Broadcast booth an option for Torre
Posted: Thursday October 18, 2007 10:39PM; Updated: Friday October 19, 2007 12:22AM
Is Joe Torre's next job behind a microphone? It's a very likely destination for the now former Yankees manager.
Torre spent nearly six years as a broadcaster for the California Angels from 1985 to 1990, earning plaudits from the Los Angeles Times ("outstanding"), Orange County Register ("His ability to explain and correctly forecast baseball strategy has been the highlight of Angels TV coverage") and the San Diego Union-Tribune ("Anecdotal, objective and occasionally analytical"). He was an analyst with ESPN during the 1989 National League playoffs and World Series, and he even served as the play-by-play voice for KTLA-TV for part of the 1990 season, working with analyst Reggie Jackson.
Fox executives have always had a good working relationship with Torre. He is also well-liked by lead announcer Joe Buck and analyst Tim McCarver. Last week Buck told USA Today that "Tim and I always have a spot for him in the Fox booth."
When contacted by SI.com on Thursday night, Fox Sports president Ed Goren said, "Obviously, with Joe having the credentials of an accomplished broadcaster combined with his credentials on the field, he would be an attractive candidate. However," said Goren, who had not spoken with Torre as of Thursday, "he just made a huge career decision, so at this point, you don't know if Joe is even interested in broadcasting right now." A Fox spokesperson said there are no plans, at least for the moment, to add Torre or anyone else to the World Series booth.
TBS would also be a logical destination for Torre. The network has exclusive rights to all division series games through 2013 and National League Championship Series in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 and the ALCS in 2008, 2010, and 2012. Starting next year, TBS will carry a league-wide package of 26 Sunday afternoon games. Torre would be a terrific get for TBS as either a game or studio analyst. "As we do with all our sports, we will evaluate every component of our productions during the offseason to see how we can improve our on-air product," Turner Sports producer Jeff Behnke said an email.
Torre did not talk to reporters on Thursday but has said he's enjoyed his time behind the mic. "Broadcasting is a more secure thing for me," Torre said in 1990 prior to accepting the Cardinals manager job. "It's gotten where I'm more nervous about managing than broadcasting, but I'm sure that would change if I got back into it."