Joe Torre has won 4 World Series championships and appeared in 2 other fall classics. He’s second on the all time Yankee win list for managers. He was at the helm for perhaps the greatest season in baseball history, 1998 when the Yankees won 125 games en route to a championship. However, he is still haunted by the one achievement that got away.
“Scott [Proctor] and I together, I think it’s a real special situation.” Torre says, referring to the reliever he so frequently called upon in their days together in the Bronx.
“This situation now, I think we can do it. We can get to 107. That’s gotta be our goal.”
What Torre is referring to is the all-time appearance record for a pitcher, currently owned by Mike Marshall who appeared in 106 games in 1974. Proctor appeared in 83 games in 2006 under Torre. So what can Torre do to help account for the extra 24 appearances needed?
“Really, it just can’t be about the scoreboard. We’ve got to ignore everything else about the situation but this: is our starter ready to come out? If he is, then Scott’s the guy who should be getting the call” responds Torre, who seems reinvigorated by the opportunity and his reunion with Proctor.
So how does Proctor feel about all this?
“I’ll be ready.” Proctor says, when asked about his chance at the record. “When skip comes out of the dugout, I’ll do the job.”
When asked of any worries about his health Proctor seems unfazed.
“Look, back in 2006 I heard a clicking in my elbow. One hundred appearances later, I’m still pitching. Sometimes you just need to pitch through that kind of stuff. And I mean, on the plus side, I don’t have to worry about facing Manny with the bases loaded and no one out in a tie game anymore.”