Thursday, October 20, 2005

Why Joe Matters

Joe Torre showed the Empire and the baseball world on Tuesday why he's still the best man to lead this team. Everyone in the press was hoping and praying that he'd have a Billy Martin-esque tantrum and tear King George a new one. Instead, you saw what you've seen for the last 10 years. The cool, calm collected presence that has rarely ever cracks under pressure.

Joe understands that it's not his job to provide the press with stories for the winter. It's his job to manage the Yankees. He's had a good relationship with the media over the past decade. But he's not going to air his team's dirty laundry and inflame an already tense situation. In a very understated press conference, Torre showed why you don't need a flamethrower here. Someone like Martin or Piniella would have probably gotten themselves fired by getting into a public battle in the tabloids with George. And deservedly so. Not to say that George wasn't wrong for mouthing off in public. But like Joe said, we all know how George is. He's not going to change. Whatever problems that needed hashing out between them, need to be discussed in private.

That's the great thing about Torre. He's able to take the temperature of a situation and deal with it. He was described in Buster Olney's book "The Last Night Of The Yankee Dynasty." as a "social genius". That genius was on display in dealing with George and the media as smoothly as he did this week.

It's hard to say where Torre ranks as an in-game manager. And you know what? I really don't care. I keep hearing about all these guys that are great maanagers that have done little or nothing. Tony LaRussa is going to the Hall Of Fame. But you'll never convince me that he's a great manager. I've seen him overmanage his teams out of victories. Bobby Valentine is a great motivator and in-game strategist like Billy Martin was. But like Martin, he always seems to overstay his welcome because he's a jackass. Dusty Baker is a great motivator and his teams and the media love him. But he's not the best in-game manager. Torre gives you the best of the both worlds. He's a solid in-game manager. Plus he's excellent in dealing with players egos and the media. The only one who gives you total package like Torre right now is Mike Scoscia. Ozzie Guillen is another candidate. But with his mouth, you wonder if he'll wear out his welcome at some point in Chi-Town. I've always thought Terry Francona was underrated, but I think he lets his players throw him under the bus a little too often.

As much as I like Sweet Lou, Joe Torre is our best chance for a return to glory. He probably did his best piece of management last year with all the drama and injuries. He deserves to finish out his contract and go out on his terms.

Every manager is going to make moves that make you scratch your head and throw stuff at the television. Torre is no different. I've screamed at the TV many a game when he left someone in too long or took them out too soon. But at the end of the day, Torre's been right a lot more than I've been.

Yankee fans have been spoiled rotten. With Mo Rivera and Torre. I don't even want to think about a world without them.


Blogger Mets Guy in Michigan said...

Just remember, Joe was a Met before he was a Yankee!

A good read, as usual!

11:31 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

And he was a cardinal before he was a Met...unfortunately....

Thanks for the props

7:36 PM  

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