Say it ain't so, Joe

Torre_2CLEVELAND – Good for you, Joe. After having George Steinbrenner issue another ultimatum in yet another trip to the playoffs for the Yankees, Joe Torre decided enough was enough.

New York offered Torre a one-year deal worth $5 million, which had incentives that could’ve boosted it to $8 million, that included a vesting option for ’09 if the Bombers made the World Series. On Thursday, it was announced that Torre said no thank you, ending what’s been a comical stakeout by the media in Tampa.

Part of me was surprised to hear that Torre turned down the offer, but the other part of me can completely understand how he might be fed up with dealing with the stress of New York and The Boss, especially at age 67. Torre’s done way too much to have Steinbrenner threaten to fire him if the Yanks didn’t make it passed the first round.

Shortly after hearing the news, which spread like wildfire here in the Jacobs Field pressbox, I gave a quick call to Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. After jokingly razzing me some for phoning him — "Jordan, don’t you know I’m in hiding this time of year?" — Gibby gave pretty much the same reaction I had to the news.

"That doesn’t really surprise me. It’s hard to say, I’m sure he was frustrated with the whole thing, when it came out where Steinbrenner said ‘Win this game or he’s gone.’ He’s accomplished too much and he’s too distinguished a guy to put up with that.

"He’s not some first-timer rookie out there. Who knows what all went into it. Who knows what he was looking for as opposed to what they offered. He’s accomplished way too much. If he doesn’t feel good about it, then he did the right thing."

Exactly. Good for Joe.

Ws07_alcs_4ALCS Game 5 Lineups

Boston (1-3) at Cleveland (3-1)
at 8:21 p.m. ET at Jacobs Field

RED SOX
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
Bobby Kielty, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Coco Crisp, CF
Julio Lugo, SS

PITCHING: RHP Josh Beckett

INDIANS
Grady Sizemore, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B
Travis Hafner, DH
Victor Martinez, C
Ryan Garko, 1B
Jhonny Peralta, SS
Kenny Lofton, LF
Franklin Gutierrez, RF
Casey Blake, 3B

PITCHING: LHP C.C. Sabathia

14 Comments

Congratulations, to Joe Torre for telling Steinbrenner to take this job and shove it.

The ultimatum delivered to Torre “through the press” wasn’t deserved. I can’t imagine what this guy went through.

Class act Mr. Joe Torre-good for you.

It would have been nice to see Torre close out the old Yankee Stadium and potentially be there to open the new one . He is a class act for sure and we can only wish him well in whatever he chooses to do in the future. Good Luck Mr Torre

good for Joe. Yankees decided they didn’t want to deal with a firing so they made him a untenderable contract. Torre should have been there for the new stadium.

So ends the Yankee dynasty.

Anyone else think the Fox broadcasters are pretty huge homers for the Red Sox?

Joe Torre was a great manager. Best of luck to him.

Hey, does anyone know how much the Jays might have to spend on freeagents this winter ?

since JP says he’s not going to make any big changes, I’m betting they don’t have any.

I think he’s been told that unless this team improves greatly he’ll be fired, and thus they don’t ant him giving out big conracts on his way out the door.

Considering that the Jays are pretty much locked into long-term contracts at almost every position and that JP doesn’t seem to want to trade anyone, it doesn’t really matter how much money the Jays have to spend.

Other than LF, SS, C, and maybe a 4/5 starter, there’s not much room on the Jays’ roster. And the free agent pickings at those positions are looking pretty paltry….

But if I had to guess (and this is a TOTAL guess), I’d say the Jays have 6-10 million to play around with.

Or am I being completely ridiculous and speculative?

Anyone think Jorge Posada is in reach at catcher? I think its possible seeing that a) he was a big Torre guy and b) we hired his man as our hitting coach. He might demand too much money for us though and Zaun might not like it too much.

Hem-I think you might be surprised about how much money the Jays have to spend in 2008-that is, if they want to spend it.

They eliminate a number of salaries in 2008 versus 2007 on players like Hinske, Koskie, Towers, Zambrano, Royce, Okha, Phillips, Smith and Thompson. This totals about $13 million.

