Friday, November 2, 2007
A Cup of Joe
I really thought the Yankees were bitches about the Joe Torre situation.
Joe Torre managed the Yankees for twelve seasons, did one heck of a job, by all accounts. In twelve years, he made the playoffs twelve times, won four World Series, made the playoffs twelve times and his team finished first ten times. Of course he did have great players, but that's a pretty amazing run.
In George Steinbrenner's universe and in Yankee culture, though, the only way a team has a successful year, is to actually win the World Series. I mean, everyone says their goal is to win the Fall Classic in April, but most don't really believe they can. The Yankees mean it, that's the only thing that is acceptable and that's an amazingly high bar to set.
Torre hadn't made it over that bar in this century (2000 is still the 20th Century, dumbass) - unacceptable for his organization.
Now, the expectations are absurd, and it sounds like a really hard organization to work in, but it also has produced 26 World Series championships.
Anyway, that's the culture and I thought it was OK for them to fire him, but they didn't do it in the 'right' way - first Steinbrenner said he'd be fired if they lost during the playoffs, then they let him hang out there for a week, and then they gave him an offer he would refuse. (Yes, a lot of money, but the one-year thing isn't good. The bonuses for rounds won in the playoffs seems insulting, like the guy needed motivation or something).
I'm not sure if it was that they didn't have the nerve/heart to do it outright or they were trying to do some public relations posturing, but it would have been much better to say, "Joe, thanks, but we're going to make a change because we feel we need to shake things up."
After millions of dollars and twelve years and all those wins, you don't owe him a job, but you do owe him a bit of respect, and their lack of it was poor form.