Oct
18

They made Joe an offer he could refuse

By

joe_torre_78.jpg With one poorly-worded statement, the Yankees turned Joe Torre, the man who just refused $5 million to manage, into a sympathetic figure. They could have fired him easily; he could have walked away a week ago. But instead, the Yankees tried to save face, and they failed utterly.

Today, as Buster Oleny detailed, Torre flew down to Tampa this afternoon to meet with the Yankee big wigs. At the time, it even looked like Torre would be coming back. But when Joe landed in Tampa and heard the offer, it was all over.

Torre, as we now know, said no, shook hands and went back home. George Steinbrenner, the outgoing head of the Yankees, told Joe he would be a Yankee for life. Steinbrenner was singing a different tune a week ago when he threatened Torre’s job if the Yanks couldn’t outlast Cleveland, and for a few minutes, it seemed like the Yankee gambit worked.

The Yankees, you see, never really wanted to bring back Joe Torre. Whether the issue focused around the recent playoff failures, something largely — but not entirely — out of Torre’s hands, or his ongoing struggles with the bullpen and younger players, the Yankee higher-ups were done with Torre. And we’re not even getting into the issues surrounding the way Torre had assumed the mantle of Face of the Yankees, something that really must have irked Steinbrenner.

With this offer on the table, the Yankees could say they tried to keep Torre. They wanted to keep Torre, right? Five million dollars would have made him the highest paid manager in the game. When Torre turned it down, for fifteen minutes, it seemed like the stubbornness of a man trying to exert his power. Who would have sympathy for a manager turning down $5 million — or up to $8 million if the Yanks made it to October and won the World Series — to manage the marquee franchise in baseball? And, hey, we didn’t want you back anyway.

But enter Randy Levine. The Yankees team president had some choice words about the Torre situation. “Under this offer, he would continue to be the highest-paid manager in major-league baseball,” Levine said. “We thought that we need to go to a performance-based model, having nothing to do with Joe Torre’s character, integrity or ability. We just think it’s important to motivate people.”

That is just tasteless. After 12 years of nearly unparalleled success, including four World Series championships in five season, the Yankees wanted Joe Torre to justify his existence through a performance-based contract. That’s simply insulting.

As this news went down, I was chatting with Emma. She summed this up right away. “How would you feel if your boss offered you LESS money to come back next year? You’d tell him to screw off, right?” she said. “Given that 2 or 3 million is basically peanuts to the Yankees, I have to assume this was just their way of saving face. They got rid of Torre, but hey, it’s not their fault! They tried!”

Nate Silver expressed some similar thoughts in a BP Unfiltered post:

Nobody with any modicum of self-pride would be willing to accept a 33% pay cut at a late stage of his career, which is what this ultimately amounts to, from a base of $7.5 million in 2007 to $5.0 million in 2008. And nobody with any tangible sense of the randomness inherent to postseason baseball would be willing to give much benefit of the doubt to incentive clauses that are difficult to achieve under the best of circumstances, and which have little to do with one’s own performance.

No. This offer was a public relations stunt, designed to make it look as though the Yankees had not put Joe Torre out to pasture. It was not an offer that had any chance of being accepted, nor was it an offer that that had any chance of facilitating future discussions. It was an insulting offer, quite frankly, and a conversation-ender.

In the end, this Joe Torre situation reeks of Bernie Williams. After 16 years in New York, the Yankees told Bernie he could come to Spring Training on a Minor League contract. They didn’t work with him to discuss a graceful exit, and they didn’t — rightfully so — want to guarantee him a spot on the roster. Now, the Yanks have done the same with Joe Torre, a manager who deserved better.

Who knows where the Yanks go from here? Who knows what happens with Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera or Andy Pettitte? The A-Rod question is unsettled, but he didn’t really love Torre in the end. We’ll get to the next manager soon, and we’ll probably see another early-1990s revolving door of Bronx managers. And maybe we should dread the future. If this is how the Steinbrenners are going to run the team, we could be on the doorstep of a few ugly years in Yankee baseball history.

