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Steinbrenner: Torres job on the line tonight


harris5214
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http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2007/news/story?id=3052904

NEW YORK -- Win or else! That was George Steinbrenner's message to Joe Torre before the New York Yankees played the Cleveland Indians on Sunday night.

With the Yankees trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five, first-round playoff series, Steinbrenner reverted to the blustering boss of old and said Torre likely wouldn't return as manager unless New York reaches the AL championship series for the first time in three years.

"His job is on the line," the owner was quoted in Sunday's editions of The Record of New Jersey. "I think we're paying him a lot of money. He's the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don't think we'd take him back if we don't win this series."

Torre was hired before the 1996 season and led the Yankees to four World Series titles in his first five seasons but none since. New York last reached the World Series in 2003, wasted a 3-0 lead to Boston in the 2004 ALCS, then was eliminated by the Angels and Detroit in the first round the last two years.

"You're not surprised by whatever comes down the pike," Torre said. "You don't always get used to it, but you understand if you want to work here -- and there's a great deal of upside to working here -- that there are certain things you have to deal with. We've had ultimatums during the season, early in the season. This obviously is down to a game we need to win, and you'd like to believe everybody's trying to pull in the same direction."

Torre has led the Yankees to 12 consecutive postseason appearances, winning 10 AL East titles and two wild-card berths. His 1,173 regular-season wins are second among Yankees managers behind Joe McCarthy's 1,460.

In the final season of his current contract, Torre is being paid $7 million. He hasn't decided whether he would want to return but has seemed open to it in recent weeks.

"It's too early for me to address that because, you know, the most important thing for me right now is winning Game 3," he said.

Sitting in his pinstriped uniform pants with a blue Yankees windbreaker and an NY cap, he matter-of-factly answered questions for 12 minutes about 2½ hours before game time. He found out about Steinbrenner's comments when he arrived at Yankee Stadium.

"I choose not to read the papers and stuff when we don't do well," Torre said. "I jump in there when we're doing well."

Steinbrenner changed managers 20 times from 1973-95 and nearly fired Torre after last year's four-game elimination. Torre had a humorous response when asked whether his job would be safe in the Yankees did come back.

"Till the next series, right?" he said.

"You have seen managers who have been here before me. I don't think any of them have been on easy street as far as the day-in, day-out operations here," Torre went on. "So whether I think it's right, wrong, fair, foul or whatever is really not the point at this point in time. I'll save all that stuff for later on when there's really nothing left for me to do here."

Steinbrenner also criticized umpire Bruce Froemming for not stopping play when insects invaded the field during Game 2 in Cleveland on Friday. Rookie reliever Joba Chamberlain threw two wild pitches that allowed Cleveland to tie the game in the eighth, and the Indians went on to win 2-1 in 11 innings.

Froemming called it "just a little irritation." Steinbrenner profanely dismissed Froemming's explanation.

"He won't umpire our games anymore," Steinbrenner said.

The 68-year-old Froemming -- the longest-tenured umpire in major league history -- is retiring after this season. The Yankees complained to baseball commissioner Bud Selig.

"[selig] just said, 'That's in the umpires' hands.' ... It was terrible. It messed up the whole team, [Derek] Jeter, all of them," Steinbrenner told the paper.

Steinbrenner also predicted Alex Rodriguez will remain with the Yankees. A-Rod has the right to opt out of the final three years of his record $252 million, 10-year contract after the World Series and become a free agent.

"I think we'll re-sign him," Steinbrenner told the paper. "I think he's going to have a good run the rest of the [postseason]. I think he realizes New York is the place to be, the place to play. A lot of this [postseason] is laying on his shoulders, you know, but I think he's up to it."

The 77-year-old Steinbrenner, who has appeared to be more frail in recent years, said he will make the decisions on Torre and Rodriguez.

"I have full control," Steinbrenner said.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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I dont blame Torre if we lose the series (unless something he does 2 nite really screws it up) but he has to be held accountable.

2003-2006 our team has been vastly underachieving, esp in the playoffs and Torre has had a huge hand in that. This year, he has not (thus far) in the playoffs done us in, but he has to be held accountable. Somebody has to. There is no excuse for not winning a WS the last 7 years. None. This team has been too talented not to, and Torre has majorly screwed us in some big spots (03' WS comes to mind).

Here's to hoping we win the whole thing this year! :deshade:

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Since the colllpase in 04 the Yankees post season record is 3-11.

Think about that for a second.

Lost last three against the Sox

Lost to the Angels in five

Lost to the Tigers in four

Down 2-0 right now to the Indians.

If you were an owner I think that would be in the back of your mind.

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Wow, Steinbrenner is a douchebag. With that comment he has successfully guaranteed that his beloved team won't even sniff the ALCS. Why don't you just tell him that you off his wife and kids too. You know, really put the pressure on him.

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They interviewed the writer who did the phone interview, I was listening to it while driving back from the game today.

He said that GS didnt say he would definitely fire him if they lost, but the writer said that it would probably happen based on what GS did say.

GS was also really p1ssed at Torre for not making a bigger stink to stop the game during the bug invasion, and that even Jeter was being badly affected by it, and he is the most focused professional out there.

The 77-year-old Steinbrenner, who has appeared to be more frail in recent years,

The guy said he thought of this before he called GS, but since he answered the phone, the writer went through with the interview. Apparently his health is definitely a concern for those around him.

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