I hate everything associated with the New York Yankees. Been raised that way since birth. However, I can’t find any reason to despise Joe Torre, and with his departure from the Bronx, I respect him even more now.
He looked at the offer sheet and essentially told the Steinbrenner family where to stick it; he told them he did not need them and would walk away.
You do not take a world championship winning manager, hack his salary by $2.5 million, and only offer him a one year contract with incentives after he won four championships in twelve years. It doesn’t matter that none of them have come in the past seven years. The Yankees are not most baseball teams, but that is a remarkable achievement nonetheless (never mind never missing the playoffs). That is an insult. And frankly, I believe the Steinbrenner family made that offer to Torre knowing he would not take such a hit to his pride by accepting such a lowball move. Torre doesn’t need the money, he doesn’t need the trouble. He simply walked away after being called out during the Division Series, and decided it was not worth it.
This tells us so much more about the morass that is Yankee ownership right now. The fact that this offer to a surefire Hall of Fame manager was even considered speaks volumes about how far gone the Boss is, and how many competing voices there are in the Yankee front office. It is a wonderful thing to witness as a Yankee hater, but outside of that, Joe Torre deserved better than a bullshit offer designed to force him to quit.
He is a class act. Wish we could say the same about the Steinbrenners.
Photo: AP/Kathy Willens