Joe Torre was featured in this week’s issue of Time Magazine in the “10 Questions” section. For this of you unfamiliar with the magazine, this section pulls 10 questions from the general audience and are posed to the person featured. I rather like this column because the publication has invited a very diverse and sometimes eclectic selection of noteworthy names.
Well, seeing Joe Torre stare back was a bit startling. I’ve see him in person in the Dodgers’ uniform. I’ve gotten so used to seeing him as an exemplification of the “Evil Empire” and the one coach who has thwarted the painful attempts for the Sox to make the AL East title.
I have to say, though, that a lot of that sense of dislike evaporated rather quickly when he changed uniforms and suddenly seemed much more human. That anti-Yankee sentiment also mellowed now that the Red Sox have won their second Championships in less than a decade. (Yes, I kept my expectations low).
Ouch. I realise this is spring training, hence the opportunity for the coaches to play all his players and try to figure out the nuances of the teamwork in different configurations. That would easily explain why we watched each position be played by at least three players. But that knowledge didn’t alleviate the pain if watching a 7-run 9th inning by the visitors.
Note: if anyone wishes to go to City of Palms stadium, realise that the visiting team dugout is on the 1st base side.
– Wakefield. Looking as crisp as ever. I am relieved… especially given his heart-breaking sidelining in the post-season.
– Watching Lowe pitch. Horribly, but I hold a soft spot for anyone on the 2004 team (with the exception of Damon).
– Seeing the back of Torre’s head, rather up close.
– Watching a very crisp and solid double play at the top of the first… that could have been a triple play if it was warranted.
It’s not even the season yet, and I already have more to add to Tales of Crazy Sox Fandom
At the top of the 9th, with a solid lead of 5-2, the Dodgers tie with a groan-inducing three-run homer. As the next few batter unfold in excrutiationg slowness, filling up all the bases, the fans started the ever present “Let’s goooo, Red Sox, clap clap clap-clap-clap.” The few but determined Dodgers fans countered quickly with their “Let’s gooo, Dodgers!” during the Red Sox claps. The two choruses went back and forth in perfect rhythm for quite a while, amusing not just the rest of the audience but the baseball players as well.
An exasperated voice finally shouts in his version, voicing the opinion of many: “Let’s go home!!!”
As soon as he said that, Dodger’s Repko hits a home run into the left field, with the game winning grand slam.
Well, that’s not the “home” I would have wanted. But it did resolve that complaint and prevent extra innings.
Tomorrow: Twins. I have landed a home plate box seat. Yippee.
Finally, I get a taste of offseason with no baseball games and no player antics to comment on. I scour the newssites and there really isn’t much going on outside a few postseason dealings and Papelbon making late night.
Looks like Torre continues to coach. I am not surprised. He is far too accomplished and talented to retire, no matter his age. Furthermore, baseball has been so important in his life- he can’t be forced to retire. He needs to retire on his terms, when he wants. So the Dodgers gained big time. Hopefully, the team will support the hype of his joining. Unlike what I remember of the hoopla that surrounded this city when Joe Gibbs came back to coach for the Redskins. The fans predicted an immediate turn-around with the team and a Super Bowl visit that same season. Hmm, doesn’t quite work that way. Patience and time, fans. It takes both for changes to take effect, unless we’re talking about a complete overhauling.
I was reading Curt Schilling’s blog today. It seems to be the primary source of Red Sox reporters’ articles anyway. And one comment from a fan on his latest entry really resonated in me: “My only question is, did you have to start talking about free agency, the very 1st day after the World Series? Couldn’t it wait a week?”
Um, actually, that’s true. Why that day, the Rolling Rally day? And on his blog as well. How much of a grace period did he have to declare free agency? Was it ten days or so? It may be something in the regulations and policies and I simply don’t know about it. Was it his way of forcing the Red Sox front office to act by creating competition? Or was it a message to the fans that “it just ain’t happening, so goodbye!” Or maybe not the fans, but, rather, to the clubhouse itself, as a kiss-off? I can only wait and see.
This postseason stuff is slow, man. I ought to know. I used to be in the business of contracting and, boy, “slow” doesn’t even begin to describe how dragged out the process can be. But, at the same time, if both parties really want the agreement down fast, it can be done.
So, back to watching leaves fall.
Wow. “Bye bye Torre” was right. Although I suspect we’ll see him back under a different uniform soon. I don’t know the world of baseball contracts at all. But I know, as a manager in a previous job, how I would react if I got an offer like Torre did. I don’t blame him for turning it down. In fact, I applaud him for it. An one-year contract after all the years he put into the team is a pretty big slap on the face. At the same time, the generous figures were also tied directly to the results of the team. How much control did Torre have over the team acquisitions and composition, though? I’m sure every coach has some say, but there’s a reason why the coach doesn’t manage the business side of the team. And to force Torre’s hand like that, no wonder why he said no. It’s a contract I would consider taking if I were joining an organization as a new member and need to establish my ground on trial basis, not as a long-time respected (I hope) leader.
What an interesting turn of events. I wonder what Torre’s next plan is.
Cleveland wins and clinches the ALCS berth against the Red Sox. The fact that they accomplished that in the hostile territory of the Bronx makes me respect them even more. It’ll be a match between two strong teams. I like to think the Red Sox is stronger and has a better chance but this is baseball, and we don’t know until it happens.
This may be the last time we see Torre in the Yankees jersey. It’s too bad. He really did lead the team through a huge winning streak and a reputation for being the best. It’s hard to stay up there. I don’t believe we’ve seen the end of Torre, though, although he may be sporting different colours. He’s got a huge record to back up his credentials.
Sabathia and Beckett. Now, that’s what I like to see.
For now. To bed. Way past bedtime on a schoolnight.