If the last three days of secret meetings in Tampa were part of the movie, "The Godfather", Don Corleone would have kissed Joe Torre
on both cheeks, told him he was forever a part of the family, and then
given him an offer he couldn’t refuse. But, Don Corleone isn’t the boss
of the Yankees, and while these meetings were very much about family,
that family is not the Corleones. In the real life story, the name of
the family is Steinbrenner, and in their universe all good things must
come to an end. So, yesterday they gave Joe Torre an offer he had to
For the first time in 12 years, someone other than Torre will be
filling out the New York Yankees’ lineup card. The expectation is that
HGH (Hank, George, and Hal) will name Torre’s bench coach and Yankees’
legend Don Mattingly as the new manager of the New York Yankees. The announcement could come as early as tomorrow.
Why Joe Had To Say, "NO!"
What Joe Torre wanted was simple. He wanted at least two more
guaranteed years, so he could have the honor of managing the Yankees
when the new stadium opens in 2009. After 12 seasons at the helm for the Bombers, and with 12 postseason appearances, 6 World Series appearances, and
4 championship rings, he felt he had earned that right. But, the
Steinbrenners felt differently. The contract they offered to Torre was
a one-year make good deal for $5 million with incentives that would
make the deal worth $8 million should the Yankees reach the World
Series. Torre would have the option of coming back in 2009 if he
reached all the incentives.
In other words, Torre would have to take a pay cut (from $7.5
million) unless he succeeded in the postseason, and since there would
be no guarantee he would manage in 2009, he would have to manage in 2008
with the honorable title of "lame duck".
Yankees Offer To Motivate Joe — Cabbie’s Rant!
Yankees’ president Randy Levine said that all the members of the Yankees’ brass were "unanimous" in their desire to bring Joe Torre back as manager. Later, he called the Yankees’ offer to Torre "extremely fair". EXTREMELY FAIR! This is the type of statement a lawyer makes during a
divorce settlement, not in a unanimous decision to extend the tenure of
possibly the most successful manager in Yankees’ history.
If that wasn’t bad enough, Levine used a more expanded rationale for
the Yankees’ incentive laden one-year offer when he said, "We
thought that we need to go to a performance-based model, having nothing
to do with Joe Torre’s character, integrity, or ability. We just think
it’s important to motivate people." Telling Joe Torre he
has to reach the World Series in order to keep his job is not
motivation, it’s pure idiocy. Do they really think Joe would try less
hard if he had been guaranteed 2009? If they do, then that is a direct
knock on his character, integrity and ability.
Here’s an idea for Levine and the Steinbrenners- if the Yankees’ brass really believes they "need to go to a performance-based model",
how about trying that in the upcoming A-Rod negotiations. Offer him a
one-year extension to his already existing contract. Give him another
$27 million and then tell him they’ll extend him year-to-year, adding a
couple of million should the Yankees reach the World Series. Try it
with Posada too. "Hey Jorge, here’s a one-year deal for $12 million.
We’ll extend you again next year if we win it all." See how fast you
lose all your free agents. See how long it takes the Tampa Bay Devil
Rays to pass your *ss in the standings. See how long it takes before
the crosstown Mets and their new manager in 2009, Joe Torre, take over
the back pages (I hope you’re listening Omar Minaya).
It is a tad ironic that the latest trademark of Yankees’ success, Joe Torre, was let go on the same date, October 18th, that George Steinbrenner
brought the glory back to the Bronx 30 years ago (1977) – when the
Yankees won their first World Series in 15 years. The mantle has now
been passed and hopefully for Hank and Hal, as the new Steinbrenner era
gets under way sans George, it won’t be that long before the Yankees
win another one.
