Bye, Joe

Torre turns down offer to return as Yanks’ skipper. Not much of a surprise that Joe Torre is leaving the Yankees, although the style raised my eyebrows. The Yankees’ not-really offer of a one-third reduction in base pay was, quite obviously, designed to shuffle Torre out the door without their saying he wasn’t wanted.
At the same time, though, this is a business, and Torre did not meet the Yankees’ business goals. For seven straight seasons he has been (over)paid to repeat his performance from 1996-2000, and the Yanks have a string of tough and not-so-tough playoff defeats to show for it. Tough-love Yankee fans will cite Torre’s overreliance on too few pitchers and some questionable decisions down the stretch, and they wouldn’t be wrong. Example: this season’s decision to play Chien-Ming Wang on short rest in their last game instead of the prepared Mike Mussina. Mussina had won his last three starts while Wang had been allowing nearly a run per inning, but Torre’s confidence outweighed the statistics. Result: Cleveland is battling Boston for the American League title instead of New York. Anyone making bad decisions like that at an ordinary job might be subject to far worse than a pay cut to $5 million.
So, like most fans, and probably the Yankees organization itself, I am both sad to see Torre go and in agreement that it’s a pretty fair decision. Many other intriguing decisions await this team.
As an aside, I found the online commentary interesting when reading about this news. SportsFilter has a remarkably well-considered dialog running, while the ESPN article linked above has, as of this writing, 1702 comments in the “conversation” area. Seventeen hundred comments in 12 hours! Is that a “conversation?” More like a cacophony, and interesting to note. I’d expect a community area might suffer under such mass but people just keep posting.

Happiness, too

Happiness, too, originally uploaded by netwert.

The beach at the Chatham Bars Inn, Chatham, MA, October 2007.

Turns of phrase

Cancel Computer, Daring Fireball. First I wanted to blog this post for one fantastic quote: “To be trustworthy is to do what you say you will do; to do whatever someone else wishes you to do is to be obsequious.”
Then I got an even better, if more irreverent, one: “It’s hard to work the concept of a ‘software update’ into a cow analogy, but here goes: You willingly purchase a cow, which, the purveyor of said cow makes explicitly clear, is intended only to be used to produce milk. You buy it and figure out a way to make cheese. Two months later the purveyor of the cow offers you a pill, free of charge, which, if administered to the cow, will result in slightly better-tasting milk, but which pill comes with a stern and plainly worded warning that, if administered to a cow that had been used to produce cheese (which, recall, was made clear from the outset the cow was not intended for), the pill might kill the cow, and that, even if it doesn’t kill the cow, will prevent all previously known cheese-making hacks from working. Further….”
Great pull quotes aside, it’s a nice bit of analysis, too, and John Gruber is the wisest (if unapologetically biased) Apple observer around. So we’ll just link to the whole post.
Cancel Computer, Daring Fireball