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2019 Preseason Forecast
Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET
|2013-08-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)||You look like a gin and tonic drinker, am I correct? |
(Sam from Baltimore)
|Technically, yes, in that I have had them. I'm not a frequent consumer of alcohol. I do drink more green tea than Joe Torre, mostly because my life is one long, losing struggle to stay awake. (Ben Lindbergh)|
|2013-01-11 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Do you think some writers will hold a grudge against Glavine next year due to his imput on the 1994 Major League Baseball strike and drug testing as a players' union representative ? |
(19braves77 from Pensacola. FL)
|I voiced this opinion last night on Twitter. I think there's something to it, if you go back and look at the low votes for Ted Simmons, Joe Torre and more recently David Cone. Curt Schilling, a JAWS-approved candidate, himself noted that he felt his low vote share (38.8%) in part reflected his activity as a player representative who didn't do enough to combat PEDs during his time. For once, I agree with him.
Will it be enough to keep Glavine out? Possibly on the first ballot given the crowd of candidates, the tenor of the electorate, and the precedent of not all 300-game winners making it on the first try (Gaylord Perry, Don Sutton and Phil Niekro had to wait). He'll get his plaque eventually, though. (Jay Jaffe on the Hall of Fame)
|2012-01-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Thanks for the chat Jay! If given a choice, and you could take only one of the three, would you rather have Joe Torre's career as a player, his career as a manager, or his future as the owner of the dodgers if I could guarantee his group gets the nod?|
(Mike from Avoiding Work)
|Take it for what? As my own life? As the basis of voting him into the Hall of Fame?
As a player, Torre is just short of the Hall. As a manager, he's plenty qualified, even if a bit overrated. As an owner... well, I'm not sure he's the best candidate - he'd be a minority partner anyway, not the moneybags - but I'd need more time to study the issue. (Jay Jaffe's Hall of Fame Special)
|2011-11-16 13:30:00 (link to chat)||Who was your favorite baseball player growing up?|
(Steve from Ireland)
|Bernie Williams. Wish I could say my favorite player was someone more obscure, like, I don't know, Duane Kuiper, but unlike Joe Posnanski, I grew up not far from Yankee Stadium in the mid- to late-90s, so marginally talented players were in pretty short supply. The first autograph I ever got was by Clay Bellinger, so I suppose I could have formed an unhealthy attraction to him. (Joe Torre did.) Bernie was a great hitter, graceful in the field (at least until his later years, or until he tried to throw the ball) and on the bases (I miss seeing him go first-to-third), and to the extent that you can determine these things from afar, seemed to have a softer side than the typical ballplayer who spends his offseason huntin' and fishin', which also appealed to me. Good guitar player, too. (Ben Lindbergh)|
|2011-09-06 14:00:00 (link to chat)||What in the world is EDSP doing on the Yankees roster at this point in the season. Is this some act of contrition from Brian Cashman for delivery Proctor into Joe Torre's nefarious clutches out in Los Angeles?|
(Cult of Basebaal from Los Angeles Anaheim of Pasadena)
|Just eating a few innings for the bullpen as the Yankees go into their victory lap. It was nice to see him back, but no, he shouldn't be there in any capacity but trash-time relief work. (Steven Goldman)|
|2011-05-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)||I'm not sure a team could pull of a 4-man rotation, but I see no reason a team couldn't pull off a 6-man bullpen - and so a 14-man bench. Its not for every team - the Pirates, say, probably couldn't do it. You'd need very reliable starters, and you couldn't carry a LOOGY - but its doable. This wouldn't be a radical change - most fans and probably a good number of writers probably don't know who the 7th guy in a bullpen is. Why hasn't someone tried it yet?
(As a side note - if the Rays didn't have so many younger starters, and such a flexible bench, I'd expect Maddon to do it. Maybe in a couple of years?)|
(Shaun P. from Medway, MA)
|I'm pretty sure Joe Torre didn't know who the seventh guy in his bullpens was either. His memory tended to stop at Scott Proctor. We've also seen teams win championships without a LOOGY, an evolutionary dead end if I've ever seen one, and I'm not just talking about my first girlfriend's mother. You're right, though, and the Phillies could do this. You keep that last pitcher at Triple-A and call him if you really need him. Teams seem to think of their rosters as Swiss Army knives--you have to be prepared for every eventuality, hence the 3rd catchers on some teams -- a meteor might strike both backstops. Dudes, if you lose one game due to a shortage of catchers fine; you might win several more with more flexibility the rest of the time. (Steven Goldman)|
|2011-03-17 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Hey Mike, really enjoy your stuff here and on MSTI. Has there been anything in the off-season or early spring training that inspires any confidence in Donnie Baseball's managing ability?|
(cjslawyer from The Insurance Capital of the World)
|Thanks. It's really hard to judge Mattingly when he's still yet to manage a single real game, but so far I think he's been impressive off the field. He's 20+ years younger than Joe Torre and reportedly much better equipped to relate to the younger players, and he decided on the Opening Day starter and the batting order very early in camp, rather than letting it linger like Torre did.
