A Note on Joe

I’ll be chiming in with some thoughts about the departure of Joe Torre—and also the candidates to replace him—in the next few days. For now, there’s excellent material on the former by Alex Belth and the latter by Cliff Corcoran on the Banter. Tom Verducci at SI and our friend Pete Abe are also must reads, whether or not you agree with their positions. As it is, I’d just like to reiterate a thought I posted here after this year’s playoff loss:

Though we’ve been trained to evaluate a season purely on the end result, the truth is that the game is just as much about the joy of the daily grind, about process. As with life, baseball is not just about where you end up, but how you get there. More than the World Series victories, more than the 12 consecutive playoff appearances, for me, that has been the great lesson of the Joe Torre era. It’s been a great privilege for New Yorkers—and not just Yankee fans—to experience that kind of leadership, and from a native son. We’ll be forever in his debt.

35 comments… add one
  • 13 consecutive playoff appearances, not 12.

    Ron Newman (SF) October 19, 2007, 12:53 pm
  • Unless my math is off 96 – 2007 is 12. 95 was not Torre.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 19, 2007, 12:57 pm
  • yeah it’s definitely 12.

    Atheose October 19, 2007, 12:58 pm
  • Left Coast Bulletin: Rumors swirling out here that the Dodgers won’t wait long before reaching out to Torre. Don’t buy any green bananas, Grady Little.

    MJL in L.A. (SF) October 19, 2007, 1:35 pm
  • Scott Proctor says: “Why can’t I escape Torre’s wrath?”

    AndrewYF October 19, 2007, 2:12 pm
  • SF October 19, 2007, 2:18 pm
  • RYE, N.Y. — Joe Torre told his side of the story Friday,saying the incentives in the New York Yankees’ contract offer were an “insult.”

    “I just felt the contract offer, the terms of the contract, were probably the thing I had the toughest time with — the one year for one thing, the incentives for another thing,” Torre said of his reasons for declining the offer. “I’ve been there 12 years and I didn’t think motivation was needed. “

    “We knew exactly what was expected here,” he said, “So, I just didn’t think was the right thing for me, I just didn’t think was the right thing for my players

    Why would anyone expect the kids to act any differently than their old man?

    SF October 19, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • Jesus, the shine comes off Saint Joe here a little bit. He has no grounds to say the team didn’t want him back, because it’s a logical fallacy: the team offered him a contract, and he didn’t even negotiate. He flat-out refused. Sounds like Torre’s the one that didn’t want to work for the Yankees.
    Honesty is nice, but not a great PR move by Torre either, assuming everyone thinks rationally about this. Oh wait. It’s a brilliant PR move.

    AndrewYF October 19, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • Everyone in the Media blaming Yankees president Randy Levine because The way He handle Joe’s situation..
    The Yankees give Joe extension of $19 million in 2004 after Redsox collapse . The Yankees didn’t fire Joe back then? Grady Little was fired because He left Pedro too long, Why did Larry ” Lucifer” Lucchinno didn’t get fire back then? I don’t see Media complaining back then about Lucchinno’s Job security?
    The difference between Joe and Grady , Joe has won more four more rings than Grady Little. Grady Little has zero rings..
    Second, Joe and Grady who can’t manage the Bullpen.. Both Managers are awful in bullpen management.

    Hajin-Yf October 19, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • Joe “wishes” the umps stopped the game due to the bugs? He WISHES? Man, you should have thunk harder at them, Joe.

    AndrewYF October 19, 2007, 2:40 pm
  • Lucifer?
    Uhh, really?

    Brad October 19, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • Uh, Lucchino was, maybe still is, detested by a good number of Sox fans. The parallel to Levine is a good one, except that Lucchino has a track record of accomplishment in baseball, while Levine came to baseball following a stint as a thuggish hatchet man for Rudy Giuliani.

    SF October 19, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • “Levine came to baseball following a stint as a thuggish hatchet man for Rudy Giuliani.”
    That’s flat wrong. Levine was a labor negotiator with MLB before he worked for the Giuliani administration. And this actually begs a question I’ve been looking into (a post tk on the topic soon); why is Levine, theoretically a friend of Rudy, so hostile to Joe, who we all know is one of Rudy’s heros. What’s the calculus there? I’m curious.

