Friday, October 19, 2007

Joe Torre Press Conference

Classy, of course. But with some rather pointed remarks. Bitter? Sure sounds like it. The highlights:

Contract incentives -- Torre thought they were an insult. I've never liked incentives either. As an owner, I'd tell a player, I pay you $10 mil a year and you want an INCENTIVE for batting well, getting MVP, going to the post-season? Please.

Randy Levine -- what's Torre think of him? doesn't know the guy. No opinion. He deals with Brian Cashman. Transltion: Levine is a prick.

allies -- maybe one. later Torre stated the obvious and admitted the only person he felt wanted him back was Brian Cashman.

Contract - in short, Torre didn't believe the Yankees wanted him back. He wouldn't get into the machiavellian argument that they crafted a proposal they knew he would reject so they wouldn't look bad. But his main problem was not the money, but the fact that it was for one year. Sounds like he wanted at least two years with an option for a third. refused to get into details about the "concept" he suggested but they clearly weren't interested in negotiating. I;d love to hear him state flatly that a four year, $5 mil per year contract would have been fine. He hinted that it was reasonable for pay to go down since his performance went "down," but then also suggested anyone who thought 12 straight post-seasons was some sort of failure or let down was spoiled.

Bugs - coaching regrets, he mentioned not being proactive about the plague of locusts that descended on Joba.

George's mental healt -- Torre classily said that George and Hal and Hank were working together and running it like a family. When asked specifically about Steinbrenner's mental state, Torre said Steinbrenner was no different than the last few times they'd had lunch/meetings. Translation: George Steinbrenner is basically old and out of it, with problems focusing and concentrating.

Bitter -- I'm not ready to comment. Ouch! Later, he again said he wasn't prepared to comment on whether his dismissal soured him on the Yankees and whether he'd be able to embrace Old Timer's Day, throwing out a pitch, Moument Park, etc. To a degree, I thought this was the typical "hey, I'm not ready to retire yet." But with his repeated refusal to say something politic, I think it's clear Torre thinks he was treated with disrespect and dumped. And for what? Going to the post-season 12 seasons in a row, and being the ONLY team to return to the post-season from 2006.

Players pressing for manager -- wanted to avoid that, felt one year contract would contribute to that. Okay, but with the Yankees your head is always on the chopping block.

Wants to coach -- You bet. He's ready to start talking right now. ready to coach in 2008. Line up and see what you can offer. he doesn't expect the same money, of course. But will definitely want a 3 or 4 year commitment.

clean out his desk? Nope. "I walked out of there; I'm not going back."

Questions I wanted to hear: did Bernie Williams call and say, "Welcome to the club?" Wanted him to reflect specifically on Derek Jeter, just to make him cry.

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