Major League Baseball
 
End of an era in the Bronx

Chris Ruddick, MLB Editor

Chris Ruddick Logo Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It appears as if Joe Torre's historic run as manager of the New York Yankees is coming to a close.

Torre should be relieved. After winning four World Series titles and taking the team to the postseason in each of the 12 years he was there, he deserves better than having his job threatened time and time again by, at this point, a crazy old man.

It's probably time for Torre to go anyway. Twelve years is a long time to stay anywhere, let alone as manager of the Yankees. But, he should have been able to leave on his own terms. He has earned that.

I guess there is the slightest of chances that he comes back. Torre said the other night he is not ready to retire. George Steinbrenner and his crew were talked out of firing Torre last year and could probably be swayed again, especially if more players speak up the way Mariano Rivera did on Wednesday.

Jorge Posada is another free agent that is extremely loyal to Torre. Would he leave if the Yankees do Torre dirty?

Let's not forget, though, these two are professional athletes and money talks. If the Yankees pony up the dough, they will be as loyal to Don Mattingly or Joe Girardi as they were to Torre. Don't be fooled by them.

Joe Torre
Joe Torre said the other night he is not ready to retire.
The one player that could probably save Torre's job if he wanted to was Alex Rodriguez. If he went to the Yankees tomorrow and said, "You know what? I am going to stay here if you keep Torre around," Joe would be given an extension within an hour of the phone call.

A-Rod has not done that, though, nor do I expect him too anytime soon. I don't think he has the capacity to care about anyone other than himself.

While we are on him for a second, where does he think he is going to go next season? How many teams are going to pay him what he wants other than the Yankees?

Brian Cashman's going to call Scott Boras' bluff. And he should. Boras is going to lose this one, well, that is if you call getting your client $30 million a season losing. The Yanks are going to work out an extension and pay him at least that much, but they will not be dragged into a bidding war. They are not going to lose that money they got from Texas in the trade. Something will get worked out.

The business of A-Rod works better in NY than it does anywhere else and everyone, including Rodriguez and Boras, knows it.

So if you subscribe to the Yes Network, get ready for an A-Rod talk show. You know he is going to get one of those. Hopefully it will be a Jerry Springer-type show and he brings out his wife and that muscular she-male-type mistress that he allegedly has in episode one. Now that would be fun.

Hopefully Yes promotes that show the way TBS is promoting "Frank TV". I think Frank Caliendo is funny and does a couple of good impressions, but there is a better shot of me getting a donut away from Tony Gwynn than me watching that show. I am sick of those ads.

But back to Torre, it is a shame that his remarkable run is ending like this. It seems like just yesterday that every newspaper in New York dubbed him "Clueless Joe" upon him being hired. All he did in addition to his four titles and 12 straight playoff appearances was win more games than any other Yankee manager in team history not named Joe McCarthy.

And by the way, he will be in the Hall of Fame the year after he decides he is done managing.

As far as George Steinbrenner goes, I guess at this point they are not even whispers anymore, he is sick. I am sure he has good days and bad days, which is why the Bergen Record's Ian O'Connor should be taken to task rather than applauded for his big "scoop" on Torre needing to win to keep his job prior to Game 3.

Congratulations, you got a delusional man to spill something he probably never should have said. Someone could probably get a hold of Steinbrenner today and he would tell me them that Billy Martin has no place in the Yankee organization.

Bottom line is the Yankees are 4-13 in their past 17 postseason games. Their starting pitchers are 2-8 with a 6.36 ERA in those contests while averaging 4 2/3 innings per start.

A change probably does need to be made. But it should have been handled with a little more class than the way it seems to be going down.

LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES OUTLOOK

CLEVELAND-BOSTON: Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. There is not a fan in Boston that wanted to see the Yankees in the ALCS, but now they face a Cleveland team that boasts not only a pair of Cy Young Award candidates, but a tremendous bullpen as well, outside of its pathetic closer. Like the Yankees found out, this is a far different Indians team the Red Sox will be facing then the one they saw in the regular season. Cleveland is clicking on all cylinders and pretty much had their way with the high-powered and heavily-favored Yankees. The Red Sox, though, are just so good, not to mention Ramirez and Ortiz are white-hot at the moment. Sure Cleveland's top two starters are as good as it gets, but Boston has a pair at the top that may even be better. Not to mention you have to love the Red Sox matchups in Games 3 and 4. Then again, people counted Byrd out in the last series as well. In the end, though, I think Boston will hit Cleveland's aces and that will be the difference.

PREDICTION: BOSTON IN SIX

COLORADO-ARIZONA: There is a chance that Brandon Webb could throw three times in this series and that alone should be enough to give the Diamondbacks the edge. The long layoff, while it got the Rockies healthy, has to be looked at a disadvantage for Colorado. The Rox were so hot, there is no way they wanted to sit for five days. Arizona's starters are not great, other than Webb, but they will be better than Colorado's here. I just can't see the Rockies pitching the way they did in the NLDS.

PREDICTION: ARIZONA IN SIX

By the way, don't take too much stock in those predictions since I picked three of the four division series wrong. But nonetheless, be sure to check out my blog, at http://ruddickmlbblog.blogspot.com/, as I will be updating throughout the LCS and into the World Series.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Chris Ruddick at cruddick@sportsnetwork.com.
Chris Ruddick

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