The New York Daily News is reporting what I suggested in this space two days ago – that Joe Torre will not survive losing to the underpuppy Detroit Tigers in ALDS (the worst playoff defeat in Yankee history) and will soon be replaced, probably with former Yankee Lou Piniella, after 11 years as Yankee manager.
Joe Torre will be elected to the Hall of Fame sooner than George Steinbrenner can say, “You’re fired.” But it’s time. Despite four World Championships – but none in the last six season – it’s time for the Yankees and Torre to toast their success and move their separate ways.
Is Piniella the answer? Perhaps. With Joe Girardi out there, is he even the best answer? Maybe not. But after hearing some of the things I heard from the losing locker-room on Saturday night it seems clear these Yankees need to be shaken up, starting with the manager.
But that should only be the beginning. This team lost because it lacked pitching. Until someone disproves baseball’s biggest cliche – good pitching beats good hitting – we should no longer buy into any more “Murderer’s Row” lineups. Yankee fans figured no matter who was on the mound the Yankees would outscore their foes. Even I believed the Tigers would not have the wood to out-slug these Yankees. Turns out they didn’t need the wood; they had the heat.
Young Tigers with flame-throwing arms, and a Kenny Rogers no one had ever seen, rendered the Row rudderless.
A new manager may be the right move, but it should only be the first move. Then dangle Mr. former MVP out there and get some arms.