04/14/08 11:32 PM ET
Torre to stay the course with Jones
Manager recounts how he handled big slump of Yanks' Jeter
By Glenn Rabney / Special to MLB.com
The perspective comes from manager Joe Torre, who has seen it before and knows that it's not the time to panic, despite the impatience of the fans.
"I don't like to refer to my past life, but I had Derek Jeter at 0-for-30-something," Torre said of his time as manager of the Yankees. "What do you do about him? You play him. You just keep trying to find the answer."
At the same time, Torre has some insight on how the fans react to slumps like those of Jones and Jeter.
"Jeter had been there, so he had some money in the bank with the fans," he said, referring to the shortstop's years of great play in New York.
"It's a little different here. This is a kid who came over here, signed for a couple of years, and the fans want to know where is the guy you signed. I understand their impatience. They're paying money to be entertained."
Torre said he has no plans at this time other than seeing it through, something he hopes the fans will understand.
"I still believe that he has to be our center fielder, and we have to help him find what he hasn't found yet."
Ultimately, the bottom line for Torre is that he knows what Jones is capable of doing. In fact, he thinks that Jones knows that, too, even more reason why he's pressing.
The frustrating part is that Torre sees what Jones is capable of doing.
"In batting practice he's doing all the right things -- he'll be hitting balls into the seats in right-center field. Mechanically, he's fine," Torre said, adding, "But he can't take that to the field.
"A major part is anxiousness. He's unable to stay quiet in the batter's box. You can see his front shoulder flying open."
As for sitting Jones for a game to two in order to gather himself, Torre doesn't see the point in that.
"If I thought that sitting him would help, I'd do it," he said. "I'm just not sure how benching him solves the problem. You're never going to get what he has to offer.
"He's working hard. I just don't think he's giving himself a chance."
Glenn Rabney is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.