We'll have to see how it goes when the games start (I know everyone likes to bash his 'two mound visits' fiasco, but that's hardly fair). If anything worries me so far, it's that he says he wants to bat Casey Blake 2nd because he can bunt, which is problematic for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that Blake injured himself on a bunt last week. (Mike Petriello)
|2011-03-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Charlie Sheen recently avowed he was 'married to baseball.' Does this fall under Joe Torre's jurisdiction as the newly appointed VP of Baseball Operations? Is he ultimately going to have to discipline Sheen when he wields a knife to baseball's throat and locks it in the hotel bathroom? |
(Dan from NY)
|Interesting point you make. (Jeremy Greenhouse)|
|2011-03-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)||What are the chances Brett Myers gets traded to the Yanks? I'm in an NL only keeper league and he was offered in a trade at a $2 salary, but if he goes to the AL, he dies.|
(rsavits from NY)
|I don't know. How would Joe Torre handle that one? (Jeremy Greenhouse)|
|2010-10-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)||On Girardi for a second, was I the only Yankees fan who was a little nervous that he WOULD leave? Look, I hate some of his in-game management but he has constructed a very successful bullpen our of scraps in three straight years. He doesn't fall into small ball traps as often as other prestigious managers (Maddon) and, at the very least, he has an open mind about unorthodox maneuvering.
I'm not Girardi's biggest fan but I still feel oddly comfortable with him. |
(Adam from NY)
|The bullpen rebuilding thing is a big point in his favor. That's a real skill. After Mariano Rivera, you know how many relievers Joe Torre established in 13 years? Scott Proctor? Maybe? Girardi has broken in more pitchers in three seasons than the old man did in more than a decade. I also appreciate his being willing to bat a power-hitter second, be it Swisher or Granderson. Tactically he's not all there, but few managers these days are John McGraw. On the whole, I think he's positive, even if in other aspects of his thinking, like closer usage and those bloody IBBs, he's too conventional. (Steven Goldman)|
|2010-07-22 13:00:00 (link to chat)||When Lou Piniella leaves the managing ranks, how will history treat him? Didn't he kind of "quit" on the Devil Rays?|
(dianagramr from NYC)
|But he dyed his hair, too! C'mon! That's gotta count for something!
Managers aren't remembered for their mediocre years (Joe Torre in St. Louis, anyone?), so I think Sweet Lou will be remembered fondly. (Tommy Bennett)
|2010-07-26 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Ken, who you think are the best 3 managers in baseball?|
(Zooey from LA)
|Great question, and frankly, one I haven't really thought much about. Win-Loss records have so much more to do with the talent a manager's given than any innate skill the manager has. Was Joe Torre truly a great manager when he was in NYC? I can't say that I know. I guess if I were running a team I'd do my best to sign Tony LaRussa, assuming that Dave Duncan comes with him. My other two would be Bobby Cox and Ozzie Guillen, who never gets enough credit for how well he manages a pitching staff. Maybe I'm just voting for interesting managers! (Ken Funck)|
|2010-06-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Admit it: Joe Torre makes you yearn for the glory days of Grady Little, doesn't he?|
(MSTI from NYC)
|Nope. He frustrates me at times, particularly the way he can burn through relievers, but he's still one of the better managers in the majors, less from a tactical standpoint than from a leader-of-men one, and I think he does a pretty decent job with what he's got in LA. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2010-05-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Jay
Who do you see the Dodgers settling on for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation?
Elbert hasn't exactly been lighting it up for the Isotopes, is he still a consideration? Would Washburn be that much of an improvement over what they already have?|
(JoeR from Upstate)
|Well, I'd assume that if Vicente Padilla returns he'll get first crack at reclaiming the fourth spot, and it sounds like John Ely has earned himself a longer look in the rotation based upon his past two starts. Scott Elbert hasn't pitched very well down in Albuturkey, but perhaps later this summer he'll round into shape, him or Josh Lindblom. Other than salty veteran goodness of the kind Joe Torre craves, I don't think Washburn would bring that much of an improvement, particularly given that he's been sitting on his derriere. For that kind of trouble, I wonder about the possibility of a Pedro Martinez return to Chavez Ravine. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2010-02-02 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Any idea on how much longer Mauer will be a catcher? Or where he will be moved? He's athletic enough to play 3rd or Corner outfield, correct? He doesn't have to be moved to 1st (hopefully).|
(Wendy from Madrid)
|We had a discussion about this amongst ourselves -- maybe it will be a roundtable. I know Mauer wants to catch and the Twins have always resisted moving him, even a bit. Maybe he follows a Joe Torre pattern, starting to transition to 1B/3B ... but Mauer is much, much more athletic, not to mention 1B is blocked. Some have mention Johnny Bench, who is a better physical comp (not as tall or athletic, but freakishly strong and huuuuuge hands), but he played all over the place - including CF on occasion! I think it will take a significant injury to move him.
