Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pulling For Joe?

Great news, my fellow baseball fans, our long national (pastime's) nightmare is over. Those were a couple very cold and lonely nights without baseball gracing our television screens. As Yankee fans, we were eased into this break with Game 4 of the Phillies vs. Rockies series on Monday and we'll be eased out of it with Game 1 of the NLCS at 8:07 tonight.

You may be familiar with the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers - his name is Joe Torre. He worked for the Yankees for a couple of nondescript years in a low profile position a while back. Anyway, Peter Gammons was on Michael Kay's radio show yesterday and insinuated that Mr. Torre, despite his affinity for wheatgrass, is not enjoying his time in the City of Angels (link via BBTF):
Kay asked Gammons if he agreed that Joe Torre would only stay on as the Dodgers' manager through the 2010 season, when his contract ends.

"Yes, I do buy that," said Gammons. " ... I wouldn't be surprised and I think a lot of things will probably come out here in the next few months but I think (Torre's) life with the Dodgers is pretty much a living hell."

Kay: "Really!?"

Gammons: "Oh, yeah."

Kay: "So he thought he had it bad in New York and it's worse there?"

Gammons: "Oh, yeah ... Oh, yeah. There'll be a lot that comes out in time with Dodger ownership, but that is a mess [link added], and I don't think anyone wants to have to put up with it too long."
This may give some of you a bit of satisfaction since the reason that Torre ended up in LA in the first place was because he was "insulted" by an offer from the Yankees that would have made his the highest paying manager in the Major Leagues before any of the incentives involved with the deal kicked in. Or others who thought it was a little hypocritical to compare Michael Kay to Rhona Barrett to gain respect from his players when he first arrived on the scene and then write a tell-all book with Tom Verducci called "The Yankee Years" after he left.

Torre responded to comments, sounding a bit like your ex-girlfriend who broke up with you only to find out that what you had wasn't so bad, saying, “My relationship is fine here”and forcing a smile.

I never held it against Torre that he turned down the Yankees offer, probably because I thought it was time for a new manager anyway. My old roommate and I were actually at Mickey Mantle's on Central Park South the day that he flew down to Tampa to inform the Yanks of his decision. We were interviewed by one of the local news stations who sent a crew to the bar and I said something about it being "time to turn over the chain of command to someone a bit younger who can handle the pitching staff better" or something like that, except even more unintelligible since it was in front of the camera.

Oddly enough, Torre is now being lauded for his bullpen management after he brought in his closer, Jonathan Broxton in the 8th inning to face the heart of the Cardinals' order despite being down a run. Torre knew that Broxton would likely have to be removed for a pinch hitter if the Dodgers got anyone on base in the home half of the inning (which they did), but he still chose his best pitcher for the highest leverage situation, something that sabermetricians have been suggesting for years. Pretty crazy, huh?

Are you rooting for the Dodgers in this series? I don't think there's an appreciable difference in match-ups should the Yankees fulfill their end of the bargain which would be the first consideration, so it probably just comes down to preference. I'll admit that last year, since the Yanks did terribly, I wanted the Dodgers to get bounced as early as possible so that Torre's decision to spurn the Yanks wouldn't be vindicated (by the media anyway).

This year? Not so much. When you're happy with your own situation, it's a lot easier to pull for others.

[Update: Awesome gallery of old school Torre from Big League Stew]


  1. The Yankees are being punished for their sinful greed and smug arrogance with all the rain fucking up their plan to use CC as many times as they can. Can't wait to see Gaudin in game 4. HAHAHA! LOL!

  2. Hey, look, it's the Anonymous douchebag again! How are your Red Sox doing, buddy? You guys should really compile all of his fuckhead comments about much the Yankees suck and put them into a post now that the Sox have wrapped up their remarkable 2009 campaign.

    As for Torre, I feel the same way. Want to see someone else know, was bitter when the Dodgers went to the NLCS last year but would actually like to see them in the WS this year... provided the Yanks come through. True, it would be a unadulterated media orgy, but it would be more interesting.

  3. I think Philly is easily the more complete team so in that regard I would like to face the Dodgers. However, I would also prefer not to see Manny again in October...