Archive for Sunday, April 29, 2007

New York skipper back on hot seat

April 29, 2007


— Now in his 12th season as manager of the New York Yankees, Joe Torre has been on the hot seat before. That's what happens when you work for George Steinbrenner - no matter how many World Series rings you've won.

So Torre hardly sounded surprised Saturday when he started getting peppered with questions about his job security. The Yankees began the day on a seven-game losing streak, their longest since the 2000 season, and one New York tabloid reported Steinbrenner was already fuming about the team's 8-13 start.

"That's what you understand when you take on this job," Torre said.

He went through the same thing when the Yankees opened 11-19 in 2005. Then, last year, Steinbrenner was said to be ready to fire Torre after New York was upset by the Detroit Tigers in the playoffs - its second consecutive first-round exit.

Many think the 76-year-old owner was talked out of that move by other club executives. Regardless, Torre was brought back in the final season of his contract. But an April slump has left many wondering if he's on a short leash.

"I've got a job to do. I certainly don't go out there managing to try to keep my job," said Torre, calm and collected as usual. "I can't concern myself with what might happen.

"The losing is much worse than the questioning, so don't worry about it. Knock yourselves out."

Steinbrenner isn't saying anything publicly - yet.

"So far not. We'll see after this weekend," spokesman Howard Rubenstein said Saturday. "You can imagine how he feels."


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