November 02, 2007
Kay: Torre "Cold And Calculated"
Why was Michael Kay treading lightly on Alex Rodriguez and jolly-stomping Joe Torre? That is the question a caller to Kay's ESPN-1050 Tuesday soiree asked.
The inquiry agitated Mr. Kay.
"There are things about Joe Torre, if I wanted to come out and say, would show how cold and calculated he really is," Kay fumed. "... Joe Torre is for Joe Torre. ... The graveyard of Yankees coaches is loaded with bones of coaches Joe Torre did nothing about."
As the former Yankees manager departs for Lipstick City to manage the Dodgers, it's certain Kay won't be shedding any tears. Nor will he be receiving an invitation to a Torre Bon Voyage party. Through Torre's 12-year Yankees career, Torre and Kay - it is fair to say - were not on the same page.
This goes back to 1996 - when Joe Torre called Michael Kay on the carpet, in front of the entire team, when he thought Kay was trying to sabotage his relationship with O'Neill.
I suspect that this will not be the last situation where hints are offered that Torre was not the saint that many painted him to be in the Bronx. It will probably depend on what Torre says about the Yankees, going forward. If Joe wants to take some shots at the organization, I do expect the Yanks brass, and their mouth-pieces, to let a few things, here and there, slip (on Torre).
It just might be a long while before we see "Joe Torre Day" at the Stadium.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at November 2, 2007 09:26 AM
A true test will be whether some hot-shot prospect suspiciously dons the #6 in the near future...
I thought about that - but, man, how could they NOT retire his number? That would be crazy.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at November 2, 2007 10:21 AM
Michael Kay has no class. For a homer, he sure does have lots of bones to pick with the guys in the dugout.
"It just might be a long while before we see "Joe Torre Day" at the Stadium."
I think Torre took care of that himself, by signing a 3 year deal with the Dodgers. If he lasts through 2010, you don't expect him to take a day off from managing L.A. to attend a day in his honor in Yankee Stadium, do you? And, the $13 million notwithstanding, I get the feeling he doesn't really care. He's getting into the Hall with or without a "Joe Torre Day" at the Stadium.
Also, Kay's referring to a long list of coaches Torre didn't bother to fight for -- Cardenal, Chambliss, Stottlemyre...and, of course, most notoriously, Don Zimmer. He didn't think enough of his Vegas Trip and racetrack buddy to jeopardize his own job by doing what Dallas Green had the stones to do almost 20 years ago. Even Bobby Valentine crossed swords with Steve Phillips on the firing of several coaches.
We're really going to go down this path? Great, Dallas Green was a better man than Joe Torre. Wonderful. Everyone happy now? Boy, the Yanks sure screwed up by not hiring Dallas Green again. That personal integrity and no-bullshit persona did him wonders in the clubhouse with his players. Give me a break.
Torre wasn't a genius svengali but there's really no need to start ripping at any character flaws he might have. He's a Dodger now.
Zimmer quit, he wasn't fired. I doubt Torre could've talked him out of it, he seemed pretty set in his ways. I do wonder why Cardenal was let go, I always thought he was a great outfield coach.
As far as dirt on Torre, sure, nobody's perfect and he's not Saint Joe like some people tried to pretend. But on balance, he represented the Yankees well with class and I hope he does well in LA, unless they play the Yanks. I do think it was his time to move on, and his reasons for leaving were not well articulated, but I'm not going to trash the guy because I feel that way either.
I do wonder why Cardenal was let go, I always thought he was a great outfield coach.
I think Cardenal wanted more money than the Yanks wanted to give him.
I can't stand Kay. He was always happy when the Yanks were winning and happy to 2nd guess Joe whenever they were losing. It was clear he didn't like Torre. But he was careful not to over-step his limits.
Very few individuals can work in positions of authority for more than a decade and not alienate some people here and there. This is a non-story.
The story about Torre having had incentives in his past contracts didn't exactly make him look good when he moaned about the incentives in the proffer. The Yankees put that story out rather quickly. I think Torre will be quiet now.