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October 19, 2007: Joe Torre Rejects Yankees' Overture Calling For Pay Cut

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    October 19, 2007: Joe Torre Rejects Yankees' Overture Calling For Pay Cut

    October 19, 2007 :After 12 seasons and 12 playoff appearances, including 10 AL East titles, six pennants, and four world championships, manager Joe Torre rejects the Yankees' overture, which calls for a pay cut. The non-negotiable offer - a one-year, $5 million deal with $1 million incentives per playoff round and an $8 million option for 2009 if the Yankees reached next year's World Series - was considered by many to be insulting and a ploy to oust the popular manager without upsetting the team's fans.
    Joe Torre Out as Yankees Manager, Rejects Offer to Return:
    Excerpt from the article:

    "Joe Torre is out as manager of the New York Yankees, rejecting a substantial pay cut after the team failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year. Torre turned down a $5 million, one-year contract Thursday that still would have made him the highest paid manager in baseball."
    Here's why Torre was Yankees' greatest skipper:
    Excerpts from the article:

    "There have been a lot of classic games on television in this time when there are no baseball games being played, and they’ve included so many played by Joe Torre’s Yankees who are, for now, not just the last great Yankee dynasty, but the last great baseball dynasty. It all happened at the time when the Yankees, under Torre, became the Yankees again."

    "Joe McCarthy won seven World Series as Yankees manager. So did Casey Stengel. They had to win four games in October to do that. Torre, whose Yankees won four World Series in five years and played in a total of six in eight years, had to win 11. Would McCarthy’s Yankees and Casey’s Yankees have won as many if they had to go through the meat grinder of needing to win three playoff rounds to win it all, as random as October can be? Maybe. But it’s simply not logical to think so. It’s why I think it’s Torre who was the greatest -- and probably most important -- Yankees manager of them all."

    "Torre ultimately became the first manager to win four World Series since Stengel. Again: Stengel’s Yankees won 28 games in October, because that’s all you needed to do in those years. In Torre’s World Series-winning seasons, his team won 44. They just kept coming."
    A comparison of Aaron Boone, Joe Girardi, and Joe Torre’s communication styles:
    Excerpts from the article:

    "Yankees managers become known for their individual communication styles. Fans remember that Joe Torre was forthright and relaxed, Joe Girardi was thoughtful and stern, and Aaron Boone is increasingly known for the way he sugarcoats the truth with vague understatements."
    "Here is a typical example of Torre, Girardi, and Boone’s answers when asked about the struggles of a particular player, why the team lost, or a team’s failure to score runs:
    "Torre had the nicest ways to say “my team stunk today.” It sounds like he is talking to a friend and tells it like it is. Torre is forthright and acknowledges the significance of a player’s mistake without sounding angry, or like he’s expressing discontent. His mood is pretty neutral and his demeanor is calm and low key. The New York accent is distinctive."
    "Girardi gives very specific details. If someone asks why a pitcher struggled, Girardi wants to explain as accurately as possible. It’s extremely precise. None of what he says is fluff. Also, concealing his emotions isn’t Girardi’s strong suit. The exasperation in his voice is palpable. He’s transparent and betrays how he feels about whatever he’s talking about. The tone is less casual and he gives off teacher vibes."
    "Watching Boone’s video after Torre’s made me notice Boone’s lack of eye contact at times — he’s looking down and his brim is pulled down low. His sentiments about the team come across as genuine, but he says the same thing three different ways, and the redundancy makes it sound like Boone is trying to convince himself that this time, the team really is going to turn it around."
    Joe Torre: (Biography)
    Excerpts from the article:

    "No one had ever taken longer to get to the World Series – 4,272 major-league games as player and manager before his first Series game in 1996. As Joe Torre stated in Chasing the Dream, “It had taken getting traded twice and fired three times. Both my parents had died years before they could have seen me celebrate the victory. And in the end, it had taken the most emotional twelve months of my life: the birth of my daughter Amanda Rae; the shocking death of my brother Rocco; and a life-saving transplant for (brother) Frank on the eve of the clinching game of the World Series. I never expected that chasing the dream would bring me to so many magical moments, or that the road to get there would be so long and so often painful.”

    "In his first year with New York, Torre teamed with bench coach Don Zimmer to lead the Yanks to their first World Series win in 18 years. After the 2003 season ended with a World Series loss to the Florida Marlins, Zimmer, who had been on the receiving end of much Steinbrenner criticism, elected to move on. As Torre stated, “...I learned a lot from Don Zimmer. That is something that is not going to leave me.”

    "In each of Torre’s last three years with the Yankees, the team lost in the first round of the postseason competition, He suspected during the 2007 campaign, that he would be leaving the Yankees, and began clearing things out of his office midway through the season. He noted, “Walking into that room in Tampa (after the season, on the day of his last meeting with the Yankees’ brass), was one of the toughest things I ever did in my life. After five minutes, I knew it was over.” Yankee management elected to offer Torre a salary cut from $7.5 million to $5.0 million, which he refused."

    As so eloquently stated by David Halberstam, Torre is “a man secure in his knowledge of who he is and secure in his faith. Though he would prefer to win, rather than to lose, how he behaves as a man and how he sees himself is not based on his career winning percentage. The key to Torre is that he is a good baseball man, but he also knows there is much more to life than baseball, and that, finally, it is how you behave, more obviously when things are not going on well, that defines you.”
    "The Yankee is one who, if he once gets his teeth set on a thing, all creation can't make him let go." Ralph Waldo Emerson