Joe Torre’s humorous antics take over Yankees Game, leaves O’Neill amused

Paul O'Neill, the Yankees ex-right fielder, and his former manager Joe Torre at Yankee Stadium on May 25, 2023.

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The New York Yankees carried on their series against the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday evening, with the presence of their most successful manager Joe Torre in the stands.

Joe Torre, the former manager of the New York Yankees from 1996 to 2007, had a pleasant evening at Yankee Stadium, where he received a phone call from one of his former players who were also present at the game.

Joe Torre gave O’Neill’s call a slip

Paul O’Neill, the ex-right fielder who achieved four championships as part of Joe Torre’s Yankees from 1996 to 2000, currently serves as a commentator for the YES Network, covering Yankees games. During a pause in the game on Thursday, O’Neill tried to FaceTime his former manager, but his request was first declined by Joe Torre.

Despite the declined FaceTime call, O’Neill and play-by-play announcer Michael Kay took the rejection in good spirits and shared a jovial laugh about it.

Joe Torre remains popular in New York

Joe Torre poses with a World Series trophy won by the Yankees during his time as their manager.

Following a successful playing career in the 1960s and 1970s, Joe Torre concluded his managerial tenure with the Yankees after the 2007 season. While there was once a strained relationship between him and the organization, any previous conflicts have been resolved and resolved for quite some time.

Joe Torre’s initial experience as a manager didn’t yield favorable results. Between 1977 and 1981, the Mets had a record of 286-420 (.405 winning percentage) under his guidance. However, he experienced a turnaround when he joined the Braves, leading them to the NLCS in his inaugural season with the team.

Following his stint in broadcasting, Joe Torre made a return to managerial duties with the Cardinals. Although he fared better during his time with the team, achieving three winning seasons, his overall record stood at 351-354.

Subsequently, he discovered his true home in New York, where he accomplished the remarkable feat of capturing six AL Pennants and securing four World Series championships with the Yankees. Playing under Joe Torre was a seamless experience, and Williams deeply appreciates the environment he fostered.

Since concluding his managerial career in MLB back in 2010, Joe Torre, renowned for his success, accumulated an impressive record of 2,326 wins. Notably, he guided the Yankees to four World Series victories. Following his retirement from managing, he transitioned to a role in the Commissioner’s Office in 2011 and assumed the position of special assistant to Commissioner Rob Manfred in 2020.

Bernie Williams admires Joe Torre’s mindset

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Amy Sancetta — The Associated Press

Bernie Williams, often overlooked compared to other prominent stars, played a vital role in the Yankees’ dominance throughout the 1990s and 2000s as a lifelong member of the team. Throughout his impressive 16-year career, Bernie Williams, the outfielder, achieved numerous accolades, including five All-Star selections, four Gold Glove awards, and four World Series championships. Notably, Williams remained devoted to the Yankees, playing his entire career with the team and cherishing the experience above all else.

Williams shared his insights on the unique experience of playing in New York under the guidance of Joe Torre during his appearance on the Audacy Original Podcast, “Damon Amendolara’s New York Accent.”

According to Williams, Joe Torre had a sense of determination when he took over as manager of the New York Yankees. Despite his previous managerial experience with the Mets, The Yankees manager wanted to prove himself as a winning manager. Williams recalled Joe Torre stating that he never had the same level of talent as he did when he managed the Yankees.

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Williams claimed that Joe Torre had a unique approach as a manager. He established two simple rules for his players: give maximum effort on the field and arrive on time. In return, the Yankees manager would go to great lengths to support his players. Williams expressed gratitude for Torre’s loyalty, sharing how the manager stood by him during times when others suggested trading or making changes. This loyalty and friendship have endured, as they continue to maintain a strong bond.

Despite experiencing a decline in his batting average during the later stages of his career, Williams maintained a lifetime average of .297. However, he endured four consecutive seasons with a batting average below .300. Throughout this challenging period, Torre demonstrated unwavering loyalty to Williams, standing by him and supporting him as a career-long Yankee.

Possibly, the seasoned outfielder had rightfully earned that loyalty based on his exceptional performance during his prime years. From 1996 to 2000, Williams consistently ranked among the top 17 players in the MVP voting, showcasing his remarkable skills as a Gold Glove defender in the outfield. During that impressive stretch, he maintained an average of 26 home runs per season and a batting average of .324.

In the end, Williams has rightfully gained the recognition he deserves in the New York baseball scene, and Joe Torre has equally earned admiration for his remarkable achievements both on and off the field.

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