Talk sports, pop culture and more with SI.com's Jimmy Traina.
4/25/2007 08:51:00 AM
Blame Torre for Yankees mess
Manager Joe Torre deserves the criticism for the Yankees' slow start.
I'm going to riff on the Yankees' awful start, but in the interest of full disclosure, let me remind you that I'm a diehard Yankees fan. So while you may be completely sick of baseball's most written about, most covered and most talked about team, this will at least give you a chance to tell me the Yankees suck.
OK, now to the Bombers. Blame for their awful start (and five-game losing streak) is being thrown in a lot of directions. They've been hit by injuries, their starting pitching is terrible, their bullpen is overused. This has been the mantra in 2007. Players who have barely been with the team (Carl Pavano), players who have been with the Yankees for five minutes (Kei Igawa and Doug Mientkiewicz ), hereos from last season (Melky Cabrera) and a legend in the game (Mariano Rivera) have all been beaten up on talk radio. And you can bet that if Alex Rodriguez wasn't off to one of the best starts in history, he'd be getting publicly flogged, too. Oh, and every single day, fans and some media members publicly beg the team to bring back one of the most popular figures in club history (Bernie Williams) because even though the Yankees lead the majors in runs scored, a 38-year-old part-time player will solve all the problems.
But the one person who escapes the criticism, especially from the media, is the person I blame the most for this mess: manager Joe Torre.
This is not easy to say. What Torre has done in New York is special. Part of me thinks that if a manager wins four World Series, he should never be criticized. However, Torre has never been a master at using the bullpen, but this season his cluelessness has hit another level. In the past, he's burned out Steve Karsay, Tanyon Sturtze, Tom Gordon and Paul Quantrill. It looks like Scott Proctor and Luis Vizcainio will be next.
But here's what Torre's biggest sin has been: He showed that he's scared of the Red Sox. It was blatantly evident last weekend. A lot was made in New York about how Torre managed the series opener like it was Game 7 of the World Series. Well, he also managed like he had a one-run lead when he had a four-run lead. He showed all of Boston that he was petrified of losing that game. And there's no doubt in my mind that the Red Sox (and their fans) could see it and smelled blood -- and got it.
After Proctor bailed out Andy Pettitte in the seventh inning (of course Torre had a quick hook with Pettitte for no reason. In Torre's book, allowing a starter to go seven innings is a criminal act) by getting two outs, Torre then decided to have Mike Myers start the eighth inning. Why? Because Myers is a lefty and David Ortiz was leading off the inning. As if Ortiz, one of the best hitters in the game and an absolute monster at the plate who owns the Yankees, is really going to be affected by a lefty. There's not much difference between Ortiz' average against lefties (.264) and his average against righties (.290).
But it wasn't about numbers and matchups (things to which Torre is a slave to). It was about pushing the panic button when you had a four-run lead and needed six outs to get a win.
Now, the Yankees have gotten off to terrible starts under Torre before and have always rebounded. But things have changed. When Torre came to New York in 1996, the Yankees weren't run like a corporation the way they are now. Torre also was nearly fired after the Yankees lost to Detroit in the first round of the playoffs last season, and does not have a contract past this season. He hasn't been in that situation with the Yankees before. Lastly, Torre will turn 67 in July. Is it really wrong to ask if: a) Torre, for the first time in his Yankees tenure, can't handle the pressure; and/or b) the game has passed him by? I'm not 100 percent sure it has, but I'm closer to believing that now than ever before. Am I wrong to blame Torre for New York's poor start? Do you think it's a valid point? Let me hear from you.
Other quick thoughts:
1. I don't want to get into a whole steroids debate, but I'll just throw this out there: Barry Bonds hit 26 homers in just 367 at-bats last year. This season, at age 42, he's hit six in 46 at-bats this year. There is steroid testing in baseball. I haven't seen anything that says Bonds has failed one of those tests. So when is it OK to say you are impressed with his performance? Are we allowed to say that Bonds is still an amazing hitter without people looking at you like you're crazy? I'll say this: Barry Bonds is the best hitter I've ever seen -- period. Is there anyone else out there, not from the Bay Area, who feels this way? Let me know.
2. I'm not one of these people who watches The Sopranos but always complains about it. I know many folks who do, but if I don't like something, I don't watch it (Lost lost Season Pass status after three week's this season). Having said that, I'm getting frustrated with the show. When there are a finite amount of episodes left, you have to make each count. This means you can't have shows where main characters are missing. Dr. Melfi has only been in one of three episodes this season. Carmela was on for two seconds this week, while A.J. and Meadow were nowhere to be found. Bobby was a big part of the season opener, but this week, nothing. Same with Janice. And now I'm worried that we've seen the last of Uncle Junior. His final scene on Sunday felt like his swan song. Anyone else agree? And what do you think about the show after three episodes this season?
