Tonight, the Yankees lost in the ALDS. Cleveland played well and ultimately took the series. Now, as a fan, I'm wondering if George Steinbrenner will make good on his statement that Joe torre was managing for his job in this series. At first glance, one would think that any owner who would consider not re-signing a manager who had taken his team to 12 straight postseasons, a manager who turned his team around this year to make the playoffs when many considered their chances super slim, and a manager with several key achievements under his belt, to be nuts.
It makes me wonder what it would be like without him. I've been a fan for a long time, but really came into it much more during my high school years, right about when Torre came on board. He's managed for my entire adult life so far. Sure, the Yankees haven't won a World Series title since 2000 (and I was watching from London when they lost in the series in 2001), but they generally play consistent baseball and have made it into those twelve consecutive postseason appearances.
It's hard to blame the manager when there have been so many team shakeups. When decisions like bringing Roger Clemens back this year were made. Clemens, who isn't really much of a team player, not only underperformed, but his spot on the roster could have been taken by someone who had a shot of making it through the season with more wins and fewer injuries. He is in his mid-forties now. After sending Randy Johnson away in a trade, I thought they would have learned their lesson.
But the season does not rest upon Clemens' shoulders alone. It's about underperforming in the first two ALDS games right now, because once the postseason begins, it is a fresh start. The old adage "Go big or go home" is never more apt. And now, the AL postseason comes to a close for New York.
I wonder what the team will look like next season. Several key team members, including Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez (who actually had a decent series) will qualify for free agency. And then there's Joe Torre. Will Steinbrenner give him another chance?