For most of us, baseball is just a game; for others, it's more than that.
Well, today Joe Torre's job is on the chopping block as the New York Yankees lost 6-4 last night to the Cleveland Indians. In a game which looked much closer than it actually was, the Yankee bats fell flat, Chien-Ming Wang was terrible, and the Indians executed plays and got the big hit when it was needed. Paul Byrd, despite the criticism and his lifetime record against New York pitched a decent game as well got the Bronx Bombers to hit the ball into play -- to a fielder most of the time.
Mike Mussina did his best to keep the Yankees in the game, but his effort was in vain.
I had a baseball round-table with Jason from My Baseball Bias, Ian from Sox and Dawgs and Sooze from Babes Love Baseball during the game; alas, it was a forgone conclusion as early as the fifth inning that the Evil Empire may have seen their last days as a dynasty.
After the game, during the press conference, America saw a sullen, reflective Joe Torre that seemed resigned to his fate.
I'm no Yankee fan, but I was even wondering in my mind, does he deserve this? He's only been to 13 straight post-seasons, won four World Series, and has the respect of his players, the media, fans, and enemies alike. Does he really need to be fired? Torre brought the team back from the brink of horrific depths in the early part of 2007, does not that count for something?
The loss yesterday was on the players, not mis-managing. The Yankees were just not good enough, and lacked fire.
If Torre can take solace, he'll walk out a man beloved, and will have no problem finding a job anywhere in America, whether it's in baseball or not.
Like I said yesterday, in the "Boss's" George Steinbrenner's world, nothing less than "manifest destiny", aka the World Series each and every year is acceptable. I think he's out of line; however, I probably have no business telling a man who spends nine figures each year how to run his team.
Torre, if we don't see you in a baseball uniform next season, Godspeed.
In addition, with the talk of who is staying, going, retiring, quitting, reconsidering (yes, A-Rod), the state of the Yankees in the off-season will surely be one to watch.
Despite the drama with the Yankees seemingly taking almost all the news, let's give a round of applause to the Cleveland Indians. They dismantled the Yankees and have a show-down with the Red Sox.
I'll say that this series will be nothing but interesting. Both teams have potent arms and offenses, so I expect the two teams to engage in a match up to possibly be remembered.
Pick: Red Sox in 6.
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