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Teflon Joe
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 10/9/2006 3:07:00 PM
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A typical East Coast the-sky-is-falling fan I know refers to Joe Torre as Teflon Joe because, he says, Torre's mistakes never stick to him, like he's been given a pass by the New York media and by Yankees fans. Now, this guy is a bit neurotic, so I always take his fiery screeds with a pinch or two of salt, but I think he has something with Torre. Has Torre taken any heat for the Yankees' failures these past few years? Or, according to Yankees fans, is it all Arod's fault?

Torre managed the ALDS like it was a four-game road trip in mid-July. In Game 1, he removed Wang in the seventh with two outs and a comfortable 7-3 lead even though Wang was motoring through the lineup. Four batters later the tying run came to the plate. In Game 3, he benched Sheffield because Bernie Williams has better lifetime numbers against Kenny Rogers. Nevermind that the most of those numbers can when Bernie was posting an OPS in .950s, not the .750s. In Game 4, he sat Giambi for Melky Cabrera. Giambi says his wrist was fine, but let's say he was 85 percent. Isn't Giambi at 85 percent still better than Cabrera at 100 percent? And with the season on the line, is Jaret Wright really the guy you want to put your faith in in Game 4? And how does Arod go from batting fourth to eighth overnight?

I'm not saying Torre is garbage and I don't necessarily think the Yankees should fire him. But a little criticism from a city that is supposedly unlrenting on its sports teams would be welcomed.


I think Torre is taking more heat now because Lou Pinella is available, not because Torre is any worse than he was a year ago. It would be a shocker if Pinella wasn't back in pinstripes for next spring.
Posted by jarnold at 10/10/2006 8:41:00 AM
Why isn't he worse? As we all have seen before, managers tactics wear off on teams. Above, Jason listed many examples. But how can any team that he pencils in go 0-18 with runners ON BASE in game 3. That is one of the most alarming stats that I have ever heard. And it always seems that even though the pitching is what most people assume do them in it has been the hitting as well in the playoffs. year after year this team forgets how to hit when it comes to October. Obviously they have the talent so a lot of this has to be attributed to the manager. I for one love Torre but I think bringing in a manager like Girardi who won't baby these guys would bring some enthusiasm to the club house and hopefully to their bats in October!
Posted by nayfel at 10/10/2006 9:48:00 AM
I don't think Wang giving up 8 hits and 3 earned runs is exactly "motoring through a lineup", though, I can't really explain the other foolishness. Wang gave up 3 runs in the 5th, and 1 run in the 7th, with 2 long balls. Obviously Detroit was starting to get to him a bit, so I don't really question the move to pull him. Giambi and Sheffield on the other hand, have all off-season to heal, why you wouldn't use them with your season on the line is quite crazy. A-Rod moving to 8th in the lineup certainly isn't going to help his psyche. Mental things obviously get to him, and I don't think switching him around can ever do him any good. And yes, I think Torre gets a pass based on past successes from New Yorkers. Whether he should or not, is another question.

Today they said he's staying, but, you have to think he's skating on thin ice. With the drought of winning a championship the past few years, and the questionable moves against Detroit, you couldn't really question Steinbrenner for making a change.
Posted by schwang2u at 10/10/2006 11:15:00 PM
Wang had set down six consecutive -- two on strikes and four on grounders -- when he was pulled with two outs in the seventh. Myers gave up the homer in the seventh (to the first batter he faced) not Wang. The point is, Wang wasn't tiring (he used just 27 pitches to get through his last six batters -- 17 strikes, 10 balls -- and he threw first-pitch strikes to four of them). He was a better option than a weak Yankee middle relief.

Posted by Jason Thornbury at 10/11/2006 11:35:00 AM
Ya, I thought about that after I posted, my mistake there. Still, 6 extra base hits isn't exactly great, though, like you said, he did seem to settle down a bit. Looking at the stats closely this is a dicey situation. Granderson does only hit .218 against lefties, though, against Myers he's now 2 for 2 with a HR and a double. You're probably right Jason, but I think it's magnified here because it's the playoffs. I guarantee you almost every manager would go with the lefty-lefty matchup in that situation, and they did hang on to win that game.
Posted by schwang2u at 10/11/2006 5:15:00 PM
Well I guess it would have made more sense if he went to Wang in game four on three days rest but that would have made too much sense.
Posted by nayfel at 10/12/2006 10:38:00 AM

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