Torre who has lead the Yankees to 12 straight playoffs and 4 World Series rings, was under intense scrutiny by the "Boss" George Steinbrenner after failing to advance the Yankees past the first round for the 3rd straight year. Steinbrenner announced to the media that if the Yankees didn't make it to the 2nd round, that he'd likely be done as manager of the New York Yankees.
The team offered him a 1-year $5 Million deal with an $8 Million option for the 2009 season. The deal also would give him a $1 Million bonus for each round of the playoffs the team advanced (World Series = $3 Million in bonuses).
My reaction to the deal is very insulting. Joe Torre is one of the best managers to ever be associated with both the New York Yankees and the entire sport of baseball. The contract is a $2 Million pay decrease from last year, which I'm not sure is the real problem, it's the fact that it's a one-year deal. Which means that next year, he'll be right back in this spot that he's in now (if the Yankees don't make it to the World Series, which then means that the 2008 option is guaranteed).
If the deal were for 3-years $15 Million, then I'm not sure he wouldn't accept it, but why offer him a 1-year deal when the team may be without the best player in the league, with or without Joe?
I do not have a problem with the Yankees, they do not do anything wrong. Major League Baseball and Bud Selig almost endorse their erratic spending and any team can do it, it's just that the Yankees are the one of the only ones that do spend ridiculous amounts of money.
What's my point? Well there's two points I'm going to make. First, the Yankees are acting like "penny pincher's" in regards to Joe Torre's contract. There was talk that the team was going to get rid of Joe last year, but the team would've been forced to pay him the majority of his contract anyways. This is coming from a team that spends $250 Million+ each year on player payroll, what's another $5-7 Million to keep a manager that both the players love and the fans as well, and that gives you the best chance of winning (debatable, but who else would do a better job?). I don't understand it. The Yankees are starting to go into another direction, in regards to trying to build from within, but I think that Joe Torre is still the best man for the job, either way.
I'm not saying that the years are in fact the reason why Joe decided to reject, or if it's the money, or if it's just another personal reason, but I cannot believe that the team would only offer him a 1 year deal. It's ridiculous.
My second point is that with that ridiculous payroll and great team success, many fans have grown a hatred for the Yankees. Mainly George Steinbrenner, but none-the-less, the Yankees. Joe Torre made a lot of fans have less of a hatred toward the team, and they respected his managing.
I don't think that there's a single person out there that could've done a better job, and I think that the Yankees are very fortunate to have had Joe Torre.
Torre will hold a press conference at 1:00 pm (CT) today.
This is what free agent and future Hall of Fame Closer Mariano Rivera said in regards to returning to the Yankees next season:
“The Yankees are one of 30 teams now.”
I'm sure that some of the other free agents including catcher Jorge Posada, and pitchers Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte feel the same.
This may also affect Alex Rodriguez's decision on whether to opt out of the remainder of his contract, and head for free agency.
Only time will tell.
In closing I'd like to add that as a fan of baseball, I'm sad to see Joe gone.