The Yankees management team is not dumb. They proved it again yesterday with the way they structured the deal they presented to manager Joe Torre.
The situation was pretty clear. They had to cut his pay because George Steinbrenner said Torre was out. Not showing some deduction would suggest that Steinbrenner--at a time when his sons are now really at the helm--really has no power at all. The Yankees couldn't show that to the world. So what they needed to do was show their disapproval with Torre and at the same time make fans believe that they are treating the guy that brought them to four World Series titles with respect.
That's the deal they offered him. In reality, it was a bigger deal than he had today. As you've heard by now, it was a $5 million base and a bonus at every round of the playoffs, which brought his total salary to $8 million.
Well, if Steinbrenner and the Yankees brass every year expected Torre to win the World Series, how is this really any different?
What is different is that the Yankees offered the salary in a bonus format, which Yankees fans know they never ever do--because they expect excellence. We hear this every year when we see how many Yankees were on the All-Star roster and how, unlike other players, they didn't get rewarded.
I have to be honest. I thought Joe would take the job. Is the bonus structure offered really putting that much more pressure on him? Please. And about that whole respect thing that people are congratulating him for shoving it back in the Yankees face, the bottom line is that in the end they offered a bigger deal.
Let's wait to hear what his side of the story is today because it might be different.