Carl the Cabbie
*The name of this running column has changed from "Dear Herm"
I warned you. The charade is up! Even a one-eyed blind mouse could see
this comin’. Herm was out the door in early November, (Read my "Dear Herm" from 11/21) the moment Vermeil started singing like a swan. Herm Edwards‘
marriage with the Chiefs has been the worst kept secret since Larry
Brown blatently two-faced his way out of Detroit. Herm has a long
history with the Chiefs’ organization and his loyalties with them run
deep. Former coach **** Vermeil gave him his start in the NFL by signing him as an undrafted free-agent for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1977. President Carl Peterson
gave Herm his first coaching break in 1989 when Herm joined the Chiefs
as a participant in the NFL’s Minority Coaching Fellowship program. He
became an assistant under long time Chiefs’ coach Marty Scottenheimer and had several different coaching roles between 1990-1995. From 1996-2001 he was a lead assistant coach under Tony Dungy in Tampa Bay. The Jets hired him in 2001 after Al Groh resigned.
So, while Herm is busy folding his pajamas, all that’s left to figure out
is how high a draft pick the Chiefs will give the Jets for them to let
Herm walk. I say that Woody Johnson (Jets’ owner) should tip
his cap to Herm, thank him for his dedication, wish him all the best,
and then tell Peterson, ‘Herm is all yours… Oh! And by the way, we’ll
take your 2nd and 3rd round draft picks for the next two years’ (the
length left on Herm’s present contract with the Jets). Hey, business is
business. We gave up a first rounder and three other picks to get Bill Parcells and we got a first rounder back (Shaun Ellis) in the Bill Bellichek fiasco— Peterson should be overjoyed to get his darling Herm for such a bargain basement rate.
It’s a very sweet story for KC, I can just read the headlines now— ‘Longtime
assistant returns home’, ‘Grand Master coach **** Vermeil passes the
mantle’, ‘KC turns from Verm to Herm’. Here in New York though, you’re more likely to read— ‘Herm the Worm slinks out of town’, ‘Benedict
Edwards’, ‘Thanks for Nuthin!‘
When the New York media first got wind of conversations between
Edwards and Peterson in early November, Herm’s snippy responses to
their inquiries was down right shameful. Granted, it’s a tough position
to be in—talking to a another team about being their new head coach
while you still have half a season to coach with your current team. I
mean what was Herm going to say to his players in the lockeroom, "Guys,
I know we’ve lost our two top quarterbacks, our center, our left
tackle, our right guard, our strongside linebacker, the strength coach,
the waterboy and Curtis isn’t feeling too well. It’s tough being 2-6
and the possibilities of us making the playoffs are pretty much, well,
that’s not important. What is important is that I believe in you! I
want you to play your godda*n hearts out there. Not for Me, not for
Curtis or Chad, not for the playoffs or the waterboy, but for pride!
Pride in yourselves, pride in each other and pride in this team. Oh,
and by the way, I’m hopping a flight to KC the minute the season’s
over, don’t take it personal, they’re just a better team."
Well, it’s time to bid adieu, so these are my final words to you Herm,
I wish you the best in Hank Stram
land and commend you for your good karma— you are darn lucky Woody
doesn’t rake you, Peterson and Vermeil over the coals for breaking the
NFL’s tampering rules. And please stop flashing that dopey smirk of yours, it waxes insincere. I hope that Woody gets a first rounder for you;
I hope that the draft pick we get in return becomes an All-Pro and
helps us knock you out of the playoffs next year; I hope that the
Chiefs’ offense becomes as predictable as you made the Jets’ offense;
and I hope that the next coach the Jets hire (Giants’ defensive
coordinator, Tim Lewis would put some bite back into the Jet’s
snout) is more than just a good talker, but is also a good
coach—Jets’ fans deserve it! Goodbye Mr. Edwards and GOOD RIDDANCE!
**You can read all the "Dear Herm" letters by going to the ‘Coaching’ category of this blog.
I would like to apologize for my rabid overreactions over the past few weeks. While I still hold true to all the grievences I’ve written you in the past, I tip my cap to you. It looks like your players haven’t jumped ship. The Jets never quit and if not for that bogus intentional grounding call, Mike Nugent would be slathered in Dom Perignon right about now. Ya know Herm, I think you’re actually a good leader, a real good man, but I do think we would benefit by bringing in a new coach next season. Anyway, great job this week. Martin ran well, and Bollinger was a catylist. But, I’ve got to give the Jets Player of the Game to Nugent. So, he falls short by a lousy foot on a 53-yard Field Goal (FG) attempt on the final play of the game—Nugent kicked his heart out and accounted for most of the Jets’ offense on the night.
