all time. What’s as important as anything is he treats people the way they ought to be treated. But it is what it is.”
    – Eric Wedge, Cleveland Indians Manager

    “Joe Torre will be a Hall of Fame manager,” said Jim Bowden, the general manager of the Nationals, when reached by phone in Washington, D.C. “One of the best of our time. I wish him the best of success. It’s a decision that he made for his family. I respect the Yankees for making a decision that is the best interest of their club. I hope it works out for both of them.”
    – Jim Bowden, Washington Nationals General Manager

    Nationals manager Manny Acta believes Torre has become a symbol of the Yankees.

    “I think it is a delicate situation,” Acta said. “The fans of our generation, whenever they hear Yankees, they think Torre-Jeter. If this is the end, he leaves a great legacy.”
    – Manny Acta, Washington Nationals Manager

    Kenny Williams, the general manager of the White Sox, whose own team has been on the skids since winning the 2005 World Series, summed up the mood best for nearly everybody.

    “We should all be so fortunate to have accomplished what he has in the game and been as classy in doing so,” he said.
    – Kenny Williams, Chicago White Sox General Manager

    • Jamal G.

      Joe Torre was really the class of baseball and Mike Francesca of WFAN’s Mike & The MadDog said it best, Joe Torre will forever be the Yankees Manager in some corners.

      I couldn’t agree more.

  • Zack

    Please, were any of you actually around before Torre was manager? Embarrassed to be a Yankee fan?? This is the way the Yankees have ALWAYS handled themselves, you should be used to it.

    And as for Mike F, well a) I long ago stopped listening to him when he proved he knew nothing about actual baseball and b) That’s fine, let Joe Torre be Yankees manager forever for some people. I’m sure Casey Stangel, Mccarthy, Berra et all might have something to say about that, as well as whoever is managing this team when it rides to a few more WS behind the stud pitching…Please, managers come and go people, as do players. Joe is a great guy, but its not like he dies or was killed by the Yankees or anything, get some perspective…

  • Zack

    And obviously everyone in the world of baseball will line up to praise Joe, shit, the YANKEES are praising him. But I guarantee you every single one of those managers would probably be lining up to manage the Yanks if they could (save maybe Wedge…)

  • kris

    Some WFAN callers actually guzzle down Levine’s Kool-Aid about Torre rejecting the Yankees because of greed. I guess the Steinbrenners are pretty media-savvy after all.

  • Lil Jimmy Norden

    Ben, do you actually think they’d offer Joe a contact now? Whether it’s prudent or not, it would probably gain them alot of goodwill from the fans.

    As much as that would be good, I think they’ve moved on and wont be coming back to Joe. I can understand alot of the reasons for moving on too, thats fine.

    Though to be honest, I think Joe will remain in the family, I can envision him playing a big role in the organization in the future if he so wants.

    • Ben K.

      I’d say there’s maybe a five percent chance that the Steinbrenners wake up on Monday, read all all of the coverage in the NY sports pages and decide to do something. That “something” could be the firing of Randy Levine and a renewed commitment to Torre to the tune of two years and $6-7 million with a promise that they won’t be too heavy-handed. I highly doubt it would happen, but they would certainly save face that way.