Categories : Analysis
  • zack

    I have no problem with this. Yeah, it could have been handled differently. But please, 1 33& pay cut is relative. He’d still have been the highest paid manager by MORE than 33%, and, considering the Yankees MO is “Win the World Series,” Joe hasn’t been doing his job. When you aren’t putting up the results expected, you take a pay cut. It happens to the players, why not the manager too?

    So I guess $ means more to Torre than managing this team or those players? B/c thats sure what it looks like to me. I have no sympathy for someone who turns down 5 million b/c its not enough. Please.

    And the Bernie analogy doesn’t work. The Yankees tried to let Bernie bow out gracefully, but HE WOULDN’T. It wasn’t their fault, what could they do? If a guy want’s to keep playing, there is only so much you can do.

    The Yankees were in a no win situation in terms of most of the fans, who are blinded by their love of Torre the man. They were going to kill the team no matter what. These are people who claim that with Torre gone, the Yankees will have no class etc. Please. I like Torre a lot, but either you give credit to the players, as in the reasons the Yanks haven’t gotten out of the first series is b/c of the players, or you give credit to the manager, and if the regular season is credit for Torre, then the post season is his fault too…So either way, it doesn’t matter…

    Yeah, the Yankees could have handled it better, but its much more important that the team makes the right move for the team, Torre be damned. People will still go to the games, the Yankees will still win games. If Mo, Posada, and Andy don’t come back b/c of this, then shame on them…

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Joe hasn’t been doing his job. When you aren’t putting up the results expected, you take a pay cut. It happens to the players, why not the manager too?

      At what point do you consider the expectations unrealistic? Winning the WS every year is not going to happen, no matter how much Steinbrenner gloats and changes managers. Do you think Derek Jeter will take a 33% pay cut when his contract is up?

      The more I think about it the more I’m upset. Whoever replaces him will drive you just as nuts with the on-field moves, and I can’t see how he’ll handle the media and stuff better. I really hope Yankeeland doesn’t turn into a circus.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Mike, I think the Jeter example is a bad one. When his contract is up, he’ll be in his late-30s. I doubt some team would be willing to pay him even two-thirds of his current $20M salary. Considering that Jeter’s contract is largely performance-on-the-field-based as opposed to managerial-performance-based, giving him a 33 percent pay cut at that point in his career would probably mirror the decline in his ability.

        But Joe Torre’s ability as a manager hasn’t declined that much. Still the rest of your point is a valid one.

      • steve (different one)

        how come when yankee fans talk about A-Rod it IS only about winning the WS, but with Torre getting to the playoffs has become the rallying point in his favor??

        i don’t think the Torre decision was obvious either way, there were pros and cons in his favor. it wasn’t a no-brainer to keep him or to let him go. and while i don’t think there was anything wrong about the Yankees making more of his compensation results-based, i also understand why he turned it down.

        that said, yankee fans are so full of sh*t when it comes to certain things. all year all i hear is that winning the WS is the only acceptable outcome (i don’t feel this way, but this is undeniably the mantra that is repeated from yankeeland), but now that Torre has failed at that 7 years in a row (and in some of those years he was very blameworthy), everyone is saying “oh, but he’s gotten them to the playoffs 12 years in a row!!”

        this could have been handled better, but the bottom line is that Paul O’Neill and David Cone are not walking through that door. this is going to be a NEW team. the old core has to give way to the new core. Joba, Phil, and Robbie are the new core.

        it’s scary, but it’s exciting. change can be a good thing.

  • http://www.yanksblog.com Patrick

    Well said. This is worrying. When we were 21-29, I wasn’t particularly worried because I believed. I’m optimistic. But, this … today’s events shouldn’t be taken lightly.

