Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Who's the Bad Guy Now?

There's been an awful lot of fallout concerning the Yankees' handling of the Joe Torre situation. Much of the media angle has been to slam the Yanks, but I'd say there's widespread support for what the team did, too. The irony, though, is that I don't think what the Yankees did actually affected anyone's opinion. If you thought Joe should stay, then you were offended by the Yankees non-offer and applaud Joe for turning them down. On the other hand, if you thought it was time to turn the page on Ol' Joe, then you thought allowing him to remain the highest-paid manager in baseball while expecting a little success in return was more than fair. It fit each scenario nicely, which I suppose is as well as the Yankees could have played this.

I, for one, was staunchly in the "Joe Must Go" camp and felt the Yanks offer was more than fair. Look, is it so wrong to ask the man in charge of baseball's highest-paid collection of talent to win something every once in a while? All I keep hearing is "12 playoff appearances, 6 World Series, 4 Championships." Very nice. Joe's a Hall-of-Famer, but as the "What have you done for me lately?" crowd will exclaim, Joe's success has been very much front-loaded. Three straight first-round losses, not to mention the historic 2004 collapse that preceded them, is a cause for concern.

As for the offer itself, I understand, on the face, the notion of the pay cut being an insult. If my employer (with whom, by the way, I don't have a contract) told me he was going to cut my salary from $75,000 to $50,000 next year, that would definitely irk me. If, however, he said I could earn $10,000 bonuses based on hitting a few milestones, to the point where I might actually exceed my original salary, then maybe it's not so bad. And really, isn't winning a playoff series or two a reasonable expectation? If it's good enough for Les Moonves, then it should be good enough for Joe.


Outsider said...

So are the Yankees being a little shortsighted by only interviewing three candidates? And how come if Joe Torre is managing, it's World Series or bust, but if it's Don Mattingly, Yankee fans have to be patient? Wouldn't they be managing the exact same team?

SportsCrank said...

How many candidates do you need? If you want Yankee Icon, it's Mattingly. If you prefer a little more managerial seasoning, it's Girardi. Pena was only interviewed to satisfy the minority hiring rules. (Sad to say, but true.)

As for the "expectations", I haven't seen where the fans are supposed to cut Mattingly some slack. He should be held to the same standards. The "patience" part probably stems for the potential roster overhaul, or the long overdue realization that despite the price tag, the Yankees just aren't that good.

OK, so why did Joe get canned if the team isn't that good? Why not? It's not like he was getting the extra mile out of them. Since that 2004 meltdown the Yankees have seriously underperformed when it's counted most. Joe set the standard, so it's only right that he was held to it in the end.