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Is Torre a lame duck?

Not to re-open the old wounds that we suffered two months ago after the Detroit debacle, but Bob Klapsch has a piece on Joe Torre's unknown managerial status beyond 2007.

In my humble opinion, I think this is going to be Torre's last season in pinstripes regardless of how the season ends.  The Boss could finally drop the hammer if he fails to win #27 or Torre could retire and ride off into the sunset just as easily if the Yanks are the last team standing at the end of October.


Soon enough, Joe Torre will find himself in the middle of the clubhouse at Legends Field in Tampa, Fla., opening spring training with the kind of speech that's characterized his 12-year run as the Yankees' manager.

The words will be professional and reassuring, without gimmicks or phony emotion. The players will listen intently; they always do. The Yankees know Torre has completed a modern miracle, delivering the franchise from the Bronx Zoo era to its current profile as baseball's version of Microsoft.

The transition has been so smooth, it's a stretch trying to remember how Torre's predecessors created their own brand of controversy -- from Billy Martin's drinking bouts, to Lou Piniella's temper tantrums, to Dallas Green's bluster.

Since then, an entire generation of Yankee fans has grown up with Torre; it seems like he's been in the Bronx forever. Question is, how much longer does Torre want to manage? His current three-year contract expires after the 2007 season, and no one in the organization is talking about an extension.

Incredibly, Torre will go to spring training without job security, which would've been a nonissue when the Yankees were overpowering the American League in the late '90s. But he's coming off a turbulent October, when the Bombers exited the playoffs in the first round and nearly got their manager fired.