    YF October 19, 2007, 3:46 pm
  • Bowa, Stottlemyre to join Mariners coaching staff?
    [quote]
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Bowa-Stottlemyre-to-join-Mariners-coaching-staf?urn=mlb,49870
    Manager John McLaren says he is “very close” to finalizing his coaching staff.
    From all indications, Former Yankees pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre will become the pitching coach, Eddie Rodriguez the first-base coach, Norm Charlton the bullpen coach, Jim Riggleman the bench coach, and probably Larry Bowa the third-base coach.
    The Mariners are expected to name the entire staff when all the pieces are in place. As of Thursday night, all but one of the selections had been finalized.
    Source: MLB.com [/quote]

    Evil_Sam_yf October 19, 2007, 3:47 pm
  • Sorry, YF, I should have been more clear. He came to baseball management is what I should have typed.
    My chronology stands, though. He worked as a Giuliani capo before he came to the Yanks.

    SF October 19, 2007, 3:52 pm
  • theoretically a friend of Rudy, so hostile to Joe, who we all know is one of Rudy’s heros. What’s the calculus there? I’m curious.
    Who are your heroes? Are they mine? You are my friend, but do we share the same love for the same people? What does one have to do with the other?

    SF October 19, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • Andrew, I don’t think you can say based on the press conference that he “didn’t negotiate”. Obviously he’s not going to sit there and try to make himself look bad, but he clearly paints a picture that he came into the room and could feel that none of the individuals in it were/were going to be receptive to much of what he had to say. He even basically quoted Brian Cashman as saying that there was no wiggle room in the offer.
    I’m still not sure how this can be seen as anyone but an offer meant to be rejected.

    QuoSF October 19, 2007, 3:54 pm
  • anyone should be “anything”

    QuoSF October 19, 2007, 3:55 pm
  • “capo” “thuggish hatchet man”…i don’t think that’s useful language, not that i’m a randy levine fan. it’s difficult to have a conversation when that kind of loaded terminology starts floating around.

    YF October 19, 2007, 4:41 pm
  • “Who are your heroes? Are they mine? You are my friend, but do we share the same love for the same people? What does one have to do with the other?”
    I think a great deal, in this instance. The issue is about competent leadership and relationship. And I’m curious about how the players here relate or don’t relate to each other. What does Rudy think about this? He’s a baseball fan, a friend of Joe, a huge booster of the team who’s carried a great deal of financial water for them, and obviously leadership is a critical issue for him right now. So I’m curious. Rudy and Joe have always had contrasting styles, but they’ve been seen around each other a good deal.

    YF October 19, 2007, 4:48 pm
  • who’s carried a great deal of financial water for them
    And he’s got the illegally obtained rings to prove it1

    Paul SF October 19, 2007, 4:50 pm
  • My mistake above, didn’t realize (or forgot) that Torre wasn’t there in 1995.

    Ron Newman (SF) October 19, 2007, 4:51 pm
  • Useful language or not, it conveys what I think of Giuliani and his cronies. Language is used to convey, and that’s how I feel.
    I am not interested in sugarcoating this, particularly when Giuliani is involved. Can I just leave it that I think he’s a horrible human being with a grotesque world view and no moral compass, and Levine is his buddy?

    SF October 19, 2007, 4:55 pm
  • it’s difficult to have a conversation when that kind of loaded terminology starts floating around.
    Who said anything about wanting to have a conversation?
    ;-)

    SF October 19, 2007, 4:56 pm
  • I am a guy that really hates drama and this is becoming more then I care to even think about. I not heartless my any means, I know the Yankees and their fans owe Joe a ton of thanks. For me, this story is becoming old already. I wish there was a fast forward button.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 19, 2007, 5:08 pm
  • > the team offered him a contract, and he didn’t even negotiate. He flat-out refused.
    According to what I have read, the offer presented by Yankees management was non-negotiable, take-it-or-leave-it. I suppose he could have said pretty please.

    attackgerbil October 19, 2007, 5:20 pm
  • AndrewYF, now that I have read a complete transcript of the interview as well as reading the Deaspin link, I realize that you probably were quoting the DS liveblog; it wasn’t Torre that refused to negotiate, even though that’s the way the liveblog read.

    attackgerbil October 19, 2007, 5:35 pm
  • “the team offered him a contract, and he didn’t even negotiate.”
    Not true. I taped the press conference. He said he went down there with the intentions of showing the the respect by giving them an answer in person. When he got on the plane he was told by Cashman that there probably wasn’t any wiggle room in this offer.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 19, 2007, 5:37 pm
  • So the Yankees put a “best and final” on the table before even sitting down with Torre and after ten days of no communication.
    I sincerely can’t understand how people think this was anything but a playing field tilted towards the dugout runway and away from the team.