One more comp -- athletic, tall (6'3) catcher who stayed behind the plate his entire, long career despite his defense and could hit a little bit? Mike Piazza. (Will Carroll)
|2009-10-13 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Fair to say that $$$ people in the Fox and ESPN offices are hoping for a Dodger-Yankees World Series? What is CK hoping for?|
(strupp from Madison)
|The exact opposite, not just because I'm contrarian, but because I'd really like to see what the Phillies' wave of southpaws do against an Angels lineup that boasts a few lefty-killers past (Vladi) or present (Juan Rivera, Torii Hunter). Add in Scioscia vs. Manuel, and I think it would be a much more interesting series to watch than the interminable "What's Joe Torre thinking, is he pondering his past in pinstripes, blahblahblah." (Christina Kahrl)|
|2009-10-08 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Joe, the two worst moments in all of sports are--
a) When a football game is stopped for five minutes to go to a replay to figure out if a guy's foot was inbounds in the 5th minute of the second quarter, and
b) When a basketball team makes a buzzer beater, and then can't celebrate for 10 minutes while the refs watch the replay over and over. (Happens in hockey, too.)
I'm of the mind that the constant second-guessing of every play brings sports to a complete halt and makes them an absolute bear to watch. Baseball already has enough of this crap in the playoffs, with the three minutes of commercials and Joe Torre taking the longest, slowest walks in the world to the mound. There is no need to institutionalize it any further.
Baseball should be a beautiful game with a flow, and one in which what you see is what you get--there are no do-overs, no callbacks of touchdowns.
Baseball's real problem is that its umpiring system is in no way merit-based. You are not graded by performance, only seniority. Once you're in the club you can't be kicked out, even if you're terrible. I think that if you changed that a lot of these problems would be fixed.|
(spf31 from chicago)
|See, I think neither of those is worse than watching a team lose when it did exactly what it was supposed to do, but a middle-management functionary made a mistake that is correctable. (Joe Sheehan)|
|2009-08-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Should Joe Torre be a hall of fame manager when so many of his star players have been found to use PEDs both with the Yankees and now with the Dodgers? He has always gotten a ton of credit for the way that he handles the clubhouse so shouldn't he have been aware of what was going on? As much as any player Torre has parlayed PEDs into fame, success,MILLIONS of dollars and one day a plaque in Cooperstown.|
(brian from brooklyn)
|Yes, he should. This is a ridiculous argument against his candidacy. (Joe Sheehan)|
|2009-08-25 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Are you surprised at the light bulb going off in Joe Torre's head telling him to let broxton pitch to the 3-4-5 hitters in the eighth? Is it only because Sherrill has his closer's certificate?|
(ben from chicago)
|Rany e-mailed me the quote over the weekend...that was just awesome.
For those of you who didn't see it, Torre decided to do just that, try and "save" the game in the eighth by using his nominal closer, and use his #2 guy against the bottom of the lineup. It's exactly what I've been screaming for for years. I sure hope he tries it again. (Joe Sheehan)
|2009-08-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Hi Steve, thanks for the chat. What are your thoughts on how Girardi handles the Yanks' pen? He seems to be excellent strategically (players know and are comfortable with their roles, no one's overworked, flexible in who has what role) but mediocre tactically (who to bring in to face which batters).|
(Jeff P from NYC)
|I think you've nailed it exactly. As I said earlier, in both of his seasons in New York, he's started with one bullpen and finished with another, and after more than a decade of Joe Torre's obsessive focus on one or two relievers, as well as blind loyalty to anyone who had been on the roster for more than 15 minutes, it's been quite refreshing. If Torre were here, we'd still be watching balls hit off of Edwar Ramirez fly over the moon... It's been so long since I've seen a manager who excelled at pen matchups on a regular basis. Who would you rate as tops at that? Scioscia? LaRussa? (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-08-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Yankees-Braves? Personally, I think we're way overdue for a good Yankees-Dodgers series. As a side note, is there a worse year for a Dodgers fan to have started following baseball than 1982?|
(Mark from Albuquerque)
|Yes -- 1931... I'm not sure how much "Joe Torre's Revenge/Redemption/Etc" storyline I could take in a Yankees-Dodgers confrontation. It would just be gigatons of that stuff. (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-08-04 14:00:00 (link to chat)||As an O's fan, I'm thrilled with the Sherrill deal. But what were the Dodgers thinking? He's at best a setup guy with major control issues against right-handed hitters. Is that really worth a future major-league third-baseman?|
(Christopher from Nashville, TN )
|I don't want to underrate Sherrill here; I think he might finally give Joe Torre the Mike Stanton-level lefty to set up in the pen who can also close in a pinch that puts the Dodgers' skipper in his comfort zone with his pen. That said, it's still a great deal for the Orioles, because Bell fills a precise organizational hole exceptionally well. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2009-08-04 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Please, for the love of all things holy...tell me this is the end of the road for the most overrated manager in baseball...Dusty Baker.|
