LADY AT THE BAT: The Shortest Leash

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Shortest Leash


As a result of the Yankees' early exit in the 2006 playoffs, Joe Torre could be fired before the end of May 2007. George Steinbrenner was talked out of giving Torre the boot last October, but my belief is that he then put Torre on the shortest leash he could find and, if the Yankees lose one or two more series, that leash will yank the long-time manager (excuse the pun) right out of the Yankees organization.

Team Captain Derek Jeter told the media yesterday, "It's not fair. In no way is he responsible for us performing. He's not hitting for us and he's not pitching for us. He puts the best players out there on the field, gives us an opportunity to win. We're just not doing the job. That's unfair and it should stop." [MLB.com] Well, yeah Derek, if you're only thinking about this season it's not fair. It's not fair to fire a manager only one month into the season, a manager who's been forced to use five different rookie starters, a manager who's been forced to burn out his bullpen in order to finish ballgames.

Ken Rosenthal, blames the pitching too, saying "the Yankees' veteran starters are either past their prime or injury-prone. The young starters are too inexperienced to make an impact...." Rosenthal continues: "[Torre] probably shouldn't be fired at all this season, not when general manager Brian Cashman handed him a pitching staff that would make any manager look dumb." If this were about the pitching Ken, you'd be so right.

Speaking of Brian Cashman, this is his view of the poor start the Yankees have gotten off to: "As far as I'm concerned, I take full responsibility for this start because that's my job. This is the team I put together." [LoHud Yankees Blog] You might be responsible Brian, but you're not wearing Steinbrenner's leash.

So, unless the Yankees can somehow turn it around by early next week, Torre's days as Yankees manager will come to an end. If I'm wrong about this, I will be the happiest blogger on earth. Please, somebody prove me wrong.

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