  • The Scout

    Did they really think the problem was that Torre was no longer “motivated to win”? For all his faults, I would never pin that nonsense on him. Was it his fault that Wang “spit the bit,” to use George’s famous phrase, in the ALDS? That insects tried to copulate on Joba’s head? That hitters such as Jeter, Posada, and Matsui didn’t show up? The margin between winning and losing in a short series is a very fine one; this year, it certainly wasn’t due to Torre being unmotivated. Go ahead and make the change, but don’t do it in a way that insults our intelligence and the long-time manager.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I think Torre may have done his best job ever this year. The team was headed towards absolute chaos in May.

  • Yankee Fan in Chicago

    Gotta agree with Zack on this, both re Bernie and Joe.

    What has it been again, 4-13 since we went up 3-0 in Boston?
    Randomness of the playoffs? C’mon. That’s atrocious. And if the manager can’t be blamed, who can?

    The bottom line is Torre had become a security blanket for the likes of Jeter, Mo, and Posada, 2 of whom have been dreadful in the playoffs recently, and one of whom is going to need to be told he’s no longer a ss in the immediate future. Who was going to tell PassedADivingJeter that, Joe?

    Long since time for a change.

    And frankly Torre deserved a 33% paycut. He was rewarded for championships by being the highest paid manager by far in baseball, he hasn’t won a pennant in 4 years, so now he gets a pay cut, one which still would make him much better paid than anyone else in the league.

    And let’s not forget this was a guy who was scarcely even an avg manager at previous stops with the Mets, St. Louis et al. 200 million dollars can make a lot of managers look like hall-of-famers.

    Thanks for 1996-2003 though Joe.

  • Marc

    Only because it is so much fun, Beckett tonight is the reason i dont see “ace” is mister Hughes… beckett is throwing for 6 what joba throws for 1. hes fuckin nasty and good example of how velocity matters, that hook with his heat, hes been amazing.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Not about Joe Torre. Keep your comments on topic :)

      /not taking that bait right now.

    • yankz

      He’s also like 25 and been pitching for a long time. What tool expected, or even expects, Phil and Joba to pitch like that?

      “Beckett tonight is the reason i dont see “ace” is mister Hughes”
      I have no idea what this means. I can only assume I interpreted it correctly.

      • yankz

        Oh, um, sorry for taking the bait. I agree with your post, if that helps!

    • http://SportingGurus.com Adam

      Well, first off, good luck to Beckett on not breaking down any time soon.

      Mattingly will be hired sometime soon.

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    The entire positioning of most writers and broadcasters that Torre should be brought back was utter nonsense. To those who much are given much is expected. The highest payroll in the game, the highest paid manager, star studdied line-ups, results 5 straight seasons of diminished returns.

    2003 Made World Series, odds on favorite to win, lost in 6 games. In game 4 the best reliever in baseball sat in the bullpen as Jeff Weaver lost the game.

    2004 Made the ALCS, blew 3 zero lead, first team in baseball history to do that.

    2005 Made ALDS lost in 5 games.

    2006 Made ALDS a heavy favorite, lost, this time in 4 games. (But at least they finished 1st)

    2007 Made ALDS as a wild card lost in 4 games.

    This is all well and good if we were Braves fans, but we’re not more is expected from the Yankees.

    How dare the Yankees, disgusted with the results of the last 5 years offer Joe a one year contract at a mere 5 million a year. I’m mad because they offered him anything at all.

    There are plenty of teams out there with more limited resources than the Yanks, let’s see how Joe does with one of them.

  • inman

    ive never responded to anything on the internet but i have been reading basically everything on this page since the spring. torre looks like a jerk. he talks about what a great job it is- who gives a rats a$$ if hes going to make less. he would still make more than the rest of us will in the next 10 years. id give up my left one to have the job he has. i make less than 75k and i help save numerous lives in an er. wouldnt we all love to be insulted to make 5 mil. it doesnt take a rocket scientist to manage the yanks- im sure most of the people on this site could come within 5 games of what joe would do. by the way i have always liked joe and ill miss him. except for the goofy way he walked to the mound like he fell on something when he sat on the toilet

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      It’s not about the money, it’s about Torre’s pride. How would you feel if your boss called you into his office and said “you’re not doing a good enough job, but i’ll keep you around if you take a steep pay cut.” Sorry, but insults don’t get must worst.

