Well apparently I guessed the Torre situation exactly right. I couldn’t be more proud.
So it’s settled, Torre has no interest in coming back on a 1-year deal and the Yankees have no interest in guaranteeing more than that. So they will part ways and that’s it right? Of course not. Apparently, based on the media outcry of Torre love, the Yankees have cruelly low balled Torre and forced him to quit. Let’s look at this from the Yankees perspective.
The Yankees, despite having the greatest collection of talent in baseball, have not won the world series in 7 seasons. In 2004, up 3 games to none, they collapsed against their hated rivals. You could blame it on some bad calls from the umps, which surely hurt them in games 4, 5, and 6, and you could blame it on a bloody sock. However, the fact remains that in Game 7 the Yankees had no life. And they’ve failed to answer the bell in 3 consecutive postseasons since, winning a total of 4 games in that time. Any one of those series, taken individually, could be attributed to the fluky nature of playoff baseball. However every year the story is similar; a dispassionate Yankee team gets defeated by a less talented underdog.
So the natural thing to do is to question the manager. However, everyone likes Torre. Media, fans, players, everyone. He’s gotten you to 12 postseasons in a row and he can handle New York. But he’s 67. If you give him a multi year deal at over 7 million a year (his current salary), you are forced to keep him for the length of his contract or face a large financial loss. What if the trend of uninspired baseball continues?
So the Yankees offered Torre a 1 year deal with a base salary of $5 million. Less than he made last year, but still making him the highest paid manager in baseball by a large margin. And if he reaches the World Series, incentives would pay him even more than his last contract and he’d get a vested year at $8 million. This is the nature of business in the Yankee universe. The only way Torre would be expected to return is if he gets to the World Series.
Somehow this offer is incredibly unfair and disrespectful. The media twist has been “Torre embarrasses Yankees” and “Yankees Success Over.” These are both wishful ideas produced by the Yankee Hater engine that fuels the sports market. The Yankees weren’t exactly sure what to do with Torre; they were willing to move forward with him but not ready to commit long term to an old manager who has come up short. He said no, so they’re moving on. They are hardly embarrassed. And their success? Let’s see the roster before we start earmarking the Yankees for last place.
The best (and by best I mean worst and most egregiously wrong) argument in favor of Torre, that I’ve heard in one form or another on ESPN radio as well as Mike and the Mad Dog: “It’s not Torre’s fault they couldn’t hit or pitch.” This is one of the most asinine things I’ve ever heard. Hitting and pitching is what wins ballgames. The manager is paid to win ball games. It is HIS responsibility that the team hit and pitch. If they don’t, it is HIS fault.
It wasn’t MY fault the Yankees didn’t hit or pitch well enough in the playoffs. Why don’t I get paid $7 million? Oh right, because I’m not the manager. Apparently Torre should be paid an exorbitant amount of money, with no evaluation of his performance.