But, the big deal is the movement of the Canadian dollar over the same time frame as last year. All their player, coaches, scouts, and most management salaries are paid in US dollars. The majority of their travel costs are in US dollars. In addition, the Jays contribute to all their minor league affiliates. I’m not sure how much this is, but as a minimum, the Jays contribute the salaries of coaches, managers and either all the player salaries or a good portion of them for each of the 8 affiliates. In addition, you have signing bonuses to draft choices, which is becoming a significant number and going up. Some first rounders are getting $3-5 mill signing bonuses and if you want the good ones thats the cost. With the players payroll only running at $90 million, a reasonable estimate of total US dollars costs is likely $120 to $130 million.

In fairness, some of their TV revenue is in US dollars, rumored to be $19 million per team, so the net differential is over $100 million.

This is huge for The Jays. Last year at this time, the C$ was trading at $.85 to $.87 US. Today it closed at $1.04. That is a difference of 23% or $23 million savings.

Of course, some of the contracts already signed eat up some of this windfall, and I’m sure a long term deal with Rios and Hill won’t be cheap. In addition, a number of our young guns have nice deserving raises coming to them.

BUT, there is extra money to spend. The issue is what do they need and is it available in the free agent market which is really poor this year. My bet is they’ll be patient-and if they need extra help around the break they will have the money to pick up a large contract or two to fill their needs.

gsumner:

I’m still skeptical. The Canadian dollar thing is pretty huge, but it also means MLB isn’t handing over any money to the Jays for the sake of parity. For quite some time there, they were getting (I think) $4-5 million from the league to compensate for the low dollar.

Also, I’m not sure who’s up for arbitration, but that whole process also eats up a bunch of salary.

And what about some of the backloaded contracts? I’m too lazy to look up the numbers right now, but isn’t it possible that the cost of guys like Burnett, Wells, Halladay, and maybe even Glaus are going to go up next year?

I dunno. I’m no economist, so I’m not going to say much about the Canadian dollar going up. But the way I see it, if Ted Rogers is a smart businessman, he’s probably always been dealing in US dollars since he got into an American business like MLB.

But once again: I’m no economist.

Also, I think Posada’s likely a pipe dream. With Diaz and Thigpen in the system, I don’t think JP will want to sign a long contract with a veteran like Posada. If anything, I think he’ll be shopping for a veteran backup for Zaun.

That is a good post Gsummer, when it comes to looking at running of a business like the Jays we rarely look at all the pieces of the cost puzzle and only look at the salary. The price to run a team is very complicated and costly.

Hem

I think ( but not sure) the 3 players up for arbitration are Johnson, Downs and Rios. I’d expect Johnson signs for about what he got last year, Downs will get a nice raise and Rios will get signed to a 4-5 year deal (lets hope), with the first couple of years lower than the back end.

Burnett and Halliday do not go up in 2008. Glaus, Ryan and Thomas’s contracts go up about 12 million in total and Wells actually drops-assuming they pro rate his signing bonus over the contract life as they appear to have done with the others. This incremental cost is more than offset by the contracts they lose from 2007.

The Canadian dollar appreciation is a direct saving and my estimate of $20 million is likely low. Further, they can hedge at the current rate of $1.04 to guarantee this exchange for the year-so there’s little risk here.

If we assume the arbitration and other raises eat up a further 10 mill-which is likely high, they still have some room if they want to spend it.

I agree on Posada. The last thing we need is another catcher about to lose it-we already have one of those. age. Diaz could be a really good one and the sooner we bring him up the better. I hope they do that and keep Thigpen in AAA until September.

I think a combination of Thigpen and Diaz should be really good for a number of years-once Zaun is gone in 2009.

shawn

Well, for sure the cost of signing draft choices is going up. We had a lot of high quality draft choices last year and spent a lot on signing bonuses.

The main ones were as follows:

Ahrens: $1.44 million

Arencibia: $1.3275 million

Cecil: $.8 million

Fuenmayor: $.75 million

Jackson: $.675 million

Magneson: $.4625 million

Tolesano: $.3915 million

Eiland: $.3845 million

The total of the above is $6.231 million for 2007 and there’s likely a bunch of smaller ones not registered. With teams like New York focusing more on re-building their minors and developing from within this cost is going to continually rise.

That is frustrating about the signing bonuses as who knows if any of these prospects are going to pan out and can take many years before they are major league ready

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