(Phil from Louisville)
|And here I was thinking you were talking about Joe Torre, right up until the end. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2009-07-07 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Speaking of Matt Kemp, is he still batting in the last third of the Dodgers' lineup? Is there any way doing so can be considered reasonable?|
(Patrick from MPLS)
|The only reason the Dodgers have gotten away with it is because the team leads the league in OBP, and there always seems to be somebody on base for him when he's at-bat. If his RBI total were lower (it's 44, a not-too-distant fourth on the team), Joe Torre might not be getting away with it. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2009-06-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Damon, Matsui, Cashman, Girardi --- how would you rank order the likelihood of their returning to the Bronx in 2010?|
(frank leja from DC)
|Frank Leja??? Now there's an obscurity for you. And a deceased one. I say Damon and Matsui no, Cashman and Girardi yes. I don't think Girardi has done a bad job. He's sometimes a little too enamored of the small ball, and his usage of the bullpen isn't always what I want it to be, but he's been more aggressive in trying to work out relief problems on a staff-wide basis than Joe Torre ever was. He also favored Brett Gardner over Melky Cabrera (or did) which earns points with me, has Joba in the rotation, and has tried batting Nick Swisher second. He's also a lot more candid with the public than he was last year. I'm not sure why he should take the fall if this club doesn't win. (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-06-03 15:00:00 (link to chat)||Always enjoyed your column! I think the dodgers have enough to win the division, but is Billingsley, Kershaw, Kuroda and Wolf enough SP for playoff season? Seems to me that may not, but the first two are untouchables, the latter two not appetizing for pretenders. Offensively maybe a right handed bat from the bench (bobby crosby or garret atkins for the right price, chin lun hu or delwyn young). what is your take?|
(jay from LA)
|A namesake who's a Dodger fan? This is what it sounds like when doves cry...
I hope and expect they'll add another veteran starter by the deadline, because between Kershaw's limitations and those of Wolf, they need extra arms to patch them through. That said, I've been pleasantly surprised with what they've gotten out of Official Hit List Whipping Boy Eric Milton, because while wandering in the weeds he honed a change-up, and has given the Dodgers a couple of serviceable starts.
The bench needs some work, mainly via Joe Torre ditching the 13th pitcher so they can have an extra live body. I wouldn't touch Crosby with a ten-foot clown pole, but I suspect they'll scare somebody up sooner or later. (Jay Jaffe)
|2009-04-29 17:00:00 (link to chat)||How different do you expect the sharks to look next season? Between Thornton, Marleau and Nabokov, who stays? Who goes? I would love this team with a new goalie (Huet??) but picking on Marleau and Thornton seems to be a Bay Area pastime, and its just hard to see the team's core coming back after this latest flop. |
(Jeff from San Jose)
|Possibly more to the point - Should coach Todd McLellan stay at the helm if he shows himself to be outcoached in the playoffs while possessing superior talent? This is the Joe Torre question.
Roster: Devin Setoguchi and Dan Boyle are quality players. Thornton and Pierre Turgeon –I mean, Patrick Marleau– had a bad series but have talent, though at a price. I'd look long and hard at some of the other top six forwards, particularly Milan Michalek (As an aside, I swore two years ago never to have on my fantasy team again). Rob Blake has always been overrated in my book.
Huet (+4.5 GVT in 39 games) is not an improvement over Nabokov (+7.7 GVT in 61 games). How about dealing some of that second line dreck to Florida for Craig Anderson (+12.9 GVT)? (Timo Seppa (Hockey))
|2009-04-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)||At some point is an MLB manager a finished product. For instance, does Dusty Baker still have a learning curve? Will Joe Maddon continue to grow and learn? Is Joe Torre the same guy who was in NY 5 years ago?|
(Goo Goo the cat from Dreaming of rabbits and catnip)
|That's a pretty interesting question. I wonder if who is the boss of the manager has anything to do with their own growth/stagnation. Like if you don't have a front office that pushes you towards certain strategies, would the manager fall into a routine of sorts and never learn any new tricks/strategies? Is Joe Torre different in LA than he was in NY because his bosses treat him differently? What do you guys think? (Marc Normandin)|
|2009-03-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Re: Posada and his support - the Yankees failure to snaffle Piazza when he left the Mets (giving them scores of Met fan transplants, a defensively-weak but serviceable backup and a still healthy bat) was one of the most egregious 'obvious' moves I've ever seen.|
(Silv from NY, NY)
|Not sure what went on behind the scenes there, but it certainly had a logic to it on the surface. Part of it, I suspect, is that Joe Torre seems to prefer his catchers to be as un-Torre-like as possible -- all glove, no bat. (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-03-06 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Speaking of the Ballpark that homes the Rangers (I forget it's name now and can't remember what it used to be named), I saw BP2009 call the Park Factor at 1.018... "Slight hitter's park." Is that right? It is not that much different than Camden Yards if that is the case. Typo? Please explain.|
(Corkedbat from Dallas)
|That does seem a bit low, doesn't it? Then again, find me a pitcher who's stoked to throw in Camden Yards.