Oh, I don't think you've seen the last of Junior. That whole last scene between him and the other patient, whom he called Anthony, was just the beginning. Here's how I read that...he's mulling over just how he'll go about killing that guy. Uncle Jr. is far from done.
Torre can be blamed for overusing the bullpen but if his starters (except Pettite) would be able to pitch more than 4 and 2/3rds (the average they have been) he would be going to the bullpen as quick or feel like he has to bring Mo in an inning early. Lets let Wang, Mussina, Pavano and the hero-to-be Hughes get healthy first, then we can blame Torre if they still suck. I am a DIEHARD Yankee fan by the way!
completely agree on Torre being blamed for this mess..i knew the yanks were doomed this past weekend when the tv showed Torre hollaring to get Francona's attention in the dugout and then tipping his cap to him in a "stately" gesture..absoulutely disgusted me..was this the same red sox team that threw down an 80yr old bench coach to the ground, that torre was tipping his hat too? THen he yanks pettite too early, doesnt leave proctor in for the 8th (like he should have) and also yanks giambi for kevin thompson which ends up costing us as KT strikes out to end the game..Torre NEEDS TO GO. And the heck with Matttingly, i want Girardi as our coach!
I honestly believe Joe Torre is the worst when it coes to dealing with Pitchers. It seems as though Proctor and Vizciano will pitch in every game this year as he is so scared to allow a starter to go past 100 pitches, yet he will let a reliever pitch everyday. This coming from a Yankees fan, I think this will need to change if this team will see success!
I hate to agree: it's time for Torre to go. Bring in Girardi (ideally) or Mattingly (probably more popular with the players).
Torre's last masterful job was in '05, when they stole the division with guys like Chacon and Small. But the lack of passion and lack of urgency in the Detroit series, and the apparent carry-over into '07, is enough evidence. He's a Hall of Fame manager but has lost his Midas touch.
On the Yankees, I feel bad throwing Torre under the bus but truth is truth. I just don't think he has changed his approach since 96 even though the players and thier abilities have. That and he IS scared when it comes to pitchers getting in and out of jams.
As for Bonds; let me first say that there are a bunch of steroids and performance enhancers that aren't found in the current barrage of tests. Thus I feel that since he is a known user that he must've found a good drug that doesn't show up. Truth be told, baseball would crumble if the truth came out about who is and isn't "cheating". As for Barry, Big Mac, Sosa, Palmero; good riddance. ( I throw Sosa in there b/c a) his enormous head growth b) He jumped up stating he would be 1rst in line for testing and then hid behind the PLayers Union once he was called out on it and c) the corked bat and subsiquent obvious denial.
Torre is managing every game like he might get fired. He is so afraid of losing every night. Using Andy Pettite in relief twice already is stupid. Taking a pitcher out in the 7th inning as soon as a guy gets on base is stupid. Surely the pitcher is getting tired but Andy is a veteran, he knows how to get outs when he doesnt have his best stuff. He should ve let Igawa take a beating out there on Monday for the sake of the team. Let the guy throw 7 innings no matter what (unless hes past 120 pitches) and let everyone else recharge. Hes so afraid of losing battles. He has to realize the war is more important. I realize it is early, but the way Torre is killing that bullpen it might already be too late for some of those guys.
I don't think Torre is to blame—it really is the injuries to the starting pitchers. But Torre does deserve criticism for how he's handling this bad stretch. It's a 162 game season and Torre never managers like it. Sometimes you're going to a lose a game and you just need to keep your starting pitcher in to eat up innings. Now the Yankees are losing games AND they're using up their bullpen's innings for when they actually have wins to secure.
That was the ribbon on the Uncle Junior story. He was once a young tough guy as evidenced by the picture Beansie showed Tony and Paulie earlier in the episode, but has been reduced to an old guy in wheel chair, stroking a cat, who just got beat up by some random patient.
I actually think that was the whole point of the episode, so I give them a bit of a pass, but they are quickly running out of time.
Those who vote for who gets into the Baseball Hall of Fame were praised for sending Mark McQwire a message about his non-commital answers at the steriod inquiries. Are these same writers prepared to send the same message to Barry Bonds once he becomes eligible for the hall? I think they will be afraid of the backlash...
I think that Joe Torre should have been let go after that a talented Yankee team lost to the Tigers. Torre showed that he had lost the abiltiy to manage at that point. I cannot tell if he simply has lost the abiltiy to manage a baseball team or he just doesn't care any longer.
