Friday, February 29, 2008

Klapisch: Torre May Regret Dodger Blue. Bob Klapisch, the no-nonsense columnist for the Bergen Record, ponders Joe Torre's decision to bolt for the City of Angels after feeling slighted by the Yankees extension offer.

Klap first sympathizes with Torre's decision, calling the Yankees offer a "hollow, one-year offer [which] was made to be rejected." However, the tone soon turns as he contends Torre may implement the same type of Yankees boycott Yogi Berra instituted after an ugly departure from pinstripes.

Klapisch goes on to paint an ugly final year for Torre and his Yankees tenure, citing an unnamed source which called the Ron Guidry promotion as a favor and not a proper baseball move. From the piece:
Torre says all the right things -- it is, after all, still February -- but his friends in the business say it's only a matter of time before the non-Yankee reality greets him head-on. One person close to Torre said, "I just hope Joe doesn't end up regretting this."

That hollow, one-year offer was made to be rejected; after taking the Bombers to the postseason 12 straight seasons, Torre was so offended he hinted at a long, Yogi-type boycott of the organization.
The Dodgers ... want to win now: They've made Torre the richest manager in the team's history ($14.5 million through 2010), and will want an immediate return on that investment. For all the tension that grew between Torre and Steinbrenner, at least the Yankees stuck with their manager for over a decade. Meanwhile, the McCourts are on their third skipper in four years, which is to say, they won't wait long on Torre.

He doesn't get in people's faces. He doesn't do fiery team meetings. He operates on trust, believes in self-reliance. The Yankees unwittingly took advantage of the honor system last year; everyone seemed too comfortable, especially after failing to win the World Series for the seventh straight time. Even Torre's supporters in the organization admit Joe's stewardship had become too casual, evidenced by his naming Ron Guidry as pitching coach. "It was obvious all [Torre] was doing was taking care of a buddy," said one Yankee inside. "Finally, we have someone here [Dave Eiland] who knows what he's doing."

In his heart, Torre probably knew it was time to leave New York. He's said as much recently, that he no longer felt appreciated. But why did he take another job so fast? Torre is in a new league, trying to familiarize himself with a roster of strangers, surrounded by a baseball culture that could care less about the Yankees. Someday, Torre may look in the mirror, see that Dodger blue and ask: Was it really worth it?

Good question.

No comments: