In a move that rocked the baseball world this morning, the Yankees swapped managers with the Dodgers, sending Joe Torre back to New York in exchange for Joe Girardi, the Journal News has learned. The Yankees included reliever Joba Chamberlain in the deal, which was approved by commissioner Bud Selig.
“It was quite unusual but the Yankees were determined to make this trade,” said MLB spokesman April M. Foules. “The Steinbrenner family was insistent and the Commissioner felt he had no choice.”
The move was made when the Steinbrenners learned that Girardi had banned ice cream in the clubhouse at Yankee Stadium. The Steinbrenners have long been investors in Hood, Ben & Jerrys and the Popsicle Company. Team officials were also concerned that encouraging the players to eat healthy snacks would hurt the sales of such ballpark staples as candy, ice cream, hot dogs and nachos.
“We’d lose millions,” Hank Steinbrenner said. “How would Hal get any dates?”
After a lengthy meeting in Tampa following the Opening Day rainout, the Yankees and Dodgers made the swap to return Torre to the Bronx.
“No question, I love ice cream,” Torre said. “Gibby and I used to eat Klondike Bars back in St. Louis. Plus it’ll be great to see Jeter, Rivera, Giambi, Mussina, Wang, Cano, Cabrera, Duncan, Posada, Hughes, Kennedy, Pettitte, Farnsworth, Betemit, Hawkins, Molina, Ensberg, Traber, Albaladejo, Ohlendorf, Bruney, Damon and Abreu. I love all those guys.”
The shocking deal was negotiated by a previously unknown third son of Yankees team owner George Steinbrenner, Shemp Steinbrenner.
“This was all the work of Shemp,” Hank Steinbrenner said. “He set Hal and I straight. Ice cream is a vital segment of the Yankees empire. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Shemp around. Excuse me, I need to call Newsday.”
General manager Brian Cashman resigned upon hearing of the move, saying his vaunted youth movement would be derailed by having the 67-year-old Torre manage the team again.
“I have consistently proven I can take an obscene payroll and build a team that will lose in the first round of the playoffs,” Cashman said during a seven-hour conference call with the media. “I should be able to name my manager. I’m the Cash Man, damn it.”
Torre said the team would replace Chamberlain with recently released majors leaguers Mike Stanton and Mike Myers. “That way I can say, ‘Warm up Mike’ and get ’em both ready at the same time in the sixth inning,” he said. “That will cut down on the confusion. I’m going to release Albaladejo. That’s too long a name to remember. They also told me Girardi left a bunch of stats and charts on my desk. I have no idea what those are for. I know what OTB is. Not OBP.”
Team president Randy Levine held a press conference to announce that he had “not a clue” who suggested Torre should leave in the first place. “I’ve always been on Joe’s side in this,” he said. “I can’t believe he thought I was serious about the incentive clauses.”
The Yankees will open the season tonight against the Toronto with Chien-Ming Wang on the mound. A group of loyal Torre sycophants will throw out the first pitch including Billy Crystal, Marvin Hamlisch and Jerry Vale.
“I’m available to lead off if Joe needs me,” Crystal said. “I’ll make Roy Halladay work.”