With only 6 episodes left, you wonder how their going to wrap all of it up. Their not. Unless the last 6 episodes are totally rock em-sock em it isn't going to happen. I know I wasn't the only one sitting their wondering about the asian kid, and him eventually going nuts on someone. Crazy in light of the VT incident. They do have Tony and others being set up to go down. We'll have to wait and see. After devoting so many years to the show you don't want it to be dissapointing at the finale.
All these players that used steroids in the past (Bonds, Giambi, Sheffield) are more than likely on HGH now instead. Especially if they got bigger after testing began (Giambi). Now, if a player looks smaller since testing began (Ivan Rodriguez) I don't think they are taking anything (at least anymore).
I will start by saying I am a huge Yankee fan and have been since birth. In my opinion, our weakest point is starting pitching. I may be proven wrong by the end of the season, but I still think the entire rotation is highly over rated. Pavano is worthless, Mussina still hasn't proven to me to be a go to game 7 kind of pitcher. Pettite is the only one that has a fighting chance for us right now and he is plagued with back and elbow problems. I agree with what Rich said about waiting until everyone is healthy, but Pavano won't get any better.
The point of this season is that Tony is growing old and realizing it, and all he's done is make enemies of those closest to him. The first episode was about how Bobby hates him. The second was about how Christopher hates him. This last episode made the point that Paulie hates him--after all, Paulie watched him grow up and now Tony is giving him orders (did you see the look on his face when Tony told him to stop blabbing next to the breakfast bar in the hotel?). They all defer to him because he's the boss, but he's done nothing to engender any good will from anyone around him; he treats them all like crap, and this is what will come around to get him in the end. Someone will kill him, and it will be someone close to him. And nobody will shed a tear. All the price to pay for the way he has lived his life.
I agree. My wife and I are long-time Duke and Yankees fans (we are the evil empire!), and there is a disturbing similarity between Torre and Coach K. Both are enormously successful, which makes it hard to criticize them, but they both suffer from similar flaws. Both have failed to adapt to changing times and changing players, and both continue to suffer from one significant flaw (with Torre it is his inexplicable fear of letting a starting pitcher go deep into games, and with K it is his inexplicable obsession with slowing down the game when he has a lead).
Big Yankee fan, love Joe but I do think it's time for a change. Some of Joe's recent decisions are highly questionable.I know it's early and pitching will improve but I think we need some fire. How can the Red Sox continue to hit our batters while Ortiz and Manny own the plate with no fear of retaliation ? The Yankees try to be the gentlemen in every situation and are being taken advantage of by other teams who don't play by the same rules. Never thought I'd say it but we need Clemens to back these guys up and give them something to think about at the plate.
Ortiz hits righties much better than lefties, particularly when it comes to power numbers.
Your cry of, "Why does Torre take out the starters so early," would surely be, "Why the hell is Torre leaving these bums in so long?"
To Anon 11:39: Is this the same Red Sox TEAM that threw Zimmer to the ground? No, it's not. That was Pedro, whom Torre despises. He plays for the Mets now. The entire team didn't throw down Zimmer, who is still one of Torre's best friends and who quit partially because of the way Steinbrenner treated Joe.
Yankees' fans, take it easy. We're 20 games into a 162 game season. You talk about how Torre is too focused on winning battles and not enough on the war? Well look in the mirror. You're freaking out after 20 games and wanting to can the only guy that won you a WS in years and years.
To Milton: Barry Bonds actually did just fail a test for amphetimines this past season, I believe. Then he "blamed" his teammate, said he didn't, then called to apologize to his teammate for not blaming him or for the media saying he blamed him or something to that effect. He's still unbelievable, but it didn't have to be this way.
I definitely think that we have seen the last of Junior...he's a defeated man!! Although none of the aired eps of "The Sopranos" this season have been home runs, the one this week was clearly the best IMO.
Re: your Bonds comment. May I just say, "Hear, hear!!" The man is just a hitting machine, plain and simple. Those who refuse to admit that simple have their heads stuck in their smelly-holes!!
Friday night I was watching the Sox game (yes, I'm from Boston) and thought almost the exact same thing about him being afraid of the Sox. This was completely validated when he brought in Pettitte for that relief stint...I mean come on. Anyway, at no point in that series did I feel like the game was over when the Sox were losing...not even when they brought Mo in (first time I've really ever been able to say that).
