With 2,326 wins as a manager in his career, Joe Torre is one of the most successful at the position in Major League Baseball history. Torre, of course, is most famous for his 12 years of leadership of the New York Yankees. During that span, Torre led the Yankees to 10 division titles, six American League pennants, and four World Series Championships.
He last managed a ballclub in 2010, before stepping down as the leader of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2011, Torre was hired by MLB as the leagues Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations. He still holds that position.
Torre will be returning to the dugout next March, this time wearing red, white, and blue. USA Baseball announced that Torre has been named manager of Team USA for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
“I am honored to be selected to lead Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic,” Torre said. “I have been fortunate to have many different experiences throughout my career, but being a part of Team USA will be a first, and I am very excited about it. I look forward to the challenge of representing the United States when this tournament celebrates the global growth of our national pastime next year.”
This will be the third installment of the WBC. Team USA has never finished better than fourth place, which happened in 2009, the last time the WBC took place. In it’s inaugural event in 2005, Team USA finished sixth.
Is Torre the guy that can take Team USA to the next level and win this event? Torre follows previous managers, Buck Martinez and Davey Johnson. USA Baseball is confident in their selection of Torre.
“We are thrilled to announce Joe Torre as the manager of the U.S. for the upcoming World Baseball Classic,” said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. “Joe’s track record as a manager speaks for itself, and we’re excited to have his leadership in place as we attempt to secure our first World Baseball Classic title.”
The Team USA roster has not been determined yet. Torre’s first task will be to compile a coaching staff.
The tournament dates and locations are also yet to be announced, but this will be the first year where there will be qualifiers. The qualifiers will be held in September and November of 2012 across four international venues. Those locations are: Armin-Wolf-Baseball-Arena in Regensburg, Germany; Rod Carew Stadium in Panama City, Panama; XinZuang Stadium in Taipei, Taiwan; and Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Florida. The top team from each pool will join the 12 other countries – which includes the United States – that have already advanced to the 2013 WBC based on performances in the 2009 tournament.
It will be very interesting to see the coaching staff and roster that Torre and Team USA put together. Will former Boston managerial rival Terry Francona join Torre? Will one of Torre’s former assistants join him? Will there be a Torre and Derek Jeter reunion? Do you think Alex Rodriguez would accept an invitation to play for Torre again?
This will be fun to watch! One thing is for sure, Team USA will have a New York baseball icon running the ship in next year’s World Baseball Classic.