It’s a sad day for Yankees fans as we are forced to realize it is the end of the Joe Torre era in the Bronx; lots of newspaper headlines shout the infamous New York City “Shove It!” rallying cry.

In moving beyond the crassness of the New York newspaper headlines, we are left to wonder what happened?

Why did the Yankees management suddenly become penny wise and pound-foolish? They’ve never before quibbled over a dime let alone multi-million dollar contracts. When would any manager — forget the millions of dollars at stake — accept $5.00 for a job he just finished doing for $7.50? The Yankees decided after 12 years they were tired of Joe Torre — but they didn’t want to stand up and fire him. They wanted to lowball Joe into “rejecting” their offer so they could retain face and make Torre look like the bad guy.

Twelve straight years of making the playoffs was not enough for Yankees management. What good manager would stand in line to take a job where the people you are working for only expect winning the World Series every other year as appropriate job performance? Only the money hungry and the fame seeking would now wish to manage the Yankees and neither of those “managerial traits” will take the team back to The World Series.

What Joe Torre brought to the Yankees was an identifiably good heart and he protected his players from the wrath of the ownership. Now, without that blanket of fire protectant — expect many of your favorite Yankees players like Posada, and Clemens and A-Rod and Rivera and Pettitte to be gone for greener pastures because the glue sticking the team together was just run out of town by a group of spineless and insignificant managers who think they know more about baseball and winning than Joe Torre. So Long, Joe. We knew you. We’ll miss you.

25 Comments

  1. You’re right that football is a great game, Katha!
    Yes, I agree the Yankees have no idea what they just forcibly let go. I know George Steinbrenner thought Joe always got too much credit for the team’s success — but it was because of Joe that they re-found so many golden opportunities to recreate their greatness.

  2. Well said, Katha! So right! And I have no idea how someone like Joe could ever say enough — “I did nothing, it was all the Steinbrenners…” — and be convincing to anyone! You’re stuck in a success that isn’t enough for greedy owners and instead of walking away you keep trying to fight it out… until you can take no more…

  3. You said it so right, Katha! Joe wanted to stay with the team to make the transition from the old stadium to the new stadium and that would’ve taken a two-year deal.
    The Yankees only offered one year with a “maybe” for a second if they felt up to it.
    It was pretty obvious that the big plan was to pin the old, bad, losses on Joe and cut him loose as the Yankees dawned a new era in the new stadium. Joe was smart to get out now to avoid the humiliation a year from now.

  4. Good advice, Katha.
    I realize I have really only been a day-to-day hardcore Yankees fan with Joe at the helm. I don’t really know the team in any other context that with Joe in the mix.
    Sure, I remember the mayhem days of Billy Martin from my childhood — but the modern day experience is one with Torre leading the charge.
    I loved how Joe was always professional, cool, neutral in all circumstances. He was a leader with character and class and charisma!
    I’m not sure he’ll ever manage again. He can only sully his reputation taking on a lousy team.

  5. Here’s the news from Joe’s press conference today:

    Speaking at a news conference today, Mr. Torre said that the team’s principal owner, George Steinbrenner, and team officials did not seem to want to negotiate with him for more money or better terms when they met in Tampa on Thursday.
    In the meeting, which he said lasted 20 minutes, the team had offered him a pay cut to $5 million a year, with the chance of earning another $3 million if he led the Yankees to a World Series next season.
    Mr. Torre had earned an average of $6.4 million over the last three seasons.
    “I’d been there 12 years and did not feel motivation was needed,” he said at a packed news conference here. “I didn’t think it was the right thing for me or the right thing for my players,” because it would have put too much pressure on everyone.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/19/sports/baseball/19cnd-torre.html

  6. You’re right, Nicola, it is underhanded and nasty and Joe basically implied that in his press conference yesterday.
    He said over the past three years his average salary was $6.3 million — so to take $5 million and having the “incentives” hanging over your head every day to see if you hit $8 million with a return to the Word Series or not — was something he could not abide.
    Joe felt he performed well over the last 12 years and the new offer felt probationary to him.
    We’re stuck with Steinbrenner and his two sycophant sons. Together they own and run the Yankees and the rest of New York suffers in their public miscues and tantrums.