Joe won’t go home again

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As late as next summer and as early as October, the Yankees and Joe Torre will have a reunion of sorts. Next year’s preliminary schedule has the Bombers visiting the Dodgers while this year, the Yankees find themselves just three games worse than the Dodgers.

While that eventual meeting is sure to generate more coverage than any of us could stomach, even a simple Dodger trip to Citi Field leads to a few Torre articles. This one from Newsday caught my eye this week because it seems fairly clear that Torre and the Yanks are on icy terms at best.

Earlier this week, Torre and Anthony Rieber chatted about Torre’s thoughts on both the new and old Yankee Stadiums. The former Yankee manager was unequivocal in stating that he will not be going back to Yankee Stadium. Writes Rieber:

Torre didn’t want to leave the Yankees after 12 seasons and four World Series titles. When he turned down the Yankees’ please-don’t-take-it one-year contract offer, he decided to not look back.

He said he already made his goodbyes to The House That Ruth Built after his final days as Yankees manager following their defeat in the 2007 ALDS to Cleveland. He hasn’t been back since. With the ballpark being slowly torn down, he’ll likely never get another chance. He’s OK with that. “When I left there, I would have been very surprised if it wasn’t my last time,” he said. “I took everything in. I had so many great memories there.”

Torre said he bought a couple of Yankee Stadium seats, something he has also done for other defunct stadiums he managed in (Shea, Fulton County in Atlanta, Busch in St. Louis). But he didn’t want any other memorabilia from Yankee Stadium other than what he packed up from his office.

“I’ve been asked, and even some people from the Yankees have called me, ‘Is there anything you want here?’ ” he said. “I already made arrangements for a couple of seats . . . Aside from that, everything that went on there was enough for me. It really was.”

Torre also told Rieber that he doesn’t want to visit the new Yankee Stadium unless of course it is with the Dodgers in October. He might just get his chance to visit anyway.

These sentiments from Torre are a part of the continuing feud he has with the Yankees. It was clear from his book that he has little respect for the men running the show right now, and while he should carry some of the blame for the messy divorce and probably outlived his years in New York, the Yankees and, in particular, Hank Steinbrenner messed that one up in 2007.

Joe Torre will long be remembered as a great Yankee manager. He won four rings and 1173 games. He never missed the playoffs, but since leaving after 2007, he hasn’t come back. He missed the closing ceremonies at Yankee Stadium and the All Star Game. He shouldn’t have, and that one is on Hank.

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Forbes says Jetes is the most overpaid
  • Little Bill

    Good. Torre is a rat and a sell out for writing that tell all book just to make a buck. I’m glad the Steinbrenners got rid of him. I hope the Yankees do play the Dodgers in the WS. Beating Torre would make it that much sweeter for the entire Yankees organization that was thrown under the bus by Joe Torre’s greed.

    • Drew

      I highly doubt Joe T did it for the buck.

      • Bo

        Did you even read the book? If you did you would realize its not a bashing book and he didnt tell anything inside the clubhouse that anyone with a brain hasnt known.

        The guys he semi bashed? randy j, wells, pavano

        Who cares?

        • Yankee1010

          He ripped Damon a new one.

          Torre came off as a do-no-wrong child throwing a tantrum in that book.

          • Little Bill

            Agree 100%. The stuff Torre revealed should have stayed private. You won’t see Joe Girardi writing a tell all book just to make a buck. And Torre is a hypocrite too! He ripped David Wells for writing a tell all book! Torre is spiteful and for no reason. He deserved to be fired.

            • Zach

              You have no clue whether or not Girardi would write a book.

            • BigBlueAL

              Girardi wouldnt write a book because nobody would want to read it.

        • jsbrendog

          even if it’s tony larussa ripping on someone he hates (rolen) or billy martin ripping on reggie you don’t air that shit out in a published literary medium.

          i agree with yankee1010’s assessment

      • JohnnyC

        I’m sure the money meant something to Verducci, who has become Torre’s literary consigliore. It’s a little disturbing that he felt more loyalty to Verducci than he did his former players and colleagues. That is, unless he did it for the money.

