Great Manager???

I think Joe Torre has done a wonderful job keeping an even keel during his tenure as Yankee manager. However – and this has been pointed out before – he was not exactly on the Hall of Fame managerial track until he took over the team with the largest payroll in baseball. Hate to say it, but if you’re the Yankees manager in the current economic system, you’re supposed to win 95+ games per year. Torre’s strength is his demeanor and I think, for that reason, he’s well-suited to work for George Steinbrenner. However, someone needs to talk a little strategy.

Torre announced that he is committed to keeping Hideki Matsui in centerfield, Tony Womack in left, and leaving Bernie Williams on the bench. I don’t understand this. I’m not a Yankees fan and there’s little nostalgic impact for me in watching Bernie patrol the outfield of The House That Ruth Built. And I would argue that there’s no way a player of his (current) ability should be starting for a $200 million team. But look at the alternative. Tom Verducci correctly points out that Tony Womack isn’t just a run-of-the-mill offensively challenged outfielder, but a historically bad offensively challenged outfielder. Torre has an opportunity to do the right thing for his team AND make Yankee fans (who love Bernie) happy. Let’s hope he does.

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