To anonymous...if someone comes at you, you put them down. Pedro could have done a ton more dmg if he was at all inclined. As bad of a situation as it was, Zimmer is just as much to blame. Pedro wouldn't have found him out to toss him, and to his credit, Zimmer acknowledged he shouldn't have gone after a player, especially as a COACH. Stop being classless and completely biased...that incident had nothing to do with Francona.
Completely agree with you. Torre used Mariano in the 8th inning after saying he would only use him for 1 inning this season. When you bring in your closer with a 4 run lead in the 8th inning, you are telling your bullpen "I don't trust you" even though he praised them 1 week ago. Also should have left Wang in yesterday to finish off the inning. Wang threw 81 pitches, and could have intentionally walked a batter and pitched to the kid who had gone 0-for 3, with 3 groundouts earlier. Then Myers could have pitched to Crawford leading off the next inning. Torre never uses his pitching staff correctly, and never will.
While Torre's bullpen management has been especially brutal so far, if you're going to blame someone, you should blame Cashman. He's the one who helped retain Torre and he's the one who constructed this mess of a pitching staff. The problems with the Yankees start at the top.
Torre has been a terrible manager over the past few seasons. He has ruined a few relief careers through overuse, and he might ruin Proctor if he continues to use them like batting practice machines. I mean c'mon, I don't have the exact stat in front of me, but Proctor has pitched in about 3/4 of the team's games. That's insane. And though the starting pitching has been poor, I can think of a few opportunites where he could have stretched innings out of his starters, most notably Darrell Rasner. I was at the Yankee-Cleveland game, where Rasner was protecting a one run lead in the fifth inning and Torre pulled him out. The man had 82 pitches thrown, and he though he wasn't super-efficient, he wasn't "laboring" either. With a runner on first and one out (the moment Rasner was pulled out) he could have easily gotten a double play on the next pitch, or two quick outs, and maybe even worked through the sixth. What does Torre do? Go to Bruney, Proctor and crew.
Idiot. If you're reading this Cashie, fire him immediately. (b)
THANK YOU!!! As a die-hard, I am SO tired of Torre getting treated like he walks on water! Those World Series teams of the nineties had O'Neill, Brosius, etc. - guys who really managed themselves. Torre can't handle these guys, and he CERTAINLY blazes through bullpens in record time! Why take out a reliever if he pitches lights-out for an inning? Pitch him for two - then DON'T USE HIM THE NEXT DAY! Has he ever thought of that? No wonder he's a former catcher - best remembered for his HITTING!
the whole NYY organization should be to blame, it was no secret the picthing staff was going to be horrible this year. Torre never knew what he was doing as a coach, he has just been babysiting a bench full of all-stars. last place, right where the yankees should be.
Blame Torre for Yankees mess? How can you Blame Torre for acting like game 1 of the Red Sox series was like the 7th game of the World Series? You can not blame him for that. There is only one person that you can blame. Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner only cares about beating the Red Sox. As the manager of the Yankees you have to act like it is game 7 of the World Series when playing the Red Sox. At the end of the year if there are no pitchers left, the Red Sox are out of the playoffs, and the Yankees have won every matchup (or at least the vast majority of them), then he will be happy. Blame Steinbrenner for Torre's actions. He is a product of his environment.
Remember the year they started 11-19 in 2005? They won the division. But that was then. The Yankees look like a crappy team, reminding me of 1980s, seriously. Average 4.8 IPs by Yankee starters this season, fewest in MLB and of course that contribued to taxed bullpen. Royals (6-14) and Nationals (6-14) did better than the Yankees in starting pitching IPs. How pathetic are they? There will be a managerial change for sure if they lose 2 out of 3 to the Red Sox this weekend, or worse, another sweep. (Which it won't happen because Dice-K, Wakefield and Taverez will pitch this weekend) Taverez won't assist completing a sweep or a series win.
Right, after 14 years he hit over 40 Hr. only 3 times. Then by a miracle of nature he hits 49 and 73 in the next 2 years. Then after 73 he can't get close to 50 again, coincidence or performance enhancing drugs?? I have been watching baseball for almost 50 years and these young guys who think Barry and Griffey and so on are the best ever have no clue how good the Mays's,Aaron's,Robinson's,Clemente's,Williams's,Mantle's were. These guys were just as good in the field as they were with the bat, they were the best baseball players ever against the best pitchers ever. Bonds needs to just go away because nobody who has been around baseball for a long time respects him, unlike the players I have mentioned.
I don't know what to tell the Yankees fans. I am not one of them (go Rangers!). I am not a hater, either. I know how annoying it is for half of the sporting world to root against the Champs (i.e., Cowboys).
For the Sopranos, I predict that there is some sort of surpise, feel good ending that someone else is apprehended or takes the fall for Tony and later gets axed, leaving Tony to consider retiring...
