The Yanks should finish the 2008 season with about 89 wins in the toughest division in baseball. The Dodgers, who play in AAA (I’m sorry I meant the NL West), will finish with about 85 wins. Which team had the better season? Joe Torre will go into the Hall of Fame one day as a Yankee. He was one of the best ever at managing a clubhouse and he has four World Series rings to prove it. That being said, the important question is how much does a manager really matter? Do his in-game decisions account for two, maybe three wins? These are professionals we are talking about here. On top of this, Girardi has said all the right things, managed internal disputes quickly, and managed the bullpen well (something Torre struggles to do). The one reason the Yanks are not making the playoffs is health. They had a ridiculously long list of injuries to key players (Wang, Posada, Matsui, Hughes). In 2009, with Sabathia thrown in the mix, another year of development for their young arms, and those key players returning to full strength, the Yanks are poised for a strong campaign in 2009 under Joe Girardi.
Kyle BlumMaroon-News Staff
As good of a manager as Joe Torre is, he would not have been able to save the Yankee’s season. The Bronx Bombers simply played in too great a division. Far and away the best division in baseball this season, the AL East boasted four teams that are well above .500, and two of the American League’s 90 win teams. The Yankees even have a four game edge on the Dodgers, who play in the worst division in the National League. Let’s face it, the Yankees are getting old, and the competition this year was stiff. Joe Torre would not have made a difference.
Mike McmasterSports Editor
Only the Yankees would let go of a manager that had led them to the playoffs twelve years in a row. The Final Season excluded a man who built the last great Yankee Dynasty. This year, under Joe Girardi, the Yankees will miss the playoffs. Of course, a perfect storm of misfortunes made up of injuries, controversies, and surprise competition from the Rays caused the Yankees to miss their mark, and it would be hard to put all of that blame on Girardi. But the Yankees have faced injuries before, and in the face of adversity Joe Torre teams never rolled over. Girardi and the Yanks may have more wins than Torre and the Dodgers, but they also have talent. When the going got tough this fall, the Dodgers fought back, and the Yankees fell down. Maybe it wouldn’t have made the difference, but the Yankees would have been better off with Joe Torre this season.
Jon LampertSports Editor
Joe Torre had a great run with the Bombers, but I believe that the role of the manager is always overplayed in baseball, for better and worse. When a team is winning, the manager always gets too much credit. However, a losing team is not usually due to the manager. I think Joe Girardi is a very competent manager and a good fit for the Yankees. He did all that he could, but unfortunately, things just did not break right for the Yankees this year. They fell victim to a slew of injuries and simply played inconsistently all year. Joe Torre was a good manager, but he did not win four World Series championshipson his own. He would have done nothing to help the Yankees win this year.