  • Bo

    Messy divorce? What ends well? As successful as he was it was never going to be a good ending.

    lets be honest here. He should have been fired after they lost in 2004.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      lets be honest here. He should have been fired after they lost in 2004.

      Agreed.

      • jsbrendog

        ::head explodes::

        is it crazy that I agree too?

    • Slu

      I think he should still be the manager.

      It was a miracle they even made the playoffs in 06 and 07.

      • Chris

        or was it poor managing that made it require a miracle?

        • Zach

          so if Torre was poor managing and made the playoffs, what did Girardi do when he missed the playoffs?

          • gc

            I thought we were talking about Torre.

            Joe T had obviously proven that he could manage the team into the post-season. What he started to lack as the years went on was the ability to manage them out of the first round.

            Also, I think any reasonable person would expect that if Joe G doesn’t find a way to manage this 2009 team into the post-season, he’ll be looking for another job. If he does get them there, THEN we can assess how good a post-season manager he is.

          • Chris

            My point is that you can’t excuse the poor starts in judging the season. Just because a team wins doesn’t mean they have a good manager, and just because they lose (or under perform) doesn’t mean they have a bad manager. In general, the manager has very little impact on how a team performs.

            Personally, I think that Torre was a relatively good manager, but the team needed a change.

            • Zach

              I agree the team needed a change, but I also dont think its fair to overlook the manager.

    • A.D.

      +1

      The nature of the redic success of 96-00 pretty much meant that it could never continue to be lived up to, and thus either Torre would have had to retire early, or be fired.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Agree

  • TheLastClown

    If you have any managerial talent at all, I feel like, you will have a chance to taste greatness as the Yankees’ manager. The Steinbrenners gave Torre a great thing in the late ’90s, a solid-to-great offensive/defensive team and good-to-great pitching, and they kept the team together for the most part, adding significant pieces when necessary.

    Let’s not forget that Torre was 894-1,003, or rather the *forgettable?* teams he managed had that record. And then the un-forgettable run he/we enjoyed was 1173-767.

    Girardi’s 78-84 Marlins stint is already fast becoming history, as the Yanks are 140-107 since he has taken the helm. And none of Torre’s non-Yankees, losing years were Manager-of-the-Year worthy (even though they only started giving the award in ’83, so from ’77-’83 he didn’t have a shot)

    Fantastically excited, because I’m going to all three games in Anaheim this weekend. My girl is an avid Yankee’s fan, & this is her birthday present. Ain’t life grand?

    • Zach

      “And none of Torre’s non-Yankees, losing years were Manager-of-the-Year worthy”

      I dont understand that statement; the only reason Girardi won it was because of expectations/payroll. Cant compare Torre’s 6 seasons of winning 78+ games before coming to the Yankees and say they werent MOY worthy.

      Girardi was handed a 209m payroll last year and missed the playoffs- something Torre never did in NY

      • jsbrendog

        Girardi was handed a 209m payroll last year and missed the playoffs

        this is misleading. you can’t make the playoffs throwing sidney ponson and darrell rasner every 5 days, no jorge posada, no hideki matsui, melky playing like a AA fill in, and a hurt arod for the last 2-3 months of the season.

        • BigBlueAL

          Yeah your right, starting Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon all the time is the way to go. Oh wait thats what the 2005 Yankees did and they still made the playoffs!!!!

          • jsbrendog

            which is pure luck. it is not joe torre’s managing that made aaron small and shawn chacon pitch way above there heads. but even so that 2005 team didn’t have the debilitating injuries of last years team either.

            joe torre’s managing had nothing to do with those to pitching well and joe girardi’s managing had nothing to do with rasner/snacks pitching poorly.

