Tuesday, October 14, 2008
At the conclusion of the 2008 regular season, everyone thought the Yankees might a huge mistake letting Joe Torre go. The Yankees had failed to make the Playoffs and Torre had just led the Dodgers to NL West crown, making the postseason for 13 consecutive years.
After Monday night's debacle, Los Angeles saw first hand what Yankees' fans had been putting up with for the last few years.
So Torre won 4 World Series while with the pinstripes. But we all know he was surrounded by the best talent money can buy.
The Yankees didn't make the postseason this year because of injuries up and down the lineup, lack of starting pitching (Torre was always gifted with great starting pitching), and the Yankees played in the toughest division in baseball.
Torre's Dodgers played in the worst division in all of baseball, maybe one of the worst divisions ever. Torre was given one of the best hitters in baseball, Manny Ramirez, someone Torre could never figure out how to get out or pitch around.
In fact, you can say it was Manny who sparked the Dodgers' run to the playoffs.
In Monday night's series deflating loss to the Phillies, Torre again made many questionable moves. First, pulling Derek Lowe after only 5 innings and 74 pitches. Lowe was pitching on three days rest and had a shaking first inning. He recovered, had the lead and was looking very much like the team's ace.
With a lack of starting pitching, Torre went to his already worn down bullpen. In the eight inning, Torre pulled Hong-Chih Kuo for Cory Wade. Kuo was looking solid and Wade had pitched two long innings the previous night. A game tying two run home run later and the Dodgers were in trouble.
Torre used a total of six relief pitchers in Game 4. Because of Torre's high number of calls to the bullpen, he didn't have a lefthander when he needed it most.
OK. Throw all of that second guessing aside. The Dodgers are down 7-5 with the top of the order due up in the bottom eighth inning. Rafael Furcal draws a leadoff walk. With Joe Torre always preaching small ball, Andre Ethier will bunt and move Furcal into scoring position with the big guns coming up. Wrong! Ethier swings at the first pitch and grounds into a double play. Scoring threat over. Rally over. Series over.
As a Yankees fan, this scene was far too familiar. If I had a dime everytime I watched Torre let his players swing away and hit into rally killing double plays, I might be owning the Yankees.
You bunt with your No. 2 hitter! You move the player from first into scoring position and you erase the potential double play! And then you only have one out with your 3 and 4 hitters coming up. Baseball 101.
Like I said before, Torre did win 4 Championships for the Yankees, he took them to the playoffs 12 times. He also had the highest payroll in baseball and he was only able to win 33% of the time.
Once again, Joe Torre blows another playoff series and this year will end the same way for him as the last seven seasons-no ring.