On the eve of the Sex Pistols' final concert Johnny Rotton famously sneered "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" and then stared off into space before closing out the set with disgust.
This is how we feel upon hearing that Joe Torre is "leaving us" and "choosing to walk away" after taking the Yankees to 12 straight postseasons, including four championships. And just to rub it in, in our hour of need, Jeter has gone AWOL. The sky is falling!
This is about the most obvious case of media manipulation we have ever seen. Clearly, there has been a week's worth of behind the scenes negotiating to determine how the public would receive the long-ago-decided news that Torre was "leaving" when in face he was being unceremoniously "let go" (don't you love how euphemisms eventually come to mean what they were created to gloss over?).
When she needs answers on all thing Yankees, Betty turns to her friend G.R., who knows the team, its personalities and its politics inside out. Here's what he had to say about Torre's resignation/firing:
Hey hon...I think we have totally been manipulated by the Yankee brass, this guy Randy Levine particularly. It's become clear that he really wanted Torre out, and he got his way. I feel terrible for whoever has to replace him.
This contract offer that Joe "turned down" was without question a scheme to try and make it look to the fans like Torre turned away from them, but it's just not true. Can you even imagine offering such a venerable, certain hall of fame manager a one year, back-loaded contract that gives management the opportunity to make Torre feel like he is playing every game to save his job? Without offering 2 years or a reasonable amount of money, all it means is they can fire him during the year whenever they want with virtually no repercussions. I am quite upset.
That being said, I had felt for a while that the time was near for some fresh blood, and that he had made some questionable managerial decisions, but at this point, the only person I can think of who can represent the organization with class, keep a roster full of superstars on an even keel through the season, deal with the media better than anybody in Washington, and take us to the postseason every year is the man they just fired.
Torre didn't deserve to take the fall for the Yankees' failings this year. The postseason was loopy and random in the utmost, with our pitching falling apart and A-Rod and Jeter doing nothing at the plate. What makes Betty even more upset is how the whole organization roped Joe into pulling the wool over his fans' eyes. Hopefully one day Joe will decide to set the record straight. In the meantime, anybody looking for a job in the New York metro area? It doesn't guarantee security or gratitude for a job well done, but at least they will make up enormous lies when you inevitabley get axed.