Memo to George Steinbrenner: Bring Back Joe Torre
Time and again, George Steinbrenner has threatened to get rid of Joe Torre. And time and again, Torre has been brought back.
This edition should be no different.
Yes, I know Brian Cashman went to bat for Torre last year, and has indicated that he might not do so this time around.
Still, Torre has to come back and manage the Yankees next season—and I'd like to see him around for at least three or four years beyond that.
I understand that people like Stephen A. Smith think it's time for a change in the Bronx. But can you honestly tell me that a change will get the Yanks to the World Series?
Torre was the glue that held the Bombers together when they started 21-29 and were 14.5 back in the AL East standings—tied for last with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
For those of you needing more reasons to bring back Torre, here you go:
1) He has won 1,173 games with the Yankees. That's second all-time in club history.
2) In 12 years, he has never missed the postseason. Let me repeat that: He has NEVER missed the postseason.
3) He has led the team to 10 AL East titles and six American League Pennants...
4) ...and let's not forget four World Series titles in five years.
5) He has a .605 winning percentage in 12 years, and has averaged 98 wins a season.
6) He has never lost more than 74 games, and has had four 100-win seasons—including 114 wins in '98.
In 2007, Torre proved he could succeed under adverse conditions. He had an injury-plagued lineup throughout the season, and had to start 10 rookie pitchers over the course of the year. He also had a bullpen that featured only two reliable veterans.
If Steinbrenner does stick to his guns and fire Torre, does he think he'll re-sign his big free agents over the winter?
Don't bet on it.
Mariano Rivera has said that he probably won't return if Torre goes. Ditto for Jorge Posada.
Do you think Alex Rodriguez is going to stick around without Torre in the clubhouse?
"No way" would be the correct answer.
A-Rod has said that Joe was the reason the 2007 Yanks were able to keep it together en route to the playoffs. The bottom line is the players want Torre back—and if that's not enough, most of the fans want him back too.
There will come a time when the Yankees no longer have Torre in the dugout. Now isn't the time for that to happen.
If George wants to win a 27th World Series title, the answer is simple:
Bring back Torre, and the players will follow.
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