Friday, June 10, 2005

Win one for Torre

Ian O'Connor at USA Today notes that playing for Joe Torre has been the consistent refrain of superstars when asked for a reason why they decided to take Steinbrenner's money and come to the crucible of New York. Torre has been a bedrock for professionalism and decency in the Bronx for ten years. His behavior, compared with contemporaries like Larry Brown, Bill Parcells and Phil Jackson, has been exemplary and beyond reproach. Finally, players know that Torre will be in their corner when the Boss comes down hard.

One of the best examples of Torre's influence is Ruben Sierra. He was described as the sole tenant in Torre's miniscule dog house; he once famously remarked that he didn't understand the Yankees - "All they care about is winning." He was sent packing. Years later, wiser and in the downside of his career, he asked Torre to come back as a bench player, Torre gracefully accepted and Sierra returned to contribute and be a good influence.

Torre, it can be said, brings honor to anyone and any organization for whom he works. The 2005 Yankees as a team, and many of the stars, have horrifically underperformed. With their season in serious jeopardy, they can repay some of Torre's dedication and dignity by winning this weekend in St. Louis where Torre was once manager.

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