Jets Player of the Game Week 12
FGM FGA LNG (Yds) PTS
4 5 (45) 13
The Jets have become completely unwatchable. I know, you know and everyone in Kansas City knows you’re going to replace **** Vermeil as the Chiefs’ head coach at season’s end. Your Larry Brownesque comments this past week about your desire to remain as the Jets’ coach next year were so duplicitous that I hear Lewis Libby prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has been hired by Jets’ owner Woody Johnson to look into perjury charges should you weasel your way out of your contract. You said you want to be here in your press conference but, you kept saying that the most important thing is that you leave this team better than it was before you got here, so the next coach has something to build on. Well, thanks for nothing Herm, because whoever takes over is going to have to start from scratch. Next time you want to boost morale on a team that has been decimated by injuries, try zipping your lip.
Notes to general manager, Terry Bradaway— Fire Herm before he has a chance to jump ship; hire Jim Fassel (a real stand up guy with an actual offensive gameplan); draft USC star running back Reggie Bush if he’s still on the board and go trade for Chargers’ quarterback (QB) Phillip Rivers, or Eagles’ QB Mike McMahon, or Falcons’ QB Matt Schaub. Let’s get this ship righted the minute the season ends. Jets’ fans deserve the best and one thing I’ve learned over the last few seasons is that Herm Edwards is not the best.
Some readers might think I am being especially tough on Herm, but it’s only because I can’t stand coaches who check out when the going gets tough. If the Chiefs’ job does open up next season, as it appears it will, and Herm decides to stay with the Jets, I will eat my words and post a personal apology to Mr. Edwards on this blog. As a betting man, I would say the odds of that happening are a million to one.
Week 12 Jets Player of the Game Week 11
My heart goes out to you and Gang Green. Injuries have ravaged your roster, so I don’t blame you for not having all cylinders working. But, I still must take umbrage with you.
First, I commend you for keeping the ranks motivated- everyone played their hearts out on Sunday. The problem I have with you is strategic. I see no benefit in playing old man Testaverde. I hope you have finally figured out that Brooks Bollinger must play. Here is a chance to develop a quality and fiery backup quarterback for next season. If you want to get creative, go talk to the Chargers and gage their interest in dealing quarterback, Phillip Rivers. I’ll bet a number one pick and a quality defender like Bryan Thomas could get it done.
That brings me to my second beef with you- creativity. Herm, the one obvious area that Brooks gives you an upgrade in over your other quarterbacks is speed. This guy can scramble. He is probably one of the top five best scramblers in the NFL. Call some roll outs, how about a play action or two. Your play calling on the last drive when the Jets had first and goal from the Chargers three yard line was about as creative as a couple of kids playing hide ‘n seek with their eyes open— pass left, run up the middle, pass left, pass right. Come on man, pitch it out, boot leg your quarterback, at least have him roll out and give him an option to run it in. Jeez Herm, even Paul Hackett was laughing at you.
Finally, hire a draft guy for your war room. Your net gain from your top two draft picks ends up being a worthless tight end, Doug Jolley and a mediocre kicker, Mike Nugent. O’k, you scored with kick returner, Justin Miller but I have a feeling that was just dumb luck. And, by the way, have you checked out the type of season Santana Moss is having in Washington?
Week 10 Jets Player of the Game Week 9
QB- Brooks Bollinger– COMP ATT YDS TDS
11 20 106 2
I understand it’s been just one game, and I do not believe the Jets are nearly as bad a team as they looked Sunday, but I do have a few grievances:
I tought you guys fired Paul Hackett! I was hitting about .800 on your play calling and I didn’t do any scouting like Vermeil and his crew.
Do you really think Penningtons’ arm is as healthy as you say? Because it looked like he was slinging a shotput out there.
And lastly, do you really believe Doug Jolley was worth a 1st Rd. Pick?
WEEK 2 Jets Player of the Game Week 1
TE- Chris Baker– REC. YDS. TDS