Is The Old Boss Back?
"We plan absentee ownership as far as running the Yankees is concerned. We're not going to pretend we're something we aren't. I'll stick to building ships."
--George Steinbrenner to The New York Times, 1/4/1973
During his first twenty-three seasons as owner of the New York Yankees, George Steinbrenner changed managers twenty times. Like your classic serial dater, The Boss refused to settle down. He was on-again, off-again with Billy Martin five times. He briefly tied his fortune to guys named Dallas (Green) and Bucky (Dent) and Stump (Merrill). When Steinbrenner jettisoned the popular Buck Showalter after the 1995 season, the New York tabloids were furious ("Clueless Joe," read the NY Post headline, referring to Buck's replacement "“ Joe Torre).
But four World Series rings and eleven playoff appearances later, Torre and Steinbrenner are still together. For now, that is. A seven-game losing streak (broken Saturday) has the marriage on the rocks. Yankee pitchers have been routinely shelled, and the injuries are mounting. "I think [Steinbrenner] is going to wait and see what happens this weekend, and then we'll see," said Howard Rubenstein, The Boss' spokesman.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
When I started this post, the idea was to transition into a list of Steinbrenner's suspect decisions. Though I guess firing a struggling manager in his twelfth season can't really be called hasty. I'm a big Torre fan, and own a #6 Joe Torre t-shirt. As much as I'd hate to see him go, he has made a number of questionable moves this season. So let's wait until tomorrow to break down The Best of The Boss.