      • inman

        im sorry if that insulted you. was it the fact hat joe made 19 million the last 3 years or that you were there when things got worst and he sat on his pride

  • deadrody

    It is a pretty neat trick how the incentives are to be dismissed because the post season is so “random”, yet Torre was making 7.5 Mil per season BECAUSE of the postseason. The idea that this was some kind of slap in the face is so much arrogant bullshit. If he didn’t get that first incentive, you can be damn sure the club response on his option would have been “no thanks”. But I think it was just about assured that he would get that first one, thus making his “slap in the face” salary TWICE that of any other manager in baseball, including the winners of the last few World Series winners.

    What a joke.

  • NYFan50

    If my boss offered me a 33% paycut, but I was making more than twice the next highest guy in my profession in the entire world, how could I refuse? Piniella was 2nd in 07 at 3.5M to Torre’s 7M, unless I am mistaken. Even at a drop to 5M, with at least one easily attainable 1M bonus, he’s not just still the richest manager in baseball…but the richest by FAR. It’s still not even close.

    • Jamal G.

      What do you mean the Yankees control the option? The 2nd year is guaranteed along with the extra $3 million if the Yankees were to have made the World Series under Joe Torre in 2008.

      • Jamal G.

        sorry wrong reply…

  • Ivan

    So what. Yea, yea, yea he’s getting money but you have look more into the contract. They basically gave him one year deal. A one year deal come on man.

    Sometimes the Yankee organization need to live with the fact that not every year you are going to the WS. Whether it’s big payroll or little payroll. Look at the cardinals last year and the rockies this year.

    I am really going to miss torre alot and it’s going to be wierd just looking at a different manager. Ever since I was a yankee fan, that’s only yankee fan I knew.

  • inman

    if i made 20 mil over the past 3 years they could tell me to go shovel the pile out back and id be grinning like i just found the lucky ticket. i dont know who the next manager should be. but joe, if he wants the best job in the world, should tell them thank you very much and ill manage the second year for the privilege of sitting in the yanks dugout.

  • NYFan50

    This is the real crappy part of the Torre situation. Not losing him, but the effect it has on Pettitte, Mo, Posada and A-Rod.

    PeteAbe reports:

    Meanwhile just spoke to somebody I know who is tight with Mariano Rivera. He said that Mo is more determined than ever to test the market after the developments of today.

    Mo’s comment: “The Yankees are one of 30 teams now.”

  • Count Zero

    I can see both sides of it — on the one hand, it is kind of ugly. The guy spent twelve years here and he was always a class act. It could have been handled better.

    On the other hand, it’s still a business. As a VP in a large corporation, 20% of my annual compensation is performance-based — revenue and income targets for the entire US — around 20,000 employees worth of business. In other words — numbers upon which I have very little effect. And that’s true of all VPs in our company. Plus I don’t have a contract, so they can fire me anytime they want and probably give me something like 9-12 months severance after 14 years of service.

    If I was the highest paid VP in my company (based on my past success), had the highest payroll costs in the company in my division, and I failed to meet my division revenue target three years in a row, where do you think I would be? I wouldn’t be getting a guarantee of three more years that’s for sure. ;-)

    I know it’s not apples to apples — but I can see why the Yanks’ FO would think that was the way to go. At a certain point (i.e., the highest paid person holding that job anywhere), it comes with the territory. Deliver results or else…excuses (no matter how valid) are for guys making a lot less money. Or as the saying goes, “That’s why they pay you the big bucks.”

