A grand day for Torre
Milestone victory is NY's 5th in row
Yankees manager Joe Torre (left) is congratulated by center fielder Johnny Damon after New York closed out a victory over the Rangers. The win was Torres 1,000th as the Yankees manager. (Reuters Photo)
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Joe Torre wasn't figuring on a lengthy tenure when he signed on to manage the New York Yankees before the 1996 season. Now he stands among the managerial giants in Yankee history.
Torre got his 1,000th win as Yankees manager, with Hideki Matsui hitting a three-run homer in an 8-5 victory over the Texas Rangers yesterday that stretched New York's winning streak to a season-high five games.
Torre has a 1,000-645 record with New York, trailing only Joe McCarthy (1,460), Casey Stengel (1,149), and Miller Huggins (1,067). Torre has the longest uninterrupted term among Yankees managers since Stengel from 1949-60.
''I think 1,000 wins as a Yankee manager is pretty incredible considering the company you're in," said Torre, who is 1,894-1,648 overall as a manager, including stints with the Mets, Atlanta, and St. Louis. ''A thousand is a lot of wins, especially when you signed a two-year contract back in '96. The Yankee record book is a special place to be. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be here this long."
Players credit Torre for his even-tempered disposition and ability to handle personalities.
''Look at the job he's done," Bernie Williams said. ''He's done just about everything that needed to be done to get the organization back to where it should be."
Chien Ming Wang (2-1) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings for the Yankees, who took a 7-1 lead and held on to surge into their home series with the Red Sox starting tomorrow.
After Michael Young's RBI single in the ninth off Mariano Rivera, Mark Teixeira nearly hit a two-run homer, the ball going just foul in right. Rivera then got him on a game-ending ground out.
Matsui went 2 for 2 and walked three times and Kelly Stinnett drove in two runs as New York completed a three-game sweep, its first in Arlington since 2000 in a series of three or more games.
Robinson Tejeda (1-1), making just his 15th major league start and his first against the Yankees, allowed six runs and six hits in three innings plus. The Rangers have lost their last eight games against the Yankees.
Williams hit an RBI ground out in the second, but Gerald Laird's run-scoring ground out tied it in the third.
Matsui homered in the fourth after a walk to Jason Giambi and a single by Alex Rodriguez, and Stinnett's two-run single chased Tejeda.
Johnny Damon hit an RBI grounder in the sixth for New York, and Williams made it 8-3 with an RBI single in the seventh.