When you look up a profile of Joe Torre, you quickly realize that he has been successful in every facet of his career, and never has that been true more than in his current position as MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer. As a player, he finished a distinguished career with a .297 batting average, appeared in nine All Star Games, and won a NL Batting Title in 1971. Then, as a manager he won four Championships more than 2,300 games. Culminating his career as a manager, he was rewarded with a plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. (left) Oh, and by the way, he’s also a member of the Baseball Hall Of Fame.
And from the looks of things, he’s just getting warmed up. Since 2011 (his first year as a baseball executive), he has presided over the introduction and refinement of instant replay, the creation of the “Buster Posey Rule” for collisions at home plate, the adoption of the 20 second rule designed to speed up games, and is now poised to lead the way with the adoption of a “Chase Utley Rule” requiring a runner to be sliding directly at second base when attempting to break up a double play.
In between his regular duties, he always makes himself available to logically explain why he makes the decisions he is charged with. Watch here while he speaks to the media about Utley’s takeout of Tejada. He’s also demonstrated an ability to think on his feet as he had to when FOX lost power during the World Series. He quickly dispatched the problem of losing replays by urging both managers to play the game without them. Simple, direct, and effective.
History teaches us that leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Disregarding motives, you might certainly argue that Adolf Hitler was a most effective leader. He led by coercion. Joe Torre leads by quiet persuasion. He commands respect without ever asking for it. And that’s why even until this day, Derek Jeter still addresses him as Mr. Torre.
As fans of baseball, we are fortunate that a voice of reason sits near the top leading the business of baseball in New Directions.