Retired Baseball Managers Call On Torre To Resign
Handful of Skippers Protest Steinbrenner Move; Cite No Plan Or Successful Winning Strategy
Major League Baseball was rocked this morning as a group of former and retired managers, led by ex-Los Angeles Dodger Tommy LaSorda and recently-resigned Washington National Frank Robinson issued a blistering statement, calling on New York Yankee Manager Joe Torre to resign.
The group also protested the move by owner George Steinbrenner, who, seemingly, was on the verge of firing Torre within minutes of the final out of the American League Division Series game last weekend, against the Detroit Tigers, that saw the Yankees eliminated, yet changed his course and announced yesterday, through a spokesperson, that Torre was being kept on for another year.
Despite 11 consecutive AL East Division titles, the Yankees have not won the World Series since 2000.
“This is hogwash,” bellowed LaSorda, a former World Series-winning manager with the Los Angeles Dodges. “Now is not the time to for Steinbrenner to stay-the-course. Just look at the last few years, the man doesn’t have a strategy to win ... He’s floundering around while innocent, young men are being sent out onto the field without a clue, unprepared to win.”
Hall of Fame player, and recently resigned manager of the Washington Nationals, Frank Robinson says that “dozens of former managers and coaches” have been in contact with him, and all calling for Torre to step down.
“Managers, coaches, players, they’ve all said this is a bad situation,” offered Robinson. “Torre just doesn’t have any credibility anymore. Nobody believes he can lead them to victory.”
Minor League managers are expected, later today or tomorrow, to join in with the “big show” counterparts and issue their own statement calling on Torre to resign, and/or Steinbrenner to fire him.
“I spoke to Joe Torre today and I told him: ‘You’re back for the year,’ ” the statement said. “ ‘I expect a great deal from you and the entire team. I have high expectations and I want to see enthusiasm, a fighting spirit and a team that works together. The responsibility is yours, Joe, and all of the Yankees.’ ”
Steinbrenner, reported, cribbed notes in the column of a newspaper article, asking “Did we send Torre out there to manage?”
Yankee’s General Manager Brian Cashman, a supporter of Torre, denied reports that former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was advising Steinbrenner, or the Yankees.
Rumors have circulated that Kissinger has advocated to the Yankee owner that “the only viable exit strategy is a World Series victory.”
Kissinger, when reached for comment, would neither confirm nor deny his consulting the New York Yankees but did offer that “they have to execute if the intend on winning.”
Cashman also denied that he called for an emergency meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, citing the increased chatter throughout Major League Baseball over the course of the summer, that the Yankees were likely to bomb in the playoffs.
A report, said to be leaked out of the Commissioner’s office, shows that the league has tried to cover-up the decline of the Yankees, and to downplay their losses in the playoffs.
“Sure,” sniped LaSorda, “they have their television ratings to protect. They only want to take you to Yankee Stadium or
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig could not be reached for comment, with an aide saying “he’s busy ... totally focused on what to do about the Barry Bonds’ situation.”
Pressure is mounting, from retired baseball managers, for either New York Yankee manager Joe Torre to resign, or for owner George Steinbrenner to fire him