Who is the next brain in organization, though? Chris is seen as too young and he would not have the organizational support? Pauli does talk too much...
I truely agree with you that Torre is never good at dealing with pitchers. Before Yankees always had enough pitchers to use, and Mo was young enough to pitch two innings to get the win. But this is a different Yankees, and none of these pitchers have experienced enough to really learn. Igawa shouldn't have been pull, nor should Wright be pulled after that embarrassing 4 HRs. They need to stay in and learn the game, after all, it's only April. Let the pitchers learn, since clearly they weren't able to do that during Spring Training.
let us be honest about joe torre here. people often talk about him like he is a hall-of-fame lock. but why? before he came to the yankees, what did his managing career look like? exactly. i dont know either. he was named the manager of a team loaded with talent to burn and money to buy even more. he has won 4 rings, but do you honestly think that had anything to do with him? those yankee teams won rings, he just wrote their names on the lineup card. and now that the yankees dont have the talent they used to his managing gaffs are easier to see. i firmly believe that if joe torre had never taken that yankees job, it would be hard to tell the difference right now between him and jerry narron.
As for Bonds...even if you take his probable steroid use into consideration, the debate then becomes between "He's a great player," and "He's an immortal." His greatness, drugs or no drugs, can't be denied. And I don't even like the guy.
As for The Sopranos...I'm digging the current season. I like the whole subtle, existential direction they've taken the past two seasons. It helps, I think, that I don't view the show as heading toward a "conclusion." I think Tony will continue to live in his own private, self-made hell, and life goes on (for some people, anyway.)
I'm a die hard Yankees fan...but what really pissed me off is that Torre didn't have Wright hit one of the Red Sox or knock them down with an inside pitch after two home runs let alone four. Plus Dice-K hit A-rod and Jeter
The Yankees have thrown out a 200 million plus payroll the last 3 seasons, not to mention the 40-50 million in luxury tax that the Yankees and MLB dont want to talk about and have Totally underacheived. Factoring in the luxury tax and not forgetting about it like basically means they have at least a 100 million advantage over every other team in MLB baseball.
LOL,OMG. Let me just say that I also am a die hard Yankee fans, my office is plastered with enedless paraphenalia. You talk about Torre hitting the panic button...everyone on this blog seems to have their finger glued to it. We're not even 20 games into the season, our ace has started ONE game, with 2 more starters on the DL early, Matsui out of the lineup (until last monday), Giambi hitting under .200 until this week, Cano slumping after the first week, and Mo blows his only 2 save oppotunities, and if Mientkiewicz pulls his head out and doesnt play 8 feet off the line with LEFTY CoCo Crisp up to bat, with two runners on, (it was a high chopper for cryin-out-loud, and he has to DIVE FOR IT?) we win that game! All you dorks are the ones who probably booed A-Rod for hitting .297 30+ HR's and 120 RBI's last year. Man, how quckly we forget. Are all of your last names in here Steinbrenner? You all should trash your Yankee gear and go get in line for season tickets at Fenway. RIDICULOUS!!!!
I'm a Red Sox fan;do you really think J.Torre was comfy with his SP staff this year??? Lots of holes-If you look @ it,B.R.S. did the same thing last year by bring up Lester,Delcarmen & Hansen too early-just like w/P.Hughes.We'll see,Mikey in Pawtucket,R.I.
I agree with Jimmy about Joe Torre. And it's not about panicking 20 games into the season because it's something that's been driving me crazy with Joe for years. I'm talking about both his misues of pitchers and his lack of fire and passion. Yankees pitchers are never given the opportunity to work out of jams. There's never the trust shown that they can do that. It must be hard to pitch in that atmosphere. It's past time for Joe to go. I'd like to see Girardi in there.
With Bonds, the issue is credibility. It's become so obvious to me that he has used PEDs for years that I can no longer give his performance any real validity. Who know how good Bonds really is? Doesn't matter anymore. He's a loser in my book. End of story.
Steroids, HGH, the clear and the cream Barry's the greatest player I've ever seen.
In his 40s now, under a microscope, the most hated player in all of sports, steroid-free, in a lineup that provides him zero protection...and still, Barry terrifies NL pitchers more than anyone except maybe Albert Pujols.
Cashman, not Torre, should be the one under fire. He is the one largely responsible for heading into the regular season with Wang, Mussina, Pettitte, Igawa, and Pavano as his rotation. I knew this was a mistake, if only because I didn't read one single article by any sportswriter who thought it would work out.
