It appears that Joe Torre has turned down a $5M deal to return in 2008. Could it have been due to George Steinbrenner’s emotional remarks before game 5?? Has Joe finally had enough?

In less that 15 minutes of a pre-mature story leaked from the Newark Star Ledger, a statement has been released that Joe Torre and the Yankee organization could not come to terms.

Joe Torre turned down a $5 million guaranteed contract from the New York Yankees today.
William Perlman/The Star-LedgerYankees Manager Joe Torre talks to the media at Yankee Stadium earlier this month.

After two days of closed-door meetings, the Yankees brass – including owner George Steinbrenner – unanimously decided to offer Torre a one-year, $5 million contract with the option of $3 million in bonuses, team officials said at an afternoon news conference on the manager’s fate.

The deal included a $1 million bonus if the Yankees made it to the division playoff series, a $1 million bonus if they made it to the division championship series and a $1 million bonus if they made it to the World Series. Torre made $7.5 million in 2007.

Team officials did not say why Torre rejected the offer but said they respected his decision. They said that they are moving forward with the search for a new manager.

“We appreciate everything he’s done … but it’s time to move forward,” team president Randy Levine said at the news conference.

The announcement followed Torre’s trip to Tampa this morning to discuss the possible deal. — Newark Star Ledger

It is likely that both players and fans will not take this well. George Steinbrenner’s remarks when the Yankees backs were up against the wall did not sit well with Mr. Torre. Not for his sake. he certainly has seen his share of glory over the years, but for the additional pressure placed on the younger players on the team that have come to love and respect the man. Johnny Damon was very open about the fact that all of the players felt the added pressure when the owner threatened their skipper’s job.

Look to see some fallout from this turn of events that might well prove to be too much for some of the more seasoned players who have looked to Joe Torre as a beacon of reason, sanity and inspiration. — ZZ