Saint Joe?

Not Quite.  Joe Torre got busted!

It seems Joe Torre was being less than forthright when he took the opportunity to bash the Yankees for their “insulting” offer.

It seems Joe Torre thought he had the media in his back pocket, and could have them eating out of his hand (which was true) and nobody would be the wiser.

It seems Joe Torre thought he could go on the radio with sycophantic Mike and the Mad Dog, and have them kiss his ass up and down for an hour about how wonderful he is, and nobody would realize that he was full of crap.

Well, Murray Chass wasn’t buying it: Past Contracts for Torre Had Incentives.  Turns out, Joe Torre has a “credibility problem.”  Turns out Joe Torre’s previous two contracts all had incentives for not just winning the World Series, but also for regular season wins.

Money quote:

“What was that about not needing incentive “to go ahead and win a ballgame”? That thought insulted Torre? Why, then, did he accept $1 million worth of insults in those years? And why wasn’t he willing to accept a potential $3 million in insults for next season?”

Thanks for the memories, Joe.  Good luck being a mediocre manager on some other team that doesn’t have the highest payroll in baseball.  And good luck making $5 million guaranteed with $3 million in incentives doing it.


Received from Kenny via email.


18 responses to “Saint Joe?

  1. First of all, I got dizzy looking at that new banner.

    Second, why do you think Torre decided to bash the Yankees, and especially lie in doing so?

  2. By the way, that was an awfully caustic send off you just gave to Torre. Is that an accurate expression of your sentiments (as a Yankee fan) towards him an his 12 years here? (I recall a certain roommate having distinctly different feelings once upon a time.)

  3. I have no idea why. Maybe he was fed up with being the manager under ownership that hasn’t wanted him around for a few years. Maybe he’s just not as fantastic a guy as we’ve all been saying for all this time. What does it matter. Clearly, he was being disingenuous.

  4. Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka

    I think the insult wasn’t the incentives, it was the lowering of his base pay and replacing it with incentives.

    If you were working at the same firm for 10 years, and on year 11 they cut your pay in half but offer to make up the differences with incentives, wouldn’t you be a little insulted?

  5. LWY, the analogy doesn’t work.

    First of all, Torre’s not in a lock-step raise business. The payment arc of someone in his industry is much more parabolic, in general, and always tied to performance.

    Joe hasn’t been performing up to the expectations of being, by far the highest paid manager in baseball. What, exactly, did he do to deserve a raise? If the question is fire him or give him a raise, the question doesn’t make sense. Fire him or bring him back at reduced salary, now that’s a question. Especially if the reduced salary is necessarily reduced (just make him earn the money: if you want to be paid like a champion manager, be a champion manager) and is still the highest salary in his industry, just by less far.

    The Yankees offer wasn’t insulting. Torre used it as an out. And he got caught in a lie.

    Basically, if I was at a firm, or in a different job market, where my earnings were tied to my performance and that was a known and understood thing when I took the job, and my performance wasn’t up to the expectations my boss had for me (reasonable or not, they were known expectations, even if partly my own doing based on my own early success) and my boss decided, instead of firing me, to guarantee less money but still compensate me commensurate with my success if I could regain that same success level that I had earlier on, I would have no right to be insulted.

    Adam: jeez, I’m not allowed to change my opinion and rethink things? I’ve admitted in the past that I used to think Torre was good and have since reconsidered that opinion. Why call me out for it now?

  6. Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka

    I don’t think Joe was entitled to a raise. But he wasn’t entitled to a pay cut either. It was very clear that the Yankee’s didn’t want him back, so they gave Joe a contract he had no choice to refuse.

    If they really wanted him back, they should have simply offered him a 2 year deal for $14 million. Is it too much money for a manager? Sure it is- but so was his last contract. You don’t generally don’t go backwards in salary.

  7. Joe’s salary was unprecedented before his last contract, and way out of line with A) his recent performance at the time (having just lost historically badly to the Red Sox) B) any other manager in baseball. He didn’t deserve a raise then, but he got one. He did nothing to justify it.

    Joe’s decision was clear, he’d rather be unemployed than the highest paid manager in baseball, with the chance to make insane money. That’s fine. I just don’t think it was insulting of the Yankees to want to reign things in a little.

  8. Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka

    You don’t think it’s insulting for your boss to make you an offer that you pretty much have to refuse? An offer clearly designed to get you to say no? An offer that screams out “we don’t want you anymore”?

    This whole thing was a clever ploy by the Yanks to make Joe look like the bad guy. The right thing to do was to simply part ways with Torre. Instead, they give him an offer he has to refuse.

    The only good thing that’s going to come of this is that that almost ensures that Matttingly becomes the next manager. After this PR nightmare, the Yanks are going to have no choice but to hire one of the most popular living Yankees.