One promising young starter, two accomplished pros who by their own admissions are no longer at the top of their games, two unknown quantities. Not much of a rotation for a team that is "expected" to win the World Series.
Brian Cashman is a bright guy, but his personnel decisions have been questionable at best. Let's hope The Boss straightens him out and sends him shopping for some pitching before things get ugly.
I think that A-rod is to blame. Instead of the Red Sox "Curse of the Bambino", the Yankees now have "The Curse of A-Rod". Last year he didn't do much in the way of helping out his team or his teammates and they had to carry him and his bloated salary. This year he seems to do no wrong and the rest of the team can't do anything. the sooner the Yankees get him out of there the better of they'll be. I would actually love him to stay, because I hate the Yankees and would love to live out the rest of my days without another Championship in the Bronx.
i'm a die hard yankee fan but i feel a change is needed it's obivious that it will be difficult for the yankees to win a championship with this current group.i believe Torre needs to go and the youth movement needs to start with the pitching keep wang and mariano and scratch the rest of them and yes mariano is older but he is still bettee than 95% of the relivers out there
As a lifelong Yankees fan, I've seen this before. 1961-1965: Mantle went from his prime to a shell of his former self. They lost 3 World Series during that stretch -- it would have been 4 in a row if McCovey's liner was a few feet to either side. It was painful to watch the team totally disintegrate because the players got old and the Yankees didn't adjust or plan properly. Cashman is in charge now, but it might be a little too late -- the Yankees have spent too many years chasing the wrong players in the market. I wasn't thrilled when they hired Torre before the 1996 season, but he did a stellar job handling great players who didn't need a lot of coaching. But Torre had the advice and counsel of Zimmer. Without Zim, Torre seems more like the man whose record before his Yankees tenure was, in a word, unimpressive. Why is Torre compelled to prove that Mariano, the greatest 9th inning closer in history, simply isn't effective when he's brought in before the 9th inning? Would he be doing this if Zim was still by his side? But what can you do when so many key players are injured? Since spring training I've been wondering what kind of misguided strength and conditioning program they have. This question was asked, then dropped, a few weeks ago when it was brought up in a NY Times blog. What's the deal with all these hamstring injuries? Years ago, weight training, etc., was taboo for baseball players. Did you ever see that slow motion film of Ted Williams hitting the ball? Strong forearms and wrists, and flexibility, were key, not bulging pecs. Look at A-Rod. Last year he bulked up and looked lost. This year he slimmed down and is murdering the ball. There has to be some connection between the Yankees' new trainers and these devastating injuries, without which the Yankees would not be in last place. As for the Sopranos, time to go to the mattresses. Start killing some characters we know!
It is impossible to give any credence or value to the accomplishments of Barry Bonds. As another post stated he has used HGH for which no one is testing. As long as that issue lingers his accomplishments cannot be considered to be valid and there simply should not be any discussion of how "great" a hitter is he. ALL of his so called "records" should be wiped from the books. Perhaps that is not completely fair, but he is the one who caused the uncertainty and he should be the one to bear the brunt of the ramifications.
Why is it that people jump all over Barry Bonds when Lance Armstrong got a free pass. Both of them achieved incredible feats at their (advanced) age which sound suspicious, but you have got to give them the benefit of the doubt. Just because the others cannot achieve these results doesnt mean that those who do are on steroids. On the other hand Shawne Merriman tested positive and no one seems to care - on the contrary he is considered one of the top defenders in football. I think most of the media dislikes Bonds for his boorish attitude. If Bonds was media-friendly like Merriman I am sure most of the writers would believe he is a great player(natural, not enhanced). The media needs to be more consistent if they cant get it right!!!
here is a few things. a) i am completely impressed and happy for bonds. one of the best hitters and eyes in baseball still even showing it at 42. he is slower his knees look like they can crumble yet he still going yard at a glaring pace. yea he'll slow down but come on give credit where its due the man can mash. and if u have a problem with his cheating get over it. yea he'll brake the holy grail of records in a few months but a-rod or pujols will fly by (if they remain in tip top shape) that record give it a lot less time than it took bonds to break aron's record (cause its gunna hapen). ok now for my love pride power pinstripes. they tripped outta the gate and its not all torre's fault. point the finger at everyone. errors errors and more errors is what hurt them in the start probably not helping the starters get outta some jams thus taxing the bullpen early. second it sucks to see that the hitters we pay to hit, hit and the ones who aren't, don't. we need that darkhorse that can get a base hit in random moments when are offense is stymied like ruben sierra was or miguel cairo 2 yrs. ago(what's happened to his bat?)obviously you can't by that but it would be nice. i agree that torre pulls the string way too quick on starters. granted it was wang's first start of the year but the man was great. he threw like 70 to 80 pitches in 6+ and the moment he gets into a jam he pulled the string. Thats our freakin ace and he deserves to finish the d-rays no matter how good they're all hitting. check this out. chase gives 4 straight homers in fenway and finishes the inning, wang (much much better) gets a guy a 2nd n 3rd w/ 1 out and hes pulled gimme a freakin break. igawa just looks horrendous im scared to see him have success because he looks like he will always be a bad outing away to being a ball throwing lefty find that strike zone kei please. pavano just throw yourself under the bus. mooooooose cant wait to see you be mooooose if the unit can win 17 + at 42 we got moose at 38. and for pettite hes lookin good thus far in his second go around the a.l. lets see what he does fri. against boston for the second time in a week. yankees will rise the cream always does.
