May 6, 2005


Yankees' Present Is Buckling Under Heavy Weight of the Past (TYLER KEPNER, 5/07/05, NY Times)

The best thing that could have happened to Joe Torre as a Yankee was winning right away. Torre won the World Series in 1996, his first year as George Steinbrenner's manager, and when he won it in three of the next four seasons, he became a legend, a future monument beyond the center-field wall in the Bronx.

But Torre has always known the downside of what his early Yankees teams accomplished. His aura and regard exceed any manager's in the 32 years of Steinbrenner's reign as the team's principal owner. But the expectations are suffocating.

"Unfortunately, winning, in this organization, is a twofold thing," Torre said yesterday, back in the Yankee Stadium dugout after a miserable few days in Tampa Bay that left the team tied with the Devil Rays for last place in the American League East. They remained in that tie and fell to an unfathomable 11-19 with a 6-3 loss last night to the Oakland Athletics in 10 innings. "After you win four World Series in five years, anything less than winning the World Series is a failure."

Losing in the postseason is bad enough. Losing roughly two out of every three regular-season games is a catastrophe, and Steinbrenner - even with the pleasant distraction of having the favored horse, Bellamy Road, in today's Kentucky Derby - has begun the verbal warfare that is subtly targeting his manager.

Yeah, George is notorious for his subtlety.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 6, 2005 11:34 PM

Don't worry Yankee fans. The Mariners are coming to town next week, so that'll get you a few wins and maybe put you ahead of the Devil Rays for a while.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at May 7, 2005 1:55 PM