Despite reports that he’d be fired, Joe Torre will manage the Yankees in 2006.
Joe Torre will remain as manager of the New York Yankees, finally getting the word from owner George Steinbrenner after the team’s surprise elimination from the playoffs last weekend.
Torre spoke with Steinbrenner on the telephone Tuesday, shortly before he walked into the interview room at Yankee Stadium and made the announcement. “He gave me his support,” Torre said. “I’m just pleased I’m able to stay on and do this.” The two also spoke on Monday. “I talked to George yesterday for probably 15, 20 minutes, and we discussed a lot of things: the team, what we do from here and things like that,” Torre said.
The Daily News had reported Sunday that Steinbrenner was ready to fire Torre after the Yankees were eliminated by the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the AL playoffs. The paper said the likely replacement would be Lou Piniella, who served two terms as Yankees manager in the 1980s. Torre didn’t make any public statements Sunday or Monday as camera crews camped outside his home in suburban Westchester.
While Torre was overrated during the Yankees’ winning streak in the 1990s, he’s been unfairly blamed for their playoff loses since. Any decent Major League manager could have won with the young talent the Yankees assembled in the 1990s but nobody–not Torre, Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, or Jim Leyland–was going to win it all with the old pitching staff that remains. The Yankees still have a ridiculous advantage in terms of payroll and some truly great talent in the lineup. But he can’t control who the team signs to its pitching staff.
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