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May 18, 2007

Of Joe And Cashman

From Bob Klapisch -

But there are telltale signs of trouble for Torre, starting with general manager Brian Cashman's stark admission that the season is indeed slipping away.

"I don't want to use the word 'worried,' but we have to start playing to our abilities and we have to do it sooner than later," Cashman said by telephone on Thursday. "It's a long season, but you can play your way out [of the race] early, and we can't allow that to happen."

When asked to describe his state of mind, the general manager said he was "frustrated" although he quickly pointed out, "We could get right back in it" if the Yankees win both series -- or, even more profitably, sweep Boston.

For his part, Cashman says, "I have to focus on what I can do to get this right." But the GM has made his move, signing Clemens to a prorated $28 million deal. The ATM is dry. The roster is frozen with expensive, long-term contracts. Who, for instance, would touch Abreu and the $16 million he's earning this year?

Unfortunately for Torre, he's the most vulnerable component in the equation. This is the last year on his contract, and the way the Yankees are sinking, it might be his last month.

Here's a prediction for you: If, at the close of business on May 23rd, the Yankees are 13.5 games out of first (or greater), there will be an organizational meeting in Tampa on May 24th and Joe Girardi will be managing the Yankees on May 25th.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 18, 2007 12:30 PM


Joe Girardi and not Mattingly?

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 01:14 PM

I disagree.

If we lose big against the Mets on Sunday night and/or the Red Sox on Monday night, with both of those games on ESPN, Mattingly will be managing the team.

If we lose at least 4 out of the next 6, regardless of where that makes us in terms of GB, Mattingly's managing the team.

Posted by: Lee Sinins [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 01:42 PM

Why would anyone want Mattingly to manage? if anyone can get these guys going, it's girardi. I bet he'd fix Farnsworth in three seconds.

I don't want Mattingly to manage - is his approach going to be any different than Torre?

And what happens with Clemens if Torre is fired? He loves Torre, would he just sit back and accept it or is a trade to Houston something that will happen?

Posted by: dave24s [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 01:45 PM

Here's my logic on why it won't be Donnie:

1. Donnie doesn't want to make it look like he took Joe's job. Girardi probably doesn't care about that now.

2. IIRC, Cashman likes Girardi. If he's really in charge, Girardi will get the nod.

3. Donnie's too much like Joe to make a difference in the team. Stein will want an ass-kicker...and Girardi can do that.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 01:53 PM

Against Tampa a few weeks ago, Kay was questioning using a batter (name not important) as a pinch hitter against a pitcher (name not important) because the hitter's numbers (around 10 ABs) were not great against that pitcher

Girardi replied that you have to be careful about taking too small a sample size, and mentioned that this hitter's last overall 50-60 ABs had been very productive.

In my mind, that response is worth a 3 year deal. If it comes to pass, and even if Mattingly quits, fine-- Girardi should be the manager.

Posted by: Jason O. [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 01:54 PM

Actually, the only way I see Donnie getting the job is if Cashman thinks the Yankees are going finish 20+ games out, and miss the post-season, and figures he needs a MGR who the fans will love, no matter what.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 01:59 PM

If your prediction comes true by the 25th do you favor a Girardi hiring? I don't. To me any change during the next week is cosmetic.

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 01:59 PM

~~~If your prediction comes true by the 25th do you favor a Girardi hiring?~~~


Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 02:01 PM

It's not that I want Mattingly to manage. I don't care.

Hire any old stupid manager. Joe Torre was any old stupid manager. Casey Stengel was any old stupid manager.

I think it will be Mattingly because, when you fire a popular manager, you want to throw the fans a bone by hiring a popular guy.

Posted by: Lee Sinins [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 02:09 PM

Cashman would be totally full of shit -- pardon my French -- if he favored a Torre firing now. Why in the world did he go to bat for him after last year's ALDS? It's not like Torre has changed -- this is who he's been from the start. Suddenly NOW it's not working? What about for the last six years?

I want Torre gone at the end of the season, but not now. For one thing, I don't want HEAR about it twenty-four hours a day (it will be exhausting). I also don't like the idea of Torre going out acting as though he's falling on his sword, "taking one for the team," the "scapegoat" (which is exactly how he'll play it -- during the press conference he'll wrinkle up his face, give that defeated grin, and shrugs his shoulders). He shouldn't go out that way because it will make people forget just how much this is (partly) his own fault.

I have to wonder if a more hard-nosed manager would help this team any. Will Abreu and Cano suddenly start to hit if someone got in their face and yelled at them? Would they hit if someone overturned a table?

And how tough would Girardi be? This isn't a roster of rookies like the Marlins. He'll be with veterans here -- including old teammates.

I'd welcome Girardi's G.I. Joe act -- but next year. It would be nice to have an actual intelligent baseball mind managing the team, but I don't think bringing him in now would make much of a difference.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 02:11 PM

Steve, I know it's your blog (although a few regulars seem to think of it as their's), but I did make this point yesterday. Didn't need Klapisch or any word from Cashman to figure that out.

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 02:19 PM

But what will happen to Clemens if Torre is fired???

Posted by: dave24s [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 02:26 PM

But what will happen to Clemens if Torre is fired???

Don't buy into that. Yeah, Clemens likes Torre, but he came here for only one reason: the money. He will say he's sorry to see him go, etc., etc., but then he'll go out there and pitch and not think about it again. He came back to make a million bucks a start -- not to play for Joe Torre.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 02:47 PM

Ditto that on the money.

Besides, Girardi caught Pettitte for four years. I'm sure Andy would pass the good word on him to Clemens.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 03:17 PM

Mr. Torre is going nowhere--even if they lose 6 in a row.

Posted by: Joel [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 03:23 PM

Maybe a better prediction would be to let Mattingly finish out the season and THEN hire Girardi for '08...?

Posted by: Pete [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 03:38 PM

Fire Torre NOW. Why wait? As of 5:00pm Eastern clueless Torre still didn't know who was pitching on Sunday.

I would have Joe out the door now, and have Girardi manage tonite. Fire Mattingly and Guidry and any or all the coaches if you have to, to get Joe Giradri to take over.

It would be nice to have an actual manager and not a media spokesperson running the team.

Posted by: Inconnu [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 06:52 PM

Inconnu, are you referring to WFAN's interview? If so, I hope I never need you to be a witness for me.

Torre said he didn't know if it had been officially announced yet so he didn't want to verify it then. You know, him waiting for little things like roster moves that haven't taken place yet.

And that's real "kewl" of you to call him Clueless.

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 18, 2007 09:11 PM

Why bother firing Torre if the Yankees are already out of the pennant race? Why not just let him finish the season and then not rehire him. Firing him would cause all sorts of behind the scenes chaos.

The same kind of chaos that will arrive anyhow when it is apparent to all that the Yanks aren't making the playoffs. That is where Joe will shine because he is actually pretty good at keeping peace in the clubhouse.

Don't piss of Jeter, Posada, & Mo. Some of whom are in their walk years.

Posted by: zgveritas [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2007 01:50 AM

Yes the WFAN interview where Torre didn't know who Mike and Chris were alluding too when they said the kid was pulled after one inning. Joe had no clue who they were talking about and when they said Tyler Clippard, Torre still had no clue and said "oh the names familiar.

My point was Torre should know what is going on. He should know BEFORE it is officially announced, and actually have a clue what is going on.

For the record, I've called Joe Clueless since the paper did. If you read Yankee blogs and forums you would have seen it before.

Posted by: Inconnu [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 19, 2007 10:50 AM