A Joe Torre article by default.

     Since I have been reading endless critiques of the Joe Torre situation amongst bloggers, etc, I feel I must chime in with my opinion as well.  First of all, some are making the situation out to be worse than it is, as far as next years "success" is concerned.  I am not going to offer any perspective into whether or not I believe the whole situation disrespected that of Joe Torre, because it may have, just simply going to speak on how the team will be affected, etc.   

     One comment that really upset me was this:  "Don’t blame Torre, blame Cashman for all these terrible signings."  Torre has had as much talent to work with as anyone, so he must absorb at least partial blame, right?  Cashman may have focused on offense a little more than he should have, but there was enough overall talent there to win with (And Cashman is to blame in part, as well).  And I think that Cashman and the front office understand that Torre has been a good manager during his tenure with the team, but he hasn’t been the absolute best in the game.  He happened to have the most talent to work with.  How many managers over that twelve year period could have won four+ World Series rings?  More than five I would guess.  But Torre will be going into the Hall of Fame, while other very capable managers will be watching the induction.  Torre is a [good] manager who has had a lot to work with.  A team’s success is dependent somewhat upon what a manager does, no question about that.  But it is an extremely talented team, with a very dependable, and well respected leader (Jeter), that has always had veteran leadership, as long as Torre has been there anyway. 

     And last year, when almost everyone complained about the teams rough start, Torre was a terrible manager.  But then by seasons end, he was a manager of the year candidate?  Then after the early playoff exit, he is being ridiculed as not doing a good enough job?  From what I saw and heard this season in limited observation of Torre, probably between 30 and 35 games watched.  He had serious troubles managing the bullpen.  It was more obvious in the beginning of the season when the team was struggling so much, but was still there by seasons end.  It just wasn’t as obvious at the end of the season, because they were healthier by years end, and had starting pitchers that were not named Jeff Karstens or Matt DeSalvo.  But here is where Cashman does come in.  The Yankees had the seventh lowest ERA in the AL during the first half of the season, they had the eighth lowest during the second half.  Their pitching was never good.  They had some good components; Joba, Rivera, Wang, Pettite.  But overall it was simply mediocre all year long.  And the bullpen was tenth in ERA over the course of the entire year.  Some of that can be deemed as mismanagement of the staff (Torre, Guidry), but some of it is simply on Cashman for signing the wrong guys.  And the depth issue is a huge aspect of this also.  It’s on Cashman for having Pavano and Igawa in the starting rotation when the season began.  There weren’t any other options, right?  That isn’t Torre’s fault.  That is Cashman’s.  They needed a few arms as capable backup plans in case of failure.  And there was failure; Pavano was injured again, and Igawa was ineffective.  And there were a few other injuries to the staff too. 

     I think the point of this is that the Yankees will be winners no matter who manages this team (within reason).  Girardi is good enough to get to the playoffs.  Mattingly will win a minimum of 85 games, even if he turns out to be a disappointment, which among Yankee fans 85 wins would be a disappointment, even if it was a transition year.  And that is fine that it would be considered a disappointment with that payroll, but it must be understood that guys like Joba Chamberlin and Phil Hughes are going to be starting for a full season for the [first] time.  There are going to be failures.  So what if they win 88 games and miss the playoffs, as long as 09′ looks more promising.  They are building around young pitching, and that is exactly what I would do if I were the GM…of any team.  This is the best approach they can take, and it may not result in immediate success, in terms of a World Series ring, but it will in the long term be the right move. 

     The Yankees may have gone about the contract situation the wrong way.  But Torre leaving does not mean they are going to win 67 games next season.  Some free agents need to be resigned; Rivera, Posada, Abreu, possibly ARod.  But only ARod should be resigned long term.  The others, ideally, would be given two years apiece. Let us see how it all plays out.


  1. J

    I suspect a large part is Torre has been a major face to the Yankees organization for so long that many people associate Torre AS Yankees. The team will still be strong. With a big payroll and a front office drive to be the best team, we can’t dismiss them. But when the team loses such a flagship figure, there’s bound to be uncertainty and worry about the team as a whole, whether or not it was a right move. It happens everywhere, in corporations, in government, and in baseball.

  2. tswechtenberg@gmail.com

    you guys have an incredible new center fielder

    despite him not being the “greatest cenetr fielder francona’s ever seen”

  3. tswechtenberg@gmail.com

    after all the off-season hype and everthing that has come down this year i find it more than interesting that sox are going to be riding everything on matzuzaka. any thoughts?

  4. joseph

    Who else are we going to go with? Lester is younger. Wakefield is unpredictable. And both of them are available if we need them. And they can be brought in if Dice K looks unstable anyway. They just have to know to get Matsuzaka out of there if they see any signs of falling apart.

  5. raoul_oba@hotmail.com

    We can’t give away any home games in the WS.
    No DH in NL is bad enough but, we got five players from Central America.

    With snow on the ground they’ll swing at the first three pitches and jog back to the dugout.

    I would.

  6. raoul_oba@hotmail.com

    What kind of Red Sox blog is this anyway?

    No post since Oct 20th?

    No post on Drew’s Grand Slam?

    Hello, they are in World Series now.

    Even if both your arms got broke by the Bleeding Pinstripes crew it ain’t no excuse.

    Take your shoes off and type with your toes.

  7. raoul_oba@hotmail.com

    I noticed that he and Yankees Chick stop posting about the same time.

    “…Me and missus Jones….”

    “…we got thing, going on…”

    “…we both know that it’s wrong…”

    “…but it’s much too strong…”

    “…to let it go now…”

  8. raoul_oba@hotmail.com

    I could actually read a ballplayers mind last night:

    “…I’m four for four. I’m Superman…

    …Why, the commercial endorsements alone will…OOPS!”

  9. Jason

    Raoul, that’s one of the finniest things I’ve read/heard/seen in a long time. Hilarious.

    Joseph, is everything OK? I’ve been checking in here and have been surprised that you’ve not been posting in your glory during the World Series. While it would be frustrating, I hope that it’s a matter of unreliable Internet service and not something more serious like a personal crisis. Touch base when you get a chance.


  10. raoul_oba@hotmail.com

    I’m sure he’s written the hugest Red Sox post ever conceived, encompassing all of the fantastic events of the past week.

    He’s probably just being delayed by that pesky SpellCheck feature.

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