Friday, June 25, 2010

LA Dodgers Here We Come

Now that some time has gone by and a championship has been won, I'm wondering how people feel about our former manager Joe Torre. The way he left was not clean and people were angry at the Yankees organization, but then he released a book about his Yankee days, and people were angry at him for his not so shocking revelations. So now, a couple years later, how do people feel about Torre?

Personally, I love the man. He made the Yankees into annual contenders, and though I didn't love all his managing decisions, he was always classy, and made me proud to be a Yankee fan. He seemed critical of A-Rod in his book, but I think we as fans may have read into that more than was necessary. He said A-Rod had a single-white girl obsession with Derek Jeter, but I think everyone already knew that.

So what about you? Do you love our former manager? Hate him? Somewhere in between?


Dylan Murphy said...

I'm a big fan. One thing I didn't appreciate until now is that he didn't micromanage the bullpen. At the same time, Torre relied too much on his better relievers so now I don't know what I'm saying. I just liked him.

Fernando Alejandro said...

I do remember getting annoyed by his Scott Proctor obsession, but it was too minor an issue to off set everything he did.

Rich Mahogany said...

Torre was such a complex figure and managed the Yankees through so much that he needs his own Good, Bad, and Ugly.

The Good

Good Torre led the team to four championships in five years (and very nearly five championships in six years). He managed the 1998 Yankees, arguably the greatest team of all time. Real Yankee fans should always treasure these Dynasty Years, and Torre was indisputably a part of them.

The Bad

Bad Torre appeared some time in 2003 - he might have existed earlier, but he was laying low. When the Yankees had a disappointing playoff exit, Bad Torre usually bore some of the blame. Be it the infamous Weaver-over-Rivera decision in the 2003 World Series, giving the ball to an overtaxed Tom Gordon in the 9th inning of Game 3 of the 2004 ALCS with an 11 run lead, moving ARod down in the lineup in the 2006 ALDS despite a red-hot September, or failing to stop the game when midges attacked Joba during the 2008 ALDS, Bad Torre made a historically bad decision in the playoffs almost once a season. And Bad Torre further reduced our odds in the playoffs by wearing out the team's best relievers during the regular season.

The Ugly

Ugly Torre appeared in 2006 when he inexplicably batted ARod 6th, 6th, 4th, and 8th in the ALDS, giving the cleanoff spot in game 1 to Sheffield, who had just returned from the DL. Ugly Torre was smug, and gave the impression that he was set apart from the team. Ugly Torre didn't like ARod, so he disclosed his private conversations to the press and made petty digs at him in The Yankee Years. After seven seasons of disappointing playoff exits (I'm not counting the 2001 WS), Ugly Torre rejected as an "insult" a one-year, incentive-laden deal that would have maintained his status as baseball's highest-paid manager. In doing so (and in immediately ghostwriting The Yankee Years), he left the Yankees on a bitter note.

Torre was all these things, which isn't too surprising since he managed the Yankees for thirteen seasons, which included some of the very best and very worst moments in Yankees history. I try to think of Torre as the Good Torre, but it's hard to look past the Bad and Ugly to get there.

Hunter said...

In A-Rod's defense, I challenge you to find a Yankee fan that doesn't have a single-white girl obsession with Derek.
But really... I like Torre. He is a great manager and won 4 WS with the Yankees. I am glad to know he is doing well, and still wants to manage after this year.