Monday, October 09, 2006

Time To Fire Joe Torre Has Arrived

At least according to Tim Marchman:

He's been with the Yankees for 11 years, and that's a long time to manage in New York. He's not a failure, and any movement to paint him as one in the next few days will be stupid — the team may not have won a World Series since Bill Clinton was president, but it's won two pennants, developed some great young talent, and been consistently excellent over the last six years, often in quite trying circumstances. (The rest of the country and Mets Nation weep salty tears for those trying circumstances, of course, but losing your starting outfield is never fun.) If he's a failure, so are Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa.

Not being a failure doesn't make him a success, though, and it's his handling of Rodriguez that really marks the difference between why he should stay and why he should go. Torre has never been much of a strategist or tactician — his main strength has always been his ability to manage the egos of players and put them in position to succeed. He not only hasn't done that with Rodriguez, he's brutally humiliated him, first by participating in the shameful and repulsive team hit job on the embattled third baseman that ran in Sports Illustrated last month, and then by batting him eighth in a playoff elimination game.No matter how badly Rodriguez was hitting, he wasn't hitting any worse than anyone else on the team. Singling him out that way made him the story, rather than the collective failure. It was a crass move, and it didn't work.

I think that's a fair assessment - I agree with him that Torre's best attribute has been dealing with stars and the New York media, and that if he's lost that ability to some degree, it might be time for a change. I don't agree that trading A-Rod makes sense, though - why sell low? See if a shakeup in the clubhouse cures what's ailing him first.

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