Joe Torre has done a remarkable job over the years and should be retained in a front office capacity, but the Yankees need a shot of passion and new leadership. Bring on Paul O'Neil, or promote Larry Bowa. I'm afraid Mattingly would bring the same lackluster attitude. Pitching must be improved. Get Clemens anyway possible, trade Pavano to the little league, move Phil Hughes along and even try to trade Mussina by the July trading deadline. Must get young arms and hungry pitchers lead by the veterans Petite and Clemens.
let me tell u somethin torre has nuttin to do with this he cant freckin manage a team with no pitchin if anyone should be fired it should be brian cashman for not pickin up any pitchin in the offseason like he has done in years before torre will forever and should forever be a yankee
I'm a tried-and-true citizen of THE Nation. I was there for the '75 Game 6 Carbo & Fisk shots.
Of figures I most despise, there's Satan and there's Bucky Dent.
When my kids gave me a Christmas gift of pin-striped pajamas, I told them they didn't fit and I had to return them.
I feel it's on much more authority than you, Jimmy (at least from the side of the Carmine), that I can make the case (I can't believe I'm writing it) for the Yanks that it's just not part of their organization's DNA to 'fear' the Red Sox.
To quote a recent oft-repeated mantra: it's April!
You Yankee fans have never been like this. Regardless of global warming it is still in fact April. Get a grip. I am waiting for Barry to pull a Mr. 3000 and quit after hitting his record breaking homer. Please dont insult me and suggest that he hasnt been on a variety of drugs.
Yankee fans should worry about the fact that GM Brian has banked the entire season on signing the Rocket as they dont have one front line starter.
I've been screaming at anyone who will listen -- torre is the biggest culprit in the mess that is the yankee season. he is managing as if every game is game 7 of the world series, and it's only april. he has KILLED the careers of his relievers through overuse and mismanagement, and gives no sense of confidence to his bullpen by obviousy communicating his own trepidation to them. he is terrible, and worse, responsible for ending careers. he should give his salary this year to proctor as we all know that he's killed his arm already, and poor proctor hasn't had a big payday in his career. at least the other guys made some money b4 torre destroyed their livelihood. i have no idea why Torre gets a free pass in NY. what he is doing is beyoned negligent -- it's criminal.
To paraphrase Bill Parcells, "You will miss him when he is gone". The Tuna used to say that to fans and meadia bout Phil Simms....and looking at the QBs that followed, he was dead on.
Torre is not perfect, and yes he is prone to make mistakes, but because of his success over the years we rarely point out when he does something good. Remember this was the same guy who found ways to win with Al Leiter, Aaron Small, and Shawn Chacon as his starters.
But the guy does get killed when his bullpen is worn out, partly because his starters can't get him 7 innings. And we all know that if Torre didn't bring Mike Myers in to pitch to Ortiz, whoever was on the mound must get the out otherwise Torre is killed for not using his specialist.
Maybe the front office should take a hit for hiring a strength coach that saw three of the teams projected starters hitting the DL on the first week of '07. It is funny how everyone says that injuries happen to everyone and it is just an excuse, but not a single person I saw came out with an example of a team that could lose 4 of its projected starters, or find a manager that would be unaffected going with a staff consisting of 3 rookies (all of whom projected to go every other rotation or not even called up till summer).
I also find it odd that we kill a manager for trying to win games. Not sure what we pay them for, but I guess winning games is not it.
The fact is that Yankee fans are so naive they don't realize that making the post season isn't a given. This is not the teams that runs away with 115 wins. I guess Yankee fans would be happy with a well rested bullpen that is missing out on the wildcard than actually expecting some guys to dig deap and make something happen in the post season.
How about we demand one of the two roster spot players at 1B to stepup and earn their keep? Or kill the pitchers for not being able to get out of the 6th inning.
