Wall Street Journal: Bear Stearns > Joe Torre

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torre.jpgIn today's Wall Street Journal, Darren Everson tackles the eternal question, "Is Joe Torre worth the money?" When it comes down to brass tacks, $13 million over 3 years is a bit much for any manager, especially one with a such a dubious rep among baseball's ever increasing brotherhood of statheads. But I'd bet a lot of the lunkheads reading their WSJ over a steaming hot cup of homeowner blood are "results guys" and need these numbers broken down for them.

In close games, in which a manager's decisions in baserunning, pitching and substitutions tend to make the most difference, Mr. Torre's teams have struggled in recent years. Over the past three seasons, his record in games tied after the sixth inning is 23-31 -- a .426 winning percentage, compared with .588 in all games. Several of his peers, including Ron Gardenhire of the Minnesota Twins and Willie Randolph of the New York Mets, have performed better in close games.

There's also some evidence that Mr. Torre negatively impacts the performance of his players. Last fall, David Gassko, a former major-league consultant and a contributor to the Hardball Times Web site, did a study of major-league managers through 2006, determining how many additional games a manager won or lost for his team per season. Of the 422 managers he studied, Mr. Torre's score was the sixth-worst.

Everson hedges some of his bets (I believe the financial term for this is 'hedging your bets) by pulling out the intangibles card (I beieve the financial term for this is 'bullshit'), and in the process completely disgusts me by inserting the following quote into an article about Joe Torre.

"There's something in jelly that makes it jelly," says Mr. (Bill) James, senior baseball-operations adviser with the Boston Red Sox. "Without that, it's runny grape juice with a lot of sugar in it. That's what the manager is. He's not the thing you taste, not the thing you're really trying to get to; he's the thing that holds it together."

You're goddamned right Joe Torre isn't the thing I taste. If you need me I'll be pouring bleach in my ear trying to erase that quote from my memory.

Do I think he's worth the money? The simple answer is no, if want the most wins for your money. But in a town like LA where a big name goes a long away, I think the answer is, 'meh... maybe.'

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8 Comments

so Joe Torre = gelatin
got it.

Over the past three seasons, his record in games tied after the sixth inning is 23-31

The small sample size alarm is going off.

Ah crap, I love Bill James. How is he so woefully unenlightened as to a) the existence of pectin and b) the proper procedure for not gruesomely mangling a metaphor?

"I personally injected Bill James with pectin in 1989." -- Jose

+1 Dave

If Torre plays Pierre more than Ethier, he's not worth shit.

If Torre gets the Dodgers into the World Series, I can't wait to read about it in the Post.

mmmmm.....homeowner blood is tasty*

*be careful though...drink too much and you'll end up stupid like them.

So is Joe Torre made from ground up horse hooves?

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