NEW YORK -- After all he had accomplished -- four World Series titles, 12 straight years in the playoffs, almost certain entry into the Hall of Fame -- and after all the indignities, this was one Joe Torre wasn't going to stand for.
He wasn't going to take a pay cut from the New York Yankees, no matter that he still would have been the highest-paid manager in baseball, and he certainly wasn't going to prove himself all over again.
Torre walked away Thursday, turning down a $5 million, one-year contract --
$2.5 million less than he made this season, when the Yankees failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs for the third straight year.
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner had publicly stated before the final game of their divisional series with the Cleveland Indians that if Torre didn't take the team to the World Series this year that they would have to seriously consider whether Torre should continue to be their manager. Obviously, four World Series titles and 12 straight playoff appearances (including overcoming a horrible 21-29 start this year to make it to the postseason) was not enough for the Yankees. Their offer was nothing less than a slap in Torre's face and Joe wasn't going to stand for it.
Joe Torre is by far one of the best managers in baseball and a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. He doesn't need the aggravation associated with managing the Yankees. He'll no doubt end up managing somewhere else next year. Wherever it is, they'll be much better off for having Joe Torre as their manager.
As for the Yankees, their dominance in the American League is over. They will certainly go downhill from here. It may take a while but they'll eventually realize what a hugh mistake they have made.