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      The problem I have with this argument is that Joe Torre delivered results. A five-game series is a crapshoot, but Joe routinely got the team there. It wasn’t Joe’s responsibility to bat or pitch. He did his job with flying colors, flaws aside.

      • NYFan50

        Ben: It’s not like he delivered results with a mediocre team. He was given, repeatedly, the statistically best team in baseball.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          I’m sorry, but it’s just unreasonable to demand a World Series victory every year. The goal of the regular season is to make it to the playoffs, and he’s done that. The Yankees haven’t really had the statistically “best” team in baseball in years. In 2004, the Red Sox were legitimately better. they had a better offense and better pitching. Remember Kevin Brown? The same is true for 2005 and 2006. Jaret Wright had to start our elimination game last year. How sad was that?

          This year, the Yanks were 21-29 and Torre managed to get that ship turned around. That the Yankees failed to execute at the plate in October is somehow Torre’s fault? I’d love to hear that explanation.

          • inman

            ben k : go ahead and call me richard- dick for short. im just enjoying myself with a beverage or three and trying to get things rolling. anyway torre was the one who got them to the 21-29 record. i realize they had no starting pitching at the time but what makes you think anyone could do any better. by the way i wouldve brought joe back for 2 years but he deserves a decrease in pay

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

              No name calling. I appreciate the dialogue. It’s good for everyone.

              Torre did get them to that 21-29 record, but so did injuries to Mussina, Wang, and – shudder- Carl Pavano. They had to rely on a bunch of no-name guys who didn’t belong in the Majors to start. It’s a wonder they weren’t worse. Plus, Abreu and Cano were utterly terrible early on. Again, nothing that was Joe’s fault.

              I’m certainly not oblivious to Joe’s fault, and I think it’s pretty easy to make the argument that the Yanks needed a new manager. I just think this approach wasn’t exactly the best one for the team’s long-term health.

          • Count Zero

            I think the flaw in that argument is that they didn’t demand a WS victory every year — Joe’s been the highest paid manager in baseball for seven consecutive years which didn’t result in a WS victory. So really, they’re demanding one WS victory in eight years.

            • inman

              i agree they shouldnt have raked joe over the coals- he deseved better than having to fly to tampa to turn down the offer. unless of course he went down there to give them the bird- then i’d like to congratulate him on finally standing up to the steinbrenner boys. anyway i think everyone would agree #6 will be retired and and mr torre will find himself welling up with suzy waldman rehashing his yankee managerial career in the future

      • inman

        sure he got them there. do you think you could have got them there for 10% of the cost? i bet i could have. like i said before- most of us probably could with any baseball sense. i agree a 5 game series could go one way or the other- is anyone else tired of seeing “crapshoot”? anyway, joe shouldnt act like hes offended after all these years knowing how the boys in tampa act. i agree its on the guys on the field. if joe wanted to show everyone that he was his own man he wouldve done it before his last contract

  • Ivan

    I understand that he had a rich team and all but I think people are really over doing that arguement. I mean come on, if that is the case then guys like Red Auerbach, John Wooden, Chuck Noll, Vince Lombardi, Casey Stegal, Phil Jackson, Miller Huggins, Pat Reily and Joe McCarthy don’t deserve credit either because after all they had the best teams all the time.

    People need to understand that there is more than just a best team, it’s how to handle egos with great teams and when they struggle. Did Torre had a great with big time riches yes, but he did lead them to the playoffs every year and didn’t screw up with it. Not to mention he was at his strongest when the team struggled in the beginning of the year. Joe knew how to handle egos and that is a huge importance and knew how to handle the pressure of NY and the franchise that was so use to winning.

    Again I will miss Torre, and the guy did a phenomenal job here.

    As for the next manager who knows, but hopefully it’s a good one.

  • Jamal G.

