Here's the most telling comment from the New York Times coverage of Torre Watch: "George Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ principal owner, is seeking a consensus on whether to replace Torre, whose contract expires at the end of the month, and he does not have it yet."
Huh? Steinbrenner wants a CONSENSUS before acting? Any lingering doubts as to whether we've entered a new era are over. The Steinbrenner who uglified the Yankees in the Seventies and Eighties and who made money but turned this glorious team into blustering bullies never needed a CONSENSUS to do anything. I'll give you a consensus, he would have shouted, a consensus of ONE. The only opinion that mattered was his own and his opinion usually meant trading away future talent so he could overpay for aging, over the hill veterans who never delivered. I wish the ailing owner well, but he never did a single thing to build up this team as a franchise, as winners. That only happened when he was legally forced to stay far away from baseball for several years and Gene Michaels and Buck Showalter reasserted baseball smarts, long-term planning and decency into the lineup. If Steinbrenner wants consensus, the likelihood of Torre staying for two more years to welcome the new Stadium has just increased exponentially. Consensus is easiest to get by leaving things the way they are.