This is my conclusion about Torre in the past two seasons' playoffs -- he's lost his way. Why? Check out the failed moves in last night's game, add to that the Jeff Weaver fiasco from Game 4 of the WS and Torre's made enough bad moves in recent playoff series to make Phil Garner and Tony LaRussa feel comfortable if the Yankees get to the Series.
Failure #1 = Top 5th. ARod walks against the infamouslybadatholdingrunners Pedro. Arod does not steal. Sheffield hits into DP; Yanks still trail 2-1.
Failure #2 = Bottom 7th -- Yanking Moooooooooooooooosina. The Mooooooooooose had thrown only 105 pitches when he was pulled after allowing Bellhorn's leadoff double. Yanks led 4-2 and were nine outs away from the Series with Damon and an iffy Cabrera next, and fatboy1 after that. That means: LEAVE IN THE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE. Torre's mistakes here are twofold: (1) he yanks Moose when the 'pen is more tired than Moose because FlashMo both threw 2+ innings the night before; (2) Torre brings in Sturtze, which means he will HAVE to bring in another pitcher to face fatboy1 because Manny has 8 HR off Sturtze, and an average over .350, in less than 40 AB. Sure 'nuff, Gordon has to finish off fatboy1.
Failure #3 = Bottom 8th -- again two failures. If Mo CAN go two innings here, he should. Two-run lead, get us home. If not, then leave Gordon in AFTER he had f----d up the inning by allowing a solo homer (4-3), walk and single (first-and-third, none out). Why? Bringing Rivera in at that point is an easy blown save for Mo -- further piercing the veil of invincibility Mo had prior to this postseason (he's 2/5 in saves this postseason and two of the blows were inheriting snafus by Gordon) and just gives the Sawx more confidence.
Failure #4 = Top 13th -- not running for Sheffield. Did Torre learn NOTHING from the bottom of the 8th in game 5 and the bottom of the ninth in game 4 about how a speedy basestealer can f--- with pitchers' heads? Run Lofton for Sheffield with Wakefield on the hill and Varitek catching. Varitek is not Wake's regular valet, as his 3! passed balls this inning attested. If Lofton steals second, the latter two PBs get him home.
Torre had the golden touch from 1996-2001 and never made this many foulups in one POSTSEASON. His first big one was game 2 of the '02 ALDS where he left El Duque in two batters too long instead of bringing in Rivera for the 2-inning save. The Yanks lost game 2 and went out in 4; since then, Torre's touch has been bronze, at best. That must change if the Yanks hope to get to the Series.