    I dont believe that crap about how it was disrespect (and I know Iam in the minority in that regard of Yankees fans). The $5 million base offer would have paid him nearly 50% more than the next highest paid manager in baseball, Lou Piniella at $3.5 million (nearly 150% more if the Yanks would have made the WS in 2008 which would have also guaranteed Year 2 of the deal). I heard this point and it is a very true one, if Torre would have led the Yanks to a WS Victory then he would have surely asked for a raise, so why is it so disrespectful and wrong for the Yankees to ask for a pay cut when Torre managed a team that has gone 4-13 since Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS.

    Another point was made by YES broadcaster Michael Kay that Torre received all the credit for the 4 Championships and 6 AL Pennants from 1996-2003 but from 2004-2007 people are so hesitant to put any blame on him. Now Iam not one to blame a manager for a team’s failures but if your gonna praise the guy for the good why can’t you criticize him for the bad?

    I love Joe Torre and if the Yankees make the post-season next year it’s gonna feel real weird seeing another manager being bathed in champagne after a playoff-clinching game but honestly sometimes enough is enough. For example look at the Bernie Williams situation, alot of us hated what the Yankees did to him and felt that was also disrespectful offering a minor-league contract to a guy who manned CF for the Yankees during our most recent dynasty and in 2006 filled in admirably during the Matsui/Sheffield injuries. But looking at that decision now, as “disrespectful and messed up” as it might have been, can any of you say it was the wrong decision?

    Im not gushing over Donnie Baseball during this new era but he does seem like the best Torreian candidate around right now and Im not sure how the uber-Yanks (Jeter, Posada, Rivera, Pettitte) will really follow a guy who they played with not that long ago.

  • Ivan

    You People don’t get it. It’s not about really the money(even though the pay cut was tough though) but the real slap to the face was time he was going to get with the yankees. One Year Deal, give me a fucking break with an option that THEY CONTROL.

    In translation, hey we are going to give you one year to be an lame duck again, so that way if you do fuck up in the middle of the season, we can fire your ass. You got to earn something. And if we feel we want you back, we will take you back. Other than that, if we don’t want you then fuck off. Torre had no control of how long he would be in the Yanks.

    You guys need to stop bringing the money point. When guys like Ozzie Guillen get a multi year contract, a manager who’s team has gotten worse since that WS run in 05 and guy who wants to be the star of the team who annoys people, not to mention he has had the same team from 05, if you are Torre you wouldn’t get tight? Come on man.

    • inman

      hey ivanhoe- hes been a lame duck every year since 1996. get off your pony and realize this is the yankees. the yanks dont care about money, just the ws

    • Jamal G.

      What do you mean the Yankees control the option? The 2nd year is guaranteed along with the extra $3 million if the Yankees were to have made the World Series under Joe Torre in 2008.

      …Meant to reply to you.

  • bkight

    You don’t get multi-year deals as a manager when you are making $7-8M/yr and can’t get past the the ALDS. They didn’t fire him last year because they still owed him $7.5M for 2007. If my options were “you’re fired” OR you can make at least $5-6M with a second year at $8M if you win it all, I would have an easy decision.

  • inman

    i really enjoyed my first evening trying to type about the yanks- i use 2 fingers. anyway i hope i didnt offend anyone- if i dish it out i can take it too. anyway good luck to joe and the decrease in salary he will make. i hope no one thinks they’ll win it next year- they need another year for the pitching to develop. after that they should be pretty good. who knows- the cards won the other year. they say its a crapshoot

  • Ivan

    Jamal G.

    The option year was controlled by the yankees. trust me. If the yanks didn’t make WS in 08, they had the option to not let him manged the yanks.

    bkight:
    So it’s just about the WS then uh? If I was Torre I might as well had the yankees say we don’t want you rather than gave you a dumb deal interms of the years in the contract and basically putting you in a position to say I don’t to be a yankee manager. Plus, at least Torre gets his team in the playoffs, what has Guillen done since 05? exactly nothing.

    • Jamal G.