I can see Joe Torre on the top step, with Mel Stottlemyre on the phone Two more questions... (Jay Jaffe)
|2009-02-11 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Hi John, do you think any of the pitchers out of the group of Kartsens, Ohlendorf, and McCutchen will be a factor for the Pirates rotation this year? Do you see any upside there, or is this just a bunch of guys?|
(Rob from Brighton)
|I think Ohlendorf is going to have a really good year and I like McCutchen a little better than Karstens because of his stuff. One thing that did strike me last September, though, was how highly Joe Torre regarded Karstens' pitchability. That has to be worth something. (John Perrotto)|
|2008-12-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Source = Joe Torre? Just blink twice for yes.|
(Dennis from Chicago)
|No, because they predate his arrival. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2008-12-05 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Do you think Santo finally gets in this year? Also, when will Joe Torre finally get recognized for his career in its entirety...why make him wait until he's on the ballot as a manager, when as of right now, his collective accomplishments are worthy when taken together?|
(ssteadman from St. Louis, MO)
|Sticking with Torre, if you're going to commission a bronze plaque, you want the numbers to be final. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2008-11-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Although Longoria got ROY and Madden MOY, the Rays will have nobody close to the top tier of MVP or Cy Young candidates. Any idea of how rare it is for a pennant winner to fare so badly in these awards? |
(keef66 from spartanburg, sc)
|Check out the Yankees all throughout the Joe Torre run. It's pretty common. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-10-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Why does Joe Torre seem to always get a pass from the mainstream media? His bullpen usage was terrible and he got out-managed by Manual last night, especially when Manual forced Torre to burn a lefty arm when Geoff Jenkins was sent up to pinch-hit. Would Torre have used a lefty, if available, in the Stairs situation or would have persisted in using Broxton?|
(jrobs7777 from Philadelphia)
|It's actually comparable to what Torre did in Game Two, burning Beimel in the third inning. He didn't pitch well then. I think once Broxton was in, he was in, but I kind of question playing matchups with Geoff Jenkins, who really only goes from suck to suck' in that situation. Torre using the two lefties for four batters in the sixth is where he lost me. (Joe Sheehan)|
|2008-10-09 14:00:00 (link to chat)||What is the best way to objectively anaylze overall managerial effectiveness - beyond winning pct? Must I go to the grave believing that Joe Torre is a genius simply because he has had the keys to the Cadillac more than say, Buddy Bell? Could John McNamara be in the books as one of the greats had he managed better teams? Was Sparky really that smart? |
(lrgreen from NYC)
|I don't know that we've got a "best way" to objectively analyze managerial performance at all. Simply going by Pythagorean over/under or by team scoring and prevention levels doesn't tell us a hell of a lot. One has to take into account the resources that were at a manager's disposal, the various key decisions that were made in situations that were hardly static. It's a very subjective area.
That said, my namesake Chris Jaffe (no relation) did some studies regarding managers a couple years ago and made a presentation at the SABR convention that I did find interesting. Unfortunately, the links to the piece that I Googled aren't working and I don't have time to dig deeper right now, so I can't summarize it. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-09-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Let's talk about the Cubs... not books or these dead, old-time players.|
(Quentin from Chicago)
|Best team in baseball, I think, though I worry about Kerry Wood biting them in the butt in some tight postseason situation. I give a lot of credit to Lou Piniella for following through on his threat to deemphasize Fukudome a bit if he continued to struggle. Maybe I'm too used to years of Joe Torre's "It will all work out" approach to slumps, but I get impressed when a manager actually does something even vaguely assertive/proactive. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-09-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)||If you were starting a team from scratch with a 2-year window to win the World Series ('09 and '10), and there was a draft of current MLB managers, Joe Girardi would be _____ on your wish list. Joe Torre would be _____.|
(MikeM from Branford, CT)
|well off of/given a gold watch. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-09-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Did you see this recent news: Joe Torre, Ron Santo and Gil Hodges, among others have been added to the Veteran's ballot.
