Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Neil speaks, George listens

Well who knew that Neil M directed Yankee policy with regard Joe?

Looks like Joe and Steinbrenner have kissed and made up for now - I still don't know that the dynamic can survive the type of "Congratulations to the Angels and their manager" comments that Steinbrenner can't seem to help making when things don't go right, and
I am not certain that a manager who openly states that he thought about quitting is really the guy who I would want motivating my team when things aren't going well at some point next year.

I also think that the increasing distance between Torre and his last "real" championship - just because Steinbrenner doesn't acknowledge paltry things like AL East titles and AL pennants, doesn't mean we shouldn't - increases the scope for Steinbrenner, the media and, increasingly, fans to question whether Joe is still the manager that we all assume that he is. His bullpen usage, in particular, the last few years has been strange (if you are not one of his 'guys' take a pew), while it is hard to recall the last time he out-managed an opponent?

The coming year could again be Torre's most challenging yet, and given the emotions he expressed about how little he enjoyed the challenges last year, I doubt that is a good thing for the Yankees. Randy Johnson will be a year older and is likely to be even less consistent than he was this year, Sheffield, with his history of histrionics, will be an interesting case to watch in his contract year, while there is the chance that payroll may actually come down for the first time in a long time with the attendant need to get more out of less.

All makes for a fun year ahead.

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