Nah, the next manager will be better. That guy will have this team run away with the title.
Bonds is a great hitter period. The numbers he put up were great when you look at it in context. He did put upsome monster numbers before MLB started testing, so what. So far since testing started, more pitchers have been caught. where's the outcry. BB didn't do anything outside of the rules of baseball. If anyone is to blame about the bloated numbers from the 90's (big mac, slammin sammy, etc) it should be BUD SELIG. he closes his eyes to everything as long as MLB is popular, Chicks dig the long ball, eh Bud.
I'm a die-hard Red Sox fan. And, for the past ten years, I've conceded an advantage to the Yankees in the manager department. It was a common lament amongst Sox fans after the 2003 playoffs: "You switch the managers and no way the Sox lose that series." Even in 2004, I didn't think we won because of managerial superiority.
However, yeah--this weekend was bad. What you said, but also, bringing Pettite in relief? A guy in his mid-thirties with a history of arm problems? That's just *insane*. Terry Francona's no Whitey Herzog, but he's decent, and after this series I don't concede managerial superiority to the Yankees any more. And, despite the fact that I'm a Sox fan, I have a great amount of respect for Joe Torre. If the game *has* passed him by, I hope he realizes it and decides to retire with his legacy intact. Up until recently, he was one of the best managers I ever saw.
However, I'm wondering if that's the Yankees' biggest problem. The biggest thing I took away from this weekend's series is that Rivera looks like toast. Now, the Red Sox have gotten to him before, and that could be part of it. But he looked completely hittable. Without a normal Rivera, we Sox fans won't have to worry about the Yankees this year.
Alright.. Lets calm down on the Torre Bashing... This is the same guy that led them to the post season each of the last 5 years without oneil, brosius etc, and yes, he has made mistakes, but folks, you're all missing something here... we are talking about pitching... what else is different from 5 years ago to now? the presence of a solid pitching coach maybe? I loved guidry as a pitcher, but maybe he just isn't providing the kind of support that Torre needs. Meantime, its only 20 games into the season, and they have started worse and come back, so let's see how this plays out before calling for his head... I think his past performance has earned at least that much.
I agree I love Joe Torre but he should have gone last year, he seems like he is desperate and not the cool and calm guy he once was, they need a fresh face, someone with fire and a passion to put a fire under this team, they are playing now like they are sluggish. Torre is deserving of the Hall of Fame but he stayed one year too long.
I'm getting tired of people ragging on Bonds for his alleged steroid use. First of all, just because you're getting huge doesn't mean you can rake like Bonds. Second, Bonds was jacking all of those home runs off of pitchers who were juicing too (I believe relief pitchers have the highest rate of positive steroid results). Third, I highly doubt that a lot of players in the history of baseball would have passed up on the 'roids had they been available to them. Babe Ruth not juicing if he could have...right.
If everyone that complains about Barry Bonds would also stop looking at Pam Anderson, then I would be OK with the garbage he has to take.
I wish they would make steroids legal and allow doctors to monitor the dosages.
Besides, getting a shot does not make you big and muscular, working out does. The 'roids just allow you to recover quicker and workout harder. It's not as if Barry got a shot and woke up the next day bulked up.
Another take---as one of your staff said last week---all records before 1947 should have a big * next to them because minorities were not part of the game. If 30% of today's players are minorities, then every career record before 1947 should be reduced to 70%...
You have to take into account the significance of the episode as the reason for missing characters. In this week's episode, it was focusing a nostalgic Tony who for the first time in the six seasons of the show actually seems wistful and almost upset of the life that he has lived because he has been forced to lose friends such as Big Pussy and, now, it looks as if the closest person to him, Christopher, is on his way to being whacked as well. I think an episode like Sunday's is perfect for the final episodes of the show because it gives a final look at the life Tony has lived.
I totally agree that Torre is clueless when handling a pitching staff. Maybe it's time for the yanks to get a real pitching coach instead of a former Yankees fan favorite like Guidry. Nothing against Gator, but maybe if Leo Mazzone or someone of his ilk was handling pitchers, maybe they'd be able to go 7 or 8 innings once in a while & the reliever's arms wouldn't be falling off by the all-star break.
I can't blame Torre completely for what the front office has done in leaving him with little to work with on the starting pitching front. True he has killed the bullpen and I honestly don't see him coming back next year. He has always been a class guy and I'd love to see him be able to walk away with his rep intact. Unfortunately it looks like he'll have a hard time even making the playoffs this year and will take a hit for that I'm sure. I can't imagine that Clemens will want to come there. He'd look good in a Boston hat for one final go around!
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