Any thoughts? It would be ironly appropriate if Santo got voted in by the Vets.|
(Matt from Mt. Albert, ON)
|You know, I didn't see it. Torre should go in, certainly for his WS rings, arguably for his playing career, definitely for both when you combine them under the "general wonderfulness" clause that also got people like Red Schoendienst in. Santo is a no-brainer. The arguments for Gil Hodges as a player are kind of weak, unless you want to say that his one title as manager puts him over the "general wonderfulness" line. I don't know that I do. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-09-08 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Ozzie Guillen was once called "The Smartest Player in Baseball." Why do so many people think he's a dumb manager? Didn't he win a World Series, and isn't this year's team far surpassing expectations?|
(Paranoid from Chicago)
|I don't know that people think he's a "dumb" manager. He has a certain...florid quotability that makes for people underrating one's intelligence. But he manages a bullpen well, and keeps the attention on himself and off his players--kind of a profane Joe Torre, if you will. (Derek Jacques)|
|2008-08-18 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Do you think the Dodgers have any notion of moving Hong-Chih Kuo back to the rotation next year after after a full, healthy, and effective season in long relief?|
(Connor from Chicago, IL)
|I hope so. The other alternative is making him a one-inning reliever, since the role he's currently filling doesn't really exist in most team's bullpens any longer, and has almost never existed in one of Joe Torre's. That Torre has used him this way could be evolution, but I think it's more likely a workaround.
I love Kuo though. Billngsley/Kershaw/Kuo versus Lincecum/Cain/Sanchez (or others) versus Webb/Haren/Scherzer is just a lot of fun out west. (Joe Sheehan)
|2008-08-01 14:00:00 (link to chat)||Manny Ramirez in a Joe Torre clubhouse? That should be interesting...
...Or does Joe not care anymore?|
(Nick Stone from New York, NY)
|Hey Nick! I think it will be fine so long as Manny's in the lineup instead of Pierre... He got what he asked for, so it's put-up-and-shut-up time for him. And let's face it, the only time Torre's really appeared to have had a problem tamping down on what was going on in the clubhouse was circa 2006 with regards to Alex Rodriguez, who's still bigger and more radioactive than Manny is right now. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2008-06-17 15:00:00 (link to chat)||We know the way it was handled was wrong but were the Mets right in firing Willie Randolph?|
(David from NJ)
|Well, as botched a job as it was, I don't entirely disagree with the decision to dismiss Randolph. As Rob Neyer pointed out at ESPN, there's a good argument to make that he's not the right manager at the right time for this club, even given its flimsy construction.
Managers aren't solely tacticians. They're leaders of men (some very boyish men at times). Different managers have different styles, but some seem to be better at protecting their teams by placing themselves in the line of fire and drawing the attention away from the struggles of their clubs. Ozzie Guillen is a good example of this now, as batsh*t crazy as he may seem, there's a method to his madness. Joe Torre does the same thing while exuding an aura of pure calm. Bobby Valentine, Casey Stengel, Leo Durocher, Tommy Lasorda - the styles can vary but that function is an important one.
Randolph didn't handle that aspect of the job very well. The Mets have carried a very negative aura around them since last year's collapse, and not even the acquisition of Johan Santana could erase that. At some point Randolph should have just said strong words to the effect of "Don't connect this club to last year's mess, it's a new day and we've moved on so you should too." Instead he played the race card and in doing so started the countdown on his own sell-by date. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-05-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Joe Torre has stated in the papers that he wants to give Russell Martin rest from catching but still keep him in the lineup at 3B. How will this affect Dewitt, LaRoche and Garciaparra?
(Dodger Fan from California)
|Well, first thing, I think this is an indication that Torre is *way* more creative than he's generally given credit for. But my inclination is that I'd just rather give Martin the extra time off than find another place to play him. He has a very, very good bat, but not a Mike Piazza type of bat where you're really killing yourself when he's not in your lineup. (Nate Silver)|
|2008-05-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Follow up to the Joba question, do you see Edwar Ramirez taking over as the go-to guy in the 8th? He's a freak of nature who misses more bats than anyone, as far as i can tell.|
(kimi from portsmouth)
|I think he's still living down last year's rather disastrous audition, but the good thing for him is that Joe Torre isn't here anymore and Joe Girardi wasn't here then, so the impression hasn't been allowed to calcify. It's still obvious that they're not in a hurry to trust him with high-leverage situations, but eventually they're going to run out of other choices now that Joba is out of the pen. That said, they should be auditioning more relievers in general, a point I made in today's Pinstriped Blog entry over at YES. Given that they lose every game Ross Ohlendorf appears in anyway, they might as well give someone else a chance to pitch trash time and see if they can do well and move up to greater responsibilities. They have those guys down on the farm. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-05-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Three questions:
1) For my Cubs lovin' wife, are the Northsiders for real? They've done well so far, but what are their big questions down the stretch?
2) Is there any light at the end of the Andruw Jones tunnel, or is that the sound of a diesel locomotive?
3) Joe Torre: great manager, or *greatest* manager? Seriously, look at Friday's Dodgers lineup: how could he expect to win?|
(scareduck from Still closer to Angel Stadium than Chavez Ravine)
|Cubs: for real. Their run differential is the best in all of baseball by a wide margin, and I don't see any of the other NL Central teams being able to hang with them. I think the big questions are whether Rich Hill rediscovers his control and returns to the rotation, and whether Kerry Wood can hold up as the team's closer. Barring injuries, I think they'll be OK, and even with those injuries, they have a bit of depth to either cover from within or make a trade to help themselves out.
