To me, when you have a talented ball club like he had, the key is not the hit and run situations or the X’s and O’s of the game, it’s the way he handled himself.
Jim Kaat, on the YES network web site. ht: WasWatching.
i miss kaat
I agree with Kaat 100%.
Nope…it is about winning games and winning championships. He wants the Yankees organization to trust him? Trust him to under-perform again? Yankees need a new face.
Cashman comes out looking pretty weakened by this, as well. Not that he still doesn’t have power, but Torre was his guy, Torre said he had “one or two supporters” in the front office, and clearly Cashman was at least the “one” guy. They flew to Tampa together, and Cashman was the messenger who told Torre on that trip that the deal was non-negotiable, a stance that certainly seems to come from on high. I don’t know if this portends less power for Cashman on the player-personnel side of things, but it certainly telegraphs a shift of control on one level. Those who believe that Cashman was moving the team in the right direction surely have to be a little worried about this, about whether Levine and the Steinbratz™ will be making other decisions related to the talent as well.
“Those who believe that Cashman was moving the team in the right direction surely have to be a little worried about this, about whether Levine and the Steinbratz™ will be making other decisions related to the talent as well.”
completely agree, SF. I think this is clearly a case where Cashman lost a battle within the FO. That said, Hank has already committed to Joba as a starter next season–a move recommended by Cashman–and the FO has publicly stated they will not enter negotiations if A-Rod opts out–again, a Cashman recommendation.
I know it makes YFs see red, but Kaat is partially making a point I’ve tried to advance in earlier threads… Namely:
How much different, really, would the Yankees’ performance have been over the past 12 years with a different manager?
My answer: Their regular season win totals would likely have fallen within 3-4% of their actual totals each year. Instead of 92 wins this year with Torre, they might have had somewhere between 89 and 95 wins with someone else.
Their postseason appearances, likewise, might have been slightly fewer (10?) or as high as Torre’s (12).
Their World Series ring coung might have dropped to 3, or risen to 5.
Torre did very well, with exceptional talent. An average manager might have done slightly less well, but still would be lauded as a success. A terrible manager (e.g. a Grady Little) might fall on the low end.
And as Kaat suggests: A more volatile or less well-regarded manager might have hurt the Yankees less with his on-field maneuvers than by creating a less stable and professional working environment in the clubhouse, in practices, etc.
So I’d give Torre an above-average VORM (Value Over Replacement Manager). But I’m not sure I’d give him the very highest rating, as there are many top-notch managers who never get more than one ring, if any, because they don’t get $1.5 + billion worth of talent to work with…
Right now to me it feels like Levine is the bad guy in this situation. Hank and Hal have yet to really take the reigns of this operation and Levine has stepped into the power vacuum. He has had it out for Torre for years and seems to have taken advantage of the ownership situation in flux to secure his ouster. Im sure that he felt that Torre was too much of a star and attention getter in the organization to his own personal detriment. This whole thing concerns me greatly for the path moving forward for this team. If Cashman can keep hold of the baseball decisions I am less worried but if this type of pissing contest keeps happening this team will be in trouble quickly.
I agree with you about the effect of the manager on the team. I think that the yankees could easily continue their winning ways with out Torre at the helm (they did make the playoffs the year before he was there and would have in 94 if there was no strike). I think most agree at this point that the real problem was the way it was handled not necessarily the baseball decision of a new manager.
Torre made a smart, tactical p.r. move by flying down to see The Boss & his sons to deliver his response in person… His looking them in the eye, and their failure to negotiate with him in the room, solidified the media narrative that the Yankees were making an offer they expected to be refused.
He made Yankee management look small and himself look like the only mature, stand-up guy among them.
Hudson: perhaps this wasn’t just about appearances? Perhaps Torre thought the Steinbrenners would react to an appeal? Perhaps he thought that Cashman, the one guy in his corner, could be pep-talked into going harder to the mat for him during the planeride down? I mean, you make it sound like this was all a ploy, that nobody means anything by what they do other than to hold up appearances.
Torre knows he won’t make the money he made this year. He even acknowledged that he doesn’t believe he will even make the $5M the Yankees offered. Doesn’t that make his claim that it wasn’t about the money stand taller? What was he going down there for, if not for one last shot at pleading his case?
I am not saying that Torre isn’t PR-savvy – he is VERY PR-savvy. But I don’t believe that Torre made his trip to maintain his appearance as a noble guy, even if that was a possible result. I find that to be a bit of an exaggeration.
By his own words, it’s very important for Joe to feel wanted. He’s mentioned this as a large factor in his contract decisions in the past. I think he flew down to Tampa to see first hand whether or not the yanks had any genuine interest in bringing him back. Nothing more.
The “trip as PR move” idea just seems totally out of character.
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