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So you're George Steinbrenner and you just blew more than $200 million on a team that didn't advance past the first round of the playoffs. What are you to do? Do you fire your manager, who has guided the team through 11 years, to six World Series appearances, and four Championships? Or do you direct your general manager to make a roster move to cut the dead weight that has underperformed in the playoffs? The Daily News first sreported that Steinbrenner was unhappy with Joe Torre and that the manager would be given a chance to resign first before he was fired and replaced with former Yankee manager Lou Piniella.

In Torre's tenure with the Yankees, he has a 1079-and-699 record. The big "but" is that the last three seasons' teams he has coached have failed to even reach the World Series. And in an organization where winning the World Series is paramount, it's no surprise that Torre's future with the Yankees is in jeopardy. It probably doesn't help that the Red Sox won their World Series and the Mets are still alive in the playoffs.

If Steinbrenner and the Yankees do part ways with Torre, are they making the right move? Are they really fixing the problem? The peculation of Torre's exit and the hiring of Piniella is perhaps a signal that The Boss wants someone drastically different leading the highest paid team in the land. Torre is a calm leader, while Piniella is fiery and doesn't hide his emotions (he basically leads by scaring the players). Both managers are proven winners and Pinella has a .517 career winning percentage and a .537 winning percentage with the Yankees in the 80's. Surely Steinbrenner will ignore the fact that he was the one who fired him in the first place in 1988. And would the hiring of Piniella cause even more tension between Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter?

Maybe the problem is actually in the spending philosophy of the Yankees. Half a billion in three years and nearly $1 billion in the 6 years since they won their last World Series. Maybe Steinbrenner can throw some more money at the problem. Or maybe he'll assess the situation like Mariano Rivera did on Saturday, "What can the manager do? It is not his job to play the game for us. It is the players who play."

Photograph of Joe Torre and Lou Piniella taken in August 17, 2001 by Ron Frehm/AP