Andruw: lots of questions about him today. The upside of his injury is that it may explain some of his struggles, it may force him to get back in shape as he rehabs, and it will give Dodger fans a bit of relief when it comes to the daily drama of the outfield lineup.
Torre: Furcal being hurt certainly takes a bite out of that lineup. But really, Torre's going to have to get over this Russell Martin-at-3B fetish, even though it's only been a total of 37 innings he's played there. It's fine to give him a breather now and then, but when you're stealing at-bats from DeWitt or LaRoche to give them to Gary Bennett, something is definitely wrong. (Jay Jaffe)
|2008-03-31 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Are you surprised that the Dodgers were able to make the right move and start Andre Ethier over Juan Pierre?|
(dblatnik from Sunnyvale, CA)
|A little bit, because Joe Torre is a sucker for the "traditional" leadoff man that Pierre represents. That said, he can be a faithless master, and Ethier will be on a short leash. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-02-28 14:00:00 (link to chat)||What kind of odds do you put on Girardi breaking at least one of the Hughes/Chamberlain/Kennedy trio?|
(SC from Philly)
|I think it's an unfair question to some extent, because for however much people point to the Josh Johnson rain-delay incident, the very nature of pitching demands that you allow for a certain number of casualties. It isn't like we're talking about Billy Martin-level usage patterns. I think the sheer odds of one of the three getting hurt are no different with Girardi skippering the club than they would be if Joe Torre was calling the shots, or most of the current crop of managers, for that matter. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2008-02-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)||How much VORM (value over replacement manager)will Girardi provide vs. Torre?|
(pondertex from NYC)
|Don't give Jon Heyman any ideas for new acronyms. Girardi's impact has yet to be seen. Joe Torre could be frustrating in his habits, especially with the bullpen and his devotion to failing veterans, but at least he didn't bunt himself to death or lead off with Tony Womack... Wait, he did. Well, only for a little while. I want to see how Girardi is in this regard. Also, I still haven't gotten over the Josh Johnson thing and his lack of explanation thereof. Girardi is obviously intelligent, but that's such a serious error of judgment as to possibly disqualify him from future employment. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-02-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Can you give me your best guess playing time estimates for the following guys:
(makewayhomer from Boston)
|Again, I don't think those guesses would be particularly valuable. You're asking me to anticipate Dusty Baker and Joe Torre etc. I know what we would like those answers to be, but it takes a lot for a vet-lovin' manager to overcome his prejudices... Soto, I think, is clear to get the bulk of ABs in Chi. It seems impossible that the Astros would finally let someone dislodge Ausmus, and I think that PECOTA is right when it speculates that Towles will be held under 400 ABs. The rest of them... stand by. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-01-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)||Should I be very very nervous about Hank Steinbrenner's new role with the Yanks?|
(David from Bronx)
|If you own the team, you get to do what you want. I'd be a bit worried about the tenuousness I'm hearing from Brian Cashman, but let's face it -- Cashman's good, but he's replaceable.
And let me be very clear here. Cashman is a good GM, perhaps great, though it's as tough to analyze him as it is Joe Torre due to the money and the great players. If I was Steinbrenner, I'd keep Cashman for as long as I could. (Will Carroll)
|2008-02-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)||I am Joe Torre. You are Juan Pierre. Make a case for playing everyday over Andre Ethier. |
(raygu1 from nj)
|I can't. It's not that Pierre can't be a valuable player, but not every day in left field. But you know that, and I think Ned Colletti does too. (David Laurila)|
|2008-01-17 14:00:00 (link to chat)||any thoughts on how Joe Torre handles the dodgers OF situation? Is he the kind of man who will let some stupid conseq. games streak stand in the way of doing what's right?|
(Roger from Pasadena)
|I'm going to be really, really interested to see how this works out, because Torre has had the advantage of so much seeming stability with the Yankees in years past that I'm not sure he'll be able to adapt to a fluid situation where he'll have elective choices over who to play. (Christina Kahrl)|
|2009-10-21 17:00:00||NLCS Game 5||I bet Joe Torre is really missing Bernie Williams just now. (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-10-21 17:00:00||NLCS Game 5||A faint glimmer of hope for Joe Torre and crew. (David Laurila)|
|2009-10-21 17:00:00||NLCS Game 5||As I said before, Phillies phans are very appreciate of what Joe Torre is doing for us this series. Wasn't it Torre who hit ARod 8th in a playoff game a few years ago or something, or am I remembering that wrong? (Matt Swartz)|
