Sports Outside the Beltway

Torre fired

No not that one. This one.

But seriously go back a year to the Freakonomics blog for the correct question: If Joe Torre is fired, why?

I’m no Yankee fan but how many managers have had the success Joe Torre has had. True having Mariano Rivera as his closer for most of his tenure has helped. And having a team loaded with the best talent money could buy didn’t hurt. Still, during his run he overlapped with the very talented Atlanta Braves managed by Bobby Cox. The Braves one precisely one world championship during their run in 1995. They even blew an unheard of 2 – 0 lead heading home in 1996 before they were undone by the Yankees the following year.

As much as I hated it at the time there’s no denying that the Yankees of 1996 – 2000 were one of the great baseball dynasties of all time. Torre deserves a lot of credit. He did have choices to make and they usually turned out correctly. Perhaps those years spoiled George, but as fluky (good) as they were for the Yankees they were fluky. Now the Yankees recent failures in the post-season are probably also a little fluky (bad).

So why blame Torre?

Mike Mussina (unfairly demonized in these parts due to Orioles mismanagement) had it right:

“It’s my seventh season and we’ve had seven tremendous seasons,” Mussina said. “We’ve been in the postseason every year, we’ve made it to the World Series. It’s not easy to do this year after year after year, and when he’s done it 12 times in a row, I don’t know what more you’d want, honestly.

“I’d play for the guy anytime. We’re the ones that go out on the field and have to perform. And if we don’t perform, it shouldn’t be a reflection of his ability. The reflection should be on us, not on him.

No it’s not easy, even when you have the talent. Blaming Torre is absurd.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad.

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