The Yankee ownership put their heads together and came up with the brilliant idea of offering Joe Torre, whose current salary is $7.5 million, a one-year contract giving him $5 million dollars, with a bonus of $1 million for making it to the ALDS, another $1 million for making it to the ALCS, and another $1 million for making it to the World Series. Can you imagine the utter intellectual and moral vacancy of the heads that could have come up with such a plan?
A team that spends money on a scale that makes it meaningless, a team that draws over 4 million fans and has no money worries or limitations of any kind, chooses to “make a point” by cutting, by one-third, the salary of a manager who has brought them into 12 postseasons, and who literally brought them roaring back from the dead this year. Did they do this to save $2.5 million lousy dollars? No, the only reason they did this was to insult someone who deserves only praise, only respect, only admiration.
Maybe they thought that they were providing him with an incentive? Yeah, that’s real smart. I guess the reason that Joe Torre hasn’t won any World Series since 2000 is that he didn’t have enough incentive. Dangle an extra million dollars in front of him at each additional step on the way to the championship and he’ll get there! Yes, just like when you want a rabbit to come out of a cage! That’s the way it works! What insight into human psychology! Maybe they did some kind of experiment down in Tampa, with their cats and dogs and tuna and steak! Gee, dad, let’s try this!
When I first heard Mike Francesa report that Joe Torre had accepted this insulting offer, I was genuinely downhearted. When I heard that he actually turned it down, it brought tears to my eyes. The Yankees, as an organization, are about to lose what they have left of dignity. I wish I could have seen what happened when Torre took his principled stand. It must have been like that moment in the movies, when the principled hero speaks truth to power and tells them where to go and where to put it.
I hope it stays like that. I don’t want this to be one of these stupid Yankees things that are never what they seem to be.
How would you like to be a Yankees fan right now? You know, for all of our joking around, we Mets fans know that there are plenty of decent people who root for the Yankees. I feel for these people right now. I mean, fans complain about ownership and management all the time. That’s part of what it means to be a fan and what it means to own or manage a team. But imagine what it would be like to have to root for a team owned and managed by such people.
There aren’t words in the English language for such people.