      Well you can’t really crap all over Ozzie Guillen here. Think about it, if the Indians defeat the Sawkz over the weekend then that will make it three straight years that the AL Pennant went to an AL Central team. That is the toughest division in baseball, so you can’t expect him to have any type of consecutive year success in that division. Also the AL Central boasts pitchers like Justin Verlander, Joel Zumaya, Johan Santana, Francisco Liriano, Pat Neshek, Joe Nathan, C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Rafael Perez, and Rafael Betancourt.

      You try winning back-to-back-to-back years in that division.

    • bkight

      Torre has been rewarded with highest salary in baseball for the last 5-6 years because he led the team to 4 titles. Is he supposed to make $8-10M a year forever? I don’t think anyone deserves a lifetime contract. If you take the rewards, then you have to take the hits.

      • Jamal G.

        I strongly agree.

  • usty

    33% is relative at that amount of money. Sure in our jobs where a 33% cut might take you from 60,000 to 40,000 or from 45,000 to 30,000 that’s lifestyle changing and you’d be struggling to pay bills and make rent. A 33% pay cut from 7.5 MILLION to 5 MILLION at that point is just a 1 crooked number and a bunch of zeros that still allow you to live well, well above most people in the world.

    Joe Torre isn’t going to get me to shed one tear over being offered 5 million dollars and the opportunity to drive this 200 million dollar sports car called the Yankees. When you get to drive something that expensive, some expectations and bs go along with it. Joe knew that going in. The Yankees made him a HOF Manager just as he made them a perennial WS contender.

    This is like when you break up with your long term chick. You start remembering all the good times as it’s happening, forgetting about the times you fought all night over something stupid.

    As long as we get A-Rod and Pettitte and Mo back, I’d say the Yankees will be fine. As one commenter said previously, Posada and Mo can go to a new team with a new manager or stay on the same team with a new manager. So this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re leaving either.

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  • Mooseketeer

    There are two camps in this pitched argument: Torre was disrespected, and “it’s about money” (aka The Mike Lupica Angle). To anyone who watched that press conference, if by now it’s not understood that it’s not about money, and about accolades, but about doing the right things by his players. You may debate his on field moves, and you may debate whether he or the Yankee front office was to blame for failures.

    However, he is 100% correct in stating that putting the onus on the players to save a manager’s job (the “bonuses” based on performance) is unacceptable. Players play as a team to help the team achieve the goal of winning. They played this year NOT to lose. You see the result.

    I take one issue with Count Zero’s analogy to his own work and how the offer extended to Torre was fair. The Yankee organization has long put forth that they do NOT approve of performance based contracts. Yet they present this to the ONLY manager to bring his AL team to the playoffs 12 years in a row, and this being the most tumultuous, as the only contract option. I would be willing to bet a considerable sum that Randy Levine and the Steinbrenner boys are in no way compensated based on team performance.

    Finally, to Jamal and other fans who think it’s the birthright of the Yankees to make the playoffs every year, next year will be very eye-opening. It’s not about money, it’s not about “buying” the best talent to ensure a World Series berth. Tried that, it failed. It’s not about being the statistically best team either. When in the past six years have the Yankees led the AL in pitching ERA? Yes, it’s the desire of this organization to make it to the WS and win it, EVERY year. But to do so, it’s about talent, and a great deal of luck (see the Red Sox this year, and the quirky things that they’ve had happen to them in the ALCS so far).

    For the Lupica camp, if all you see is “he turned down $5 million, that greedy *#&@”, all this is lost on you. It will forever be about money, and class is something utterly foreign to you. I stand fully by this comment.

    And know this: No Mo, No Posada, NO PLAYOFFS next year, even if you cloned Billy Martin, Bob Lemon, Huggins, Stengel AND McCarthy as your coaching staff. Pitching wins everytime. And we’re getting closer on that front, but no seasoned catcher and no closer equals the Tampa Bay Devil Rays staff.

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