    SF October 19, 2007, 5:44 pm
  • SF, I completely see your point 100%. Problem is you are a Sox fan and I am a Yankee fan. Through thick and thin I am a Yankee fan. I am not a fan of Steinbrenner, but I am a fan of the product he has put on the field. I was not a fan of Randy Johson, Gary Sheffield, Jaret Wright, Reggie Jackson, Jesse Barfield, the list goes on. The point is there are always things about this team that I love and root for that I won’t get on board with. Even if I were to stand up and say THE YANKEES F’D TORRE, what good does that do? Will it infuriate me enough to become a Mets fan? Ehhh, no. You on the other hand already hate or dislike the Yankees so it’s easy just to throw another log on that flame.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 19, 2007, 5:50 pm
  • You on the other hand already hate or dislike the Yankees so it’s easy just to throw another log on that flame.
    But Trisk, believe it or not, this isn’t my interest. I am not concerned with bashing the Yankees because they are the Yankees, that is circumstantial to some extent. I am much more interested in the business aspect of this, not the baseball aspect of this, for which I can see plenty of justification as to why Torre was pushed out. I am interested in this issue because I understand the dynamics, just because I am a business owner, albeit on a totally minor level that is not at all of the magnitude of the Yankees, I am under no delusions. But the dynamics of the situation are of great interest to me, as a case study. The fact that the Yankees organization comes off as douche-y is just a collateral benefit, certainly not one I am about to complain about.
    I posted the MBA comment (written by my Dad) because my Dad is about as impartial a Sox fan as one could find. Like many older fans, he doesn’t have the same animosity that many younger zero-sum Sox fans have towards the Bombers. His opinions are sound, and not nearly as tinged with the biases of us whippersnappers.

    SF October 19, 2007, 6:07 pm
  • > there probably wasn’t any wiggle room in this offer.
    Mark Feinsand writes in a couple of his articles that he thinks Torre would have been amenable to the pay cut, but it was the lack of a guaranteed second year that was the true issue, and his trip to Tampa was to appeal that specific item.

    attackgerbil October 19, 2007, 6:32 pm
  • “…the Steinbrenner family is incentivized only to increase franchise value, that’s their incentive. They aren’t necessarily incentivized to win…”
    “…I am not concerned with bashing the Yankees because they are the Yankees, that is circumstantial to some extent….”
    with all due respect sf, you’re full of s—….the flaw with your first statement is that you and other sf’s have harped incessantly about how george is preoccupied with winning…that’s the only thing important to the yankees to the extent they throw away millions and make stupid decisions to support that obsession…the flaw with your second statement is that as a “typical” [sorry for the generalization, but it’s true] red sox fan, your mission in life is to bash yankee management, along with rooting for your team…you do toss token praise to players and torre in this case, but your opinion is colored by your love for the sox…i’m ok with that…while i’ve given some credit to theo for certain decisions he’s made, i do love to see him screw up so i can remind you guys of that from time to time…my love for the yankees colors my opinion…at least i’m honest about it…
    i still haven’t heard a sound theory [other than mine about his questionable handling of young pitching] for why he was “forced” to leave…you guys got any better theories?…and no, “the yankee FO is stupid” theory doesn’t count as a valid supposition…

    dc October 19, 2007, 10:26 pm
  • DC,
    As a blood-and-bone YF I’ve got to disagree with you. With regard to Torre, the Yankee FO showed their ignorance of both the man they were dealing with and his relationship to the players. On a purely financial level, if the discount on salary of the new guy compared to Torre is < the increase needed to pay PoMoRod under a new manager to stay with the team, then they made a bad decision. That's not even counting the hard-to-quantify costs of their inept handling of this situation.

    East River Blues October 20, 2007, 3:41 am
  • well east river blues, my point was that i don’t think it’s about the money…the assumption seems to be that the yankees didn’t want torre back so that they could save a couple of million bucks…so, they made that clumsy offer probably knowing they’d invite ridicule, but also allowing torre to leave without having to fire him and reveal the real reasons for their disenchantment with him…does anybody seriously think that the couple of million the yanks “save” by not resigning him makes a bit of difference when their payroll alone exceeds $200m?…i doubt that “pomorod” will use torre as real leverage, although i’m braced for the inevitable whining…apparently arod has forgiven joe for embarrassing him?…if the yankees offer each of those players more money than other teams in the bidding [not relevant to arod since they will have exclusive negotiating rights for 10 days after the series, but boras must have some sense of his value], then they will stay…
    i still want to know the yankees’ real motivation for this…i don’t buy the “well, they’re stupid” argument…we need something better…i still like my theory that they don’t like the way he handles pitchers and with the staff getting younger they want someone who’s better at dealing with that…my other thought is that maybe they’ve just grown tired of his style, which sometimes appears to be complacent…he just doesn’t seem to be as disappointed with the losing anymore…

    dc October 20, 2007, 8:40 am

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