By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Give it your worst, George

Go ahead, George. Be stupid. Fire Joe Torre — please. The great Yankees manager is now 67 years old, so he probably would like to escape the day-to-day grind. But he’d make a terrific special assistant to Theo Epstein, wouldn’t he?

Torre may have lost a couple of feet off his fastball, but having to rely on Alex Rodriguez in clutch situations can make any manager look bad. The fact is that Torre compiled the best second half of his managing career without a single consistently reliable starting pitcher. Wang for Cy Young? Uh, I don’t think so.

As for Cleveland, I think we all know this isn’t going to be like playing the Angels, who were pretty much a Triple A team by the time the playoffs began, and who continued losing players right through the sweep.

From a Red Sox fan’s point of view, the best thing to like about the Indians is the prospect of Joe Borowski trying to nail down a close game in the ninth. The man’s got 45 saves, but he’s hittable, and he showed it again last night.

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  1. DJS

    I am thrilled at the prospect of an ALCS in which the Red Sox play any team but the Yankees.We’re in for some really great baseball, minus the meatheaded NY-Boston drama. We can enjoy the games for the games themselves.

  2. Steve Stein

    Sorry, Dan, but no AAA team I know of has the likes of Figgins, Escobar, Lackey, KRod, etc. True, they were down Matthews and had a sub-par Guerrero, but when any team runs into white-hot pitching like Beckett and Schilling showed, that team is not going to do well.That should sound a cautionary note about facing Sabbathia and Carmona. And yes, facing Borowski gives us the prospect of more 9th inning heroics.The 2008 Yankees are going to be a very different squad – Torre, Clemens, ARod, Abreu, Posada may all be gone.

  3. Anonymous

    Keep in mind that Torre isn’t under contract. You don’t have to fire him. I hope Joe gets another job. Preferably at a bottom-half team. He didn’t make this team any better. Let him see what life is like running a sub-$100 million payroll roster.

  4. mike_b1

    The spectre of small sample size rears its ugly head yet once again.Not to mention that ARod in the playoffs has hit .279 with an OBP of .354, and 7 HR. Presumably against the best pitching around, that’s pretty good. Not sure how you are defining “clutch” (I would argue all playoff games clutch situations) but again, small sample size.For 17 years, Barry Bonds wasn’t “clutch,” and then he hit 4 HR and batted .471, nearly singlehandedly winning SF the 2002 WS. (Yes, I know, they lost. Hence “nearly.”)

  5. The Babe

    Joe Torre’s asset was his ability to assuage Big Stein’s temper. George made his point last year saying, in effect: “Joe had other teams before I brought him here. What does his record look like there?”Torre handled his prima-donnas well; and filled his dugout with stellar coaches. But, as a baseball fan, he won’t be missed by me.

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