            • jsbrendog

              seriously, chad moeller as your starting catcher for 41 games, only 51 games from posada, only 93 from matsui, an injured arod for the final 2-3 months, injuries to wang, hughes, kennedy, an injured pettitte during the stretch. please. the 2005 yankees

              had ZERO regular player injuries. chacon and small won a lot also in part because they had HEALTHY team. only 2 yanks starters played less than 140 games in 05, tino played 131 and cano 132. When your starters play and dont get hurt your scrubs don’t get over exposed and you win. That’s why theyre starting hitters/fielders.

  • Rob H.

    Correct me if I am wrong here, but didn’t Torre do the exact same thing to Stanton/Nelson/Rivera in those WS years that he did to Gordon/Proctor/Sturtze/etc. in the 2000’s, the only difference being that Stanton/Nelson/Rivera just never got hurt? I don’t think Torre was ever a good game manager. I think he just lucked out with more durable arms that he could abuse.

    Girardi has done a good job at deflecting blame from his players onto him much like Torre was always given credit for. More often than not, I read more and more posts about Girardi doing this or Girardi doing that if a decision doesn’t work out instead of everyone blaming that player and getting on the player for blowing it.

    • A.D.

      Nelson got hurt after he left the first time. But pretty much.

    • Chris

      Stanton and Nelson never threw more than 80.1 innings in a season with the Yankees. Proctor threw 102.1 in 2006 and Gordon threw 89.2 and 80.2 in his years with the Yankees. Quantrill threw 95.1 in 2004. Karsay threw 88.1 in 2002.

      So, there is evidence that he changed.

      • JohnnyC

        Peep the innings for his relievers this season. Things haven’t changed much.

        • Yankee1010

          Belisario and his future TJ surgery will say “thanks, Joe.” Troncoso’s injury can’t be too far behind.

          What’s even funnier is that he’s abusing the hell out of the pen when they’re running away with the division and the league.

        • Zach

          Dodgers are also 22nd in the game in innings by starters.
          When you have Kershaw, Milton, Weaver, Stults, & McDonald in your rotation going 5 IP at best, and as a team only averaging 5.6 IP/S its kind of hard not to use your bullpen for 4 innings a game

  • Kulish

    Torre had the chance to suck it up, be the bigger man and come back during the ceremonies. Instead, he decided to sit there and continue to mope. Whatever. Dude was given a pass by the front office after his terrible managing in ’03 (Jeff Weaver? Really) and ’04 (Too many to name).

    Enjoy drinking your Bigelow’s in LA Joe. I sure as hell dont miss you.

  • Frank

    Hank mishandled the Torre situation and over payed to keep A-Rod. Isn’t it curious not one word has been heard from him since news got out that A-Rod used PEDs? What’s he doing now, cleaning out the horse stables?

  • Jim M.

    As someone who was actually out of elementary school when Joe Toree was hired (let alone when he left), I remember the yearly drama that was the Yankee manager situation. I miss Joe Torre. He was a class act. Anyone remember Dallas Green? Bucky Dent when he “managed” the Yankees? Forget the Billy Martin drama.

    Its funny how some people here think it is such an easy job.

    • Rob H.

      I don’t think a single person here thinks that managing the yankees is an easy job. I know I don’t.

  • JohnnyC

    Sic transit gloria mundi. Let’s turn the page already.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      +42

    • Stryker

      agreed. while most of the key pieces have remained the same, this team is a different monster than that of the later “torre years”. no need to keep wondering ‘what if’ – girardi is the yankees manager now and things are going great for the team.

  • Steve S

    I dont have any harsh words for Joe but I dont think that anyone handled the end poorly except for Joe himself. He was made an offer that he had every right to refuse but he shouldnt have acted like they did him some major wrong. He knew what he was in for when he signed up here and when had all the highs and lows. He was going to be judged on a different standard so while overrall he was a great manager, the last few years of his tenure were failures. As a fan I had no issue with him staying but Hank and Hal as the guys who essentially sign his pay check (along with the ones for the players) have demands and lofty expectations. If Joe has his reasons to be upset with the Steinbrenners thats fine but he shouldn’t keep talking about this. And I know people are asking him but enough already of playing the passive aggressive card and implicitly reminding everyone he is pissed at the Steinbrenners and Randy Levine. Just avoid the questions, stop fueling the fire and in the end have some respect for the organization, the city and the fans that helped make you who you are. He as an old school guy should know better than anyone that 1 or two individuals don’t make an organization and therefore their actions shouldn’t create this hostility he has developed.