|2009-10-21 17:00:00||NLCS Game 5||As I remarked in today's Pinstriped Bible, it's also a better World Series than we would have had given the inevitable tearful/resentful Joe Torre homecoming stories. (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-10-21 17:00:00||NLCS Game 5||F. Leghorn (Denver): Is it too early to mention how excited I am about a Phillies-Yankees matchup? Pretty clearly they are the two best teams in the league. These crowds in Philly are electric.|
Well, I don't think so, but my family pre-plans funerals. So, looking at the possibility--for argument's sake--I can't say there's a better way to frame the Phillies' bid for becoming the first NL repeater since the Machine than to have them go up against Mammon in pinstripes. Or for the Yankees to take their most recent shot at tally-adding than run up against the defending pennant-winners. So rock on, it's a better narrative than seeing Manny and Joe Torre become the new superfriends to go up against the pinstriped menace. (Christina Kahrl)
|2009-10-21 17:00:00||NLCS Game 5||No one can know just how many "greased pole" jokes I'm holding back right now. And Padilla is greasing Joe Torre's pole to the World Series (how's that for a segue?) as he fails to get through the inning. Now the Dodgers will have to not only stop the bleeding but burn a reliever and pinch-hitter on this transaction. (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-10-16 13:00:00||NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game One||Shaun P. (Medway, MA): Not a question as much as a comment re: last night's game. I too did not know about Kuo's limitation, but when I saw Sherrill was going to pitch the 8th last night, I was not surprised. Joe Torre ran his bullpen by formula ("Hmm, its the 8th inning, well that means Farnsworth pitches!") for how many years with the Yanks? All that said, with Kuo unavailable, I do think Torre did the right thing. |
My beef was that Sherrill was laboring and was due for an over-correction, IE after a bunch of balls, a fat strike. (Steven Goldman)
|2009-10-16 13:00:00||NLCS Game Two/ALCS Game One||I was at that game against the Rangers where he hit Teixeira! It was hella fun razzing him, but he's been a model citizen in Dodger blue. The Joe Torre glare has worked wonders. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2009-10-15 17:00:00||2009 NLCS Game One (Phillies/Dodgers)||Joe Torre wears the goat horns; George Sherrill wears the bicycle horns. (Steven Goldman)|
|2009-10-15 17:00:00||2009 NLCS Game One (Phillies/Dodgers)||And Joe Torre gets the EPIC FAIL for bullpen handling, just like I wrote he would. (Jay Jaffe)|
|2009-10-15 17:00:00||2009 NLCS Game One (Phillies/Dodgers)||Jonathan (New York): Matt Kemp, star or superstar? |
Star now, superstar if he takes another little hop forward, which is possible given that this was just his age-24 season. It would help if he had a manager that wouldn't let him waste half his season batting in the 6/7/8 spots. I have a lot of respect for Joe Torre in many ways, but in others he reminds me of Richard Mulligan playing Custer in "Little Big Man," making oracular and nonsensical pronouncements about people's jobs ("You are a muleskinner!")that have no basis in reality. In NY, he did it with Jorge Posada, rarely batting him out of the bottom half of the order despite his power and on-base skills. Thus a Posada walk would be followed up something like a Miguel Cairo at-bat. (Steven Goldman)
|2009-10-12 15:00:00||Phillies/Rockies Playoffs Roundtable||Joe Torre loves non-hitting catchers too, which is surprising given what kind of player Torre was. One wonders if he believes he was hurting the Braves all those years. (Steven Goldman)|
|2008-10-22 16:30:00||World Series Game One||Joe Buck is famously repped by the William Morris Agency, sharing a rep with Joe Torre. (Will Carroll)|
|2008-10-13 17:00:00||NLCS Game Four||He ended up with a starting catcher that couldn't hit, either.|
Joe Torre did a lot of good things in New York, and I would have happily welcomed him back for 2008. With that said, the man did not have that good a year in LA, and his impending MotY award will be a pretty weak one. (Joe Sheehan)
|2008-10-13 17:00:00||NLCS Game Four||Wow, some criticism in the chat window.|
Steven, I think it's a combination of last year being a bit of a spike, and Joe Torre mistaking him for Cal Ripken. Martin slugged .336 after the ASB, and he caught 1238 innings plus played some third base. Torre needs to pull back on him. (Joe Sheehan)
|2008-10-13 17:00:00||NLCS Game Four||I know you fellows talked about Torre starting Pierre before, but as he comes up here, I just wanted to observe how much he loves these kinds of players. Maybe it's because he played through the 1960s when what they used to call "waterbug" types were a much more dominant species in the game, but from Rafael Ramirez to Gerald Perry to Milt Thompson to Tony Womack he just has a deep-seated desire to get back to that kind of player into the lineup, even when he has better options. He's just looking for an excuse. That's not to say he's a bad manager, but this is one of his fetishes. Chad Fonville would have been a Joe Torre regular if he had ever had him...|
...And in the time it took me to type that, Pierre singled and was caught. Gotta type faster, Stevie. (Steven Goldman)
|2008-10-02 11:00:00||Thursday Playoff Games||I think we can safely say that Joe Torre is now third on the all-time list of postseason wins for L.A. Dodger managers behind Tommy Lasorda and Walter Alston. (Jay Jaffe)|
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