Monday, he played all dumb when asked about Ken Rosenthal's report that friends of the manager have told the reporter that Torre would not be back with the Dodgers next year unless the ownership's "penny-pinching circus" ends. Rosenthal suggested that Torre could be in demand as the manager for the Mets, Braves, or Cubs, as well as other teams.
Torre denied all, telling Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, "Obviously they're not friends of mine." Torre insisted, "I don't really allow those conversations out of my home. I haven't made up my mind and won't until closer to the end of the season."
Oh really? Joe doesn't know what he's going to do next year? Because that's not what he told Joel Sherman when his Dodgers were in town last month.
Sherman wrote in his New York Post about what he called Torre's "plight" with the "penny-pinching" (there's that phrase again!) Dodgers. In the piece, Sherman said Torre "told me that he knows right now what he wants to do, but was not going to announce it until later in the season." Busted!
That wasn't the only disingenuous comment Torre said in the MLB.com interview. As for the report that he might be managing elsewhere this year, he had this to say:
"Must be the same friends," he said. "I refuse to say absolutely, but I have to say it's very, very remote that ever happens. I certainly don't anticipate, at age 70, searching around for another managing job."Weasel words alert! Of course he doesn't "anticipate" searching for another job. He figures that some sucker (err, I mean owner) will want his great managerial skills for their team, and come looking for him! (Squawker Jon, don't say I didn't warn you if you end up with him with the Mets!)
It's amazing how many gushing "poor Joe" stories have been written by the media this year, usually just around the time Joe comes to town to privately spin his tale of woe. Joel Sherman said that Torre "has too much invested in his image as an unflappable statesman of sports to publicly explain his disillusionment with the Dodger ownership embarrassment," but that the manager "is clearly annoyed that promises about payroll and the kinds of players the Dodgers would bring in have evaporated." Boo hoo!
Can you imagine the grief a player would get if he spent so much time obsessing during the season about where he's going to be next year? And last time I checked, Torre was getting $4 million this season to manage the Dodgers. Not talk about his Kentucky Derby horse, or feed stories to the media about his future. It sure doesn't look like he's earning his keep with the Dodgers, even if he is blaming it all on the McCourts.
But Torre is such a master manipulator of the press that not only does he never get called on this, but the media will continue to sing his praises. It's amazing how much Teflon Torre can still get away with.
Remember how he denied he was after Grady Little's Dodger job after he left the Yankees, until he took the job? Here's a recap from when he appeared on David Letterman in October 2007:
"Maybe Dodgers, maybe Angels?" Letterman asked.
"Well, the Dodgers have a contract, I mean, a manager," Torre replied. "The Angels have a very good manager [Mike Scioscia]."
Torre went on to say: "That's a bad question to ask. I know what's been rumored. The local paper today is talking about going to LA. There has been a time or two that something that has been in the newspaper hasn't been true."
What a grade A phony Torre was - and is. Too bad the media is still too in the tank for Torre to notice.
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