  • BigBlueAL

    Most of you should know by now how much I loved Joe Torre so I am pretty biased towards him.

    I have absolutely no problem with people feeling that it was time for him to go, or even that he shouldve been fired after the 2004 ALCS. But to just rip him apart saying he wasnt a very good manager and that anybody couldve won with the team he had is pure garbage.

    What changed was the horrible roster management in Torre’s final years. Everyone rips his bullpen management but where is the credit with the way he used Mo as a set-up man and then as a closer?? Of course he didnt blow out Nelson’s and Stanton’s arms because he also had Mendoza and Graeme Lloyd as well.

    Say what you will about Torre but do people really have to rip him a new one and act like he wasnt that good a manager and had nothing to do with the success of the Yankees?? Cant you just say thanks for the great job as manager but it was time to go??

    • DSFC

      2004 nothing – he should’ve been canned for blowing the 2003 World Series. Weaver had no business being on the roster, let along pitching in a pivotal extra-inning game.

  • cr1

    The handling of the ‘divorce’ was done by a rookie ownership with Hank much to the fore and Randy Levine behind the scenes pulling the strings of the fumbling newbies. Even if it was time for Torre and the Yankees to move in different directions, NYY embarrassed itself.

    But no harm done, right? They hired the manager who was the popular choice of most fan to succeed Torre, and Torre moved on to demonstrate just how ‘accidental’ his long record of making the playoffs really was. Rooki NYYe ownership and their handpicked rookie manager didn’t make it last year, but it looks like they may well do it this season. All’s well that ends well.

    Once the team is regularly back in the playoffs and fans feel secure in the hands of a proven manager again, fan animosity towards Torre will melt away. They won’t resent his going on to more success once the Yankees do the same.

    • BigBlueAL

      No Torre going to the Dodgers is just luck on his part. Anyone could manage the Dodgers and do as good as Torre has done so far because the NL West is terrible!!!! Torre is lucky again!!!!

    • DSFC

      More success? The Yankees had a better record than the Dodgers in a much, much tougher division. If the Dodgers played in the AL East they’d be a .500 team.

    • toad

      Agree with this. If they didn’t want Torre back the right thing to do was tell him it’s time for a change, thank him for what he did, and wish him luck.

      Making him an offer he was sure to refuse was chickens**t. That’s true whether you think he was a good mgr or a lousy one.

  • Stevis

    Pleasssssse Joe Torre is a very Large Phony!
    He still would have been very well compensated
    I know that if I don’t bring the bacon in for my company
    my commissions are Less.
    What a bunch of Crap… Anybody here take $4 million??
    Oh and didn’t he throw some of the guys under the Bus?
    By the way he did a great job of Mismanaging the Pen!

    • jsbrendog

      and I hear he has halitosis!!

      • Stevis

        It’s actually bullshitatosis!!!

  • gc

    I like Joe Torre. I really do. But if I have to hear him talk about how unhappy he was here during the past few years of his tenure, I think I’m going to PUKE BLOOD. I think it’s safe to say that if the money/offer was right, he would have been more than happy to stay on as manager of the Yankees in a place he was so “unhappy.” And for one simple reason…being manager of the Yankees was the best thing that ever happened to him, he knew it, and he LOVED that job. And when he finally retires from the game, there will come a day when everyone makes peace, he’ll come back to Yankee Stadium, the fans will cheer and go crazy, and all the sudden he and his boy Tom V will be writing a book on how great it was to be manager of the Yankees.

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