Monday, April 10, 2006

Joe's Boys Club

Since it's an off day, I'm going to focus on Torre's favoritism toward fringe players for invalid reasons. Just to note, I am not talking about favoritism toward prospects - I am going to cover that on another off day - but favoritism toward guys like Ruben Sierra, Wayne Franklin, Tony Womack, and recently, Miguel Cairo.

Joe Torre like's his boys. What makes you a Joe's boy? Well, it's difficult to tell. You either have to be a) Old b) A journyman lefthander, or c) Percieved as "clutch" or "an energy player".

Disclaimer: The next part of this analysis does not rest solely on Torre's shoulders(the front office carries some blame), though he has an immense amount of influence in their execution

In 2005, the collective group of Tony Womack (329), Ruben Sierra (170) and Bubba Crosby (98) produced a total of 597 at bats, or the equivilant of one major league player playing 162 games. This group had a total 148 hits, 187 bases, and 25 walks for a batting line of .247/.289/.313.

So, essentially, Joe Torre played these players so much that it equates to playing one player every game with the batting ability of Cristian Guzman. Why did he play these players? Well, Ruben Sierra was "clutch", Tony Womack was "A speedy leadoff guy" and Bubba Crosby was "The plan B to Tony Womack in Centerfield". At least Crosby contributed defensively. Sierra and Womack were among the worst outfielders in the AL.

Now let's talk about relievers. Joe Torre was obsessed with finding a lefty reliever for the bullpen last year. He started the year with a greatly-reduced Mike Stanton. After proving that he was unfit for big spots, Brian Cashman correctly dropped him (And Buddy Groom). So who does Torre turn to? Lifelong journyman Wayne Franklin, the last guy who fell to the Yankees on waivers Alan Embree, and straight-fastballer Scott Proctor. These three relievers a pitched a total of 72 innings, allowing 51 earned runs for a collective ERA of 6.375. So, Torre gave about the equivilent playing time of Mariano Rivera (6 more innings) to a group of pitchers who were about as good as Eric Milton that year.

I am not going to go into details at this point, but Joe Torre did have options other than Franklin, Embree, Proctor, Womack, Sierra, and Crosby. One of them is still sitting on the bench in Andy Phillips.

Amount left on Joe Torre's contract: 12,874,074 dollars