Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Latest Steinbrenner Interview

A few thoughts on the latest rant by George:

- George must be at the stage where he has his lucid days and his not-so-lucid days. He sounds like he knows what he's talking about in this interview, as he did in May when he ripped Cashman. But overall, he's been suspiciously quiet.

- George says Torre's job is on the line, but doesn't say a word about Cashman. I think George is realizing what most of the front office is realizing - Torre is not a great manager. Once the front office had to institute the Joba rules to keep Torre from turning the kid into the next Scott Proctor, you knew Torre's stock had fallen. Besides, Cashman redeemed himself in the second half, as the development of Duncan, Joba, Kennedy, etc. showed that the Yankee farm system is richer than it was during the Dioner Navarro era.

You get the feeling that George is waiting for the right time to oust Torre, for the point when the PR fallout will not be too bad. It would be ironic that Randolph gets to keep his job despite missing the playoffs, while Torre would get fired even though he made it till October. But it makes sense, too: the Mets failures were more about the front office and Minaya, while the Yanks' biggest management problem may be Joe Torre.

- You knew George would have what to say about the bugs incident in Game 2. It affected both teams, but George doesn't have to be rational.

- George says the Yanks will re-sign A-Rod no matter what. For the first time in months, you see a rift between Cashman and Tampa, as Cashman has said that if A-Rod opts out, he's done as a Yankee. My money is on George getting his way here, even if A-Rod strikes out three times tonight and the Yanks lose. And as long as A-Rod keeps failing in October, I have no problem with him staying a Yankee.

- In the long run, you wonder what the Joe Torre legacy will be. True, he won four championships. But if he ends his Yankee career with seven failures in October and a growing record of poor management, he may not be up there with the likes of Stengel, McCarthy, and even Billy Martin.

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