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Torre's thoughts on the 4 sluggers and the lineup

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  • Torre's thoughts on the 4 sluggers and the lineup

    You know the names. After Damon and Jeter take their turns, hopefully get on base, the guys who drive them in. All are very capable of doing severe damage to a baseball. Can they be focused? Will any be slighted for hitting lower in the lineup than what they were used to elsewhere? Obviously we can't have a quartet of #4 hitters, so juggling everything can be somewhat of a chore.

    Here's hoping that everyone's egos are kept in check, which is a strong Torre attribute, and that they can produce as well from the #5 spot as in the #6 spot.

    I figure that Alex and Gary will share the #3 and cleanup spots. Perhaps Sheffield at the beginning to ease the strain of Alex, who still seems to have that "clutch" thing on his back like an 800-lb monkey which needs to be removed.

    Here's the article, from the Hartford Courant:

    After Buying Time, Torre To Place An Order
    PHOENIX - Yankees manager Joe Torre had all four sluggers into his office and told them not to look for clues.

    "I called them all in before the start of spring training," Torre said, "and I told them, `You're all capable. Just understand that when I write names down, I'm just writing names down.'"

    There is the age-old image of the baseball manager, composing batting orders whenever and wherever the mood strikes, writing down names on napkins in the coffee shop, crumpling up and discarding one slip of paper after another in his office.

    "I used to do that," Torre said. "You still try to find reasons why you want to do something. But with these four guys I've got, any case I make for one of them, I can make for all of them."

    Torre's Yankees batting order in 2006 could be one of historic production now that Johnny Damon joins Derek Jeter at the top of the lineup. Behind the two table-setters, Torre has four big-time run-producers in Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui ... or Giambi, Rodriguez, Sheffield and Matsui ... or Sheffield, Rodriguez, Giambi and Matsui ...

    "They can line them up pretty much any way they want, can't they?" said Ralph Houk, who had similar decisions to make as the Yankees' rookie manager in 1961.
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