  9. As a Yankee hater, I really hope the next manager is Mattingly. He might be great, or he might suck. But since he has no experience managing on any level, and his only qualification seems to be that he’s a former captain, not only is he far from a lock to be successful, but, if he struggles, the Yankees will be faced with a PR disaster if they ever want to fire Donny Baseball. Looking forward to the chaos in Yankee land!

  10. Saying it was an offer he had to refuse is buying into Joe Torre’s fantasy and falsely contrived media BS. He could easily have accepted the offer, and had a press conference saying, “my job is to win. I would love to manage the Yankees in the last season at Yankee Stadium and the first season in the new stadium and beyond. While I would have loved to have gotten a multi-year deal, I’ll do what I can to make sure that happens. I love this job and this team, and I want to stay. I’ve got no doubt we’ll win the World Series this year, so in my eyes, this is a raise.”

    He easily could have done that, and he looks like the better man for it. Now he looks petty and all about money. He wanted guaranteed years so that when the Yankees fire him after next year, they’d have to pay him. Regardless of the length of the contract, if he doesn’t win the World Series, it’s a one year job anyway. So it’s all about the money. Not respect, not insult…money.

    And I agree with Adam. Hiring Mattingly would be a disaster. He’s got no managerial experience, and if he shows that he’s clearly not the guy for the job (which is entirely likely) the Yankees have a PR nightmare if they want to fire him.

    Plus, with all the young pitchers coming up, can we please get a manager who’d had success managing a young pitching staff? Girardi is clearly the right guy to hire, no question about it.

  11. Do you think that the manager has any influence in managing a young pitching staff? I would think – and I acknowledge that this is a little unfair – that the only thing a manager can directly do to a young staff is ruin it. i think it is really the onus of the pitching coach to develop the young talent. The only thing a manager can do is misuse his staff (too many appearances, too many pitches, too many innings, etc…).

    Look at what happened to the Florida starters this year:

    Olsen – not nearly as effective as he was in ’06
    Johnson – hurt, not nearly as effective
    Sanchez – hurt, not nearly as effective
    Willis – big drop off in quality after pitching a record number of innings in ’06

    Now I don’t watch any Marlins baseball so I don’t know whether the woes of the rotation were at all related to (mis)use of the rotation the year before but it seems to me that Girardi would NOT be the guy you want managing your young guys, particularly when he feels he has something to prove.

    Of course, the Marlins are notorious for damaging their pitchers.

  12. Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka

    Oh please. Exactly how many more years experience does Girardi than Mattingly?

    Here’s a little secret. You could manage the Yankees. I can manage the Yankees. A well trained chicken could manage the Yankees. Unless a meteor strikes the team bus after the trade deadline, they’re going to have more than enough talent to make the playoffs next year. And if they lose in the first round. then Mattingly is no worse than Torre’s last three seasons.

    The bottom line is, the Yanks didn’t want Torre. I don’t blame a guy for not wanting to work in a place that he’s not wanted.

  13. Oh please. Exactly how many more years experience does Girardi than Mattingly?

    One, winning Manager of the Year and only losing his job because of a fight between the General Manager and Owner that trickled down to him.

    I don’t blame a guy for not wanting to work in a place that he’s not wanted.

    Either do I. Except his disingenuous press conference makes me lose respect for him, and think it was more about money than anything else, which is sick considering how much he was making.

  14. Lawyer-Wearing-Yarmulka

    I’ve got nothing against Girardi, I think he’s a great manager. And yes, he won Manager of the Year. But he still has a whopping 1 year of experience. So it’s really not a major plus over Mattingly.

    As for Torre, if it really was about the money, he would have taken the job. The Yanks are a shoe in to at least make the playoffs, so he’d make at least $6 million. Win another round, and he’s making the same as the last few years.

    Unless of course he was expecting a significant raise, which if true, is just plain wrong.

  15. Buster Olney thinks one year is a significant enough difference:

    Girardi [has] managed in the big leagues. Mattingly has not. This is not the only factor, but it is a major factor, and if the Yankees would be taking a leap of faith in hiring someone who has never run a game — a rotation, a bullpen, the everyday lineup. Mattingly, as one of the great defensive first basemen of all time, was into every pitch, into every moment; he told reporters on his conference call Wednesday that he has spent years thinking along with managers.

    But managers will tell you that until you sit in their place and see the game from their perspective, they don’t think you really understand or are prepared for the full spectrum of decisions that have to be made.” (From here)

  16. One year is not a lot, but it’s an infinite multiple of zero.

  17. Lack of experience didn’t stop Cito Gaston from taking a 12-24 team to win the AL East with 89 wins.

  18. I’d lean towards Giradi because I’ve heard that he’s more open to applying sabermetric thinking to the games, so we might see less of someone like Miguel Cairo playing first for a month or Rivera sitting in the pen in an extra inning game on the road while Proctor walks 4 guys.

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