Heads were likely to roll after the Yankees were eliminated from the postseason by the Tigers, but the opening odds were on Alex Rodriguez going first, not Joe Torre.
According to the New York Daily News, however, the popular Yankees manager will be fired unless he decides to resign first to save face. Sources told the newspaper that former Yankees player and manager Lou Piniella will be owner George Steinbrenner's choice to replace Torre.
After winning the World Series in four of his first five seasons, Torre has weathered many storms since then, but Saturday's 8-3 loss left him emotional as he pondered his future in the Bronx.
"We felt pretty good about ourselves," Torre told the Daily News. "But again, that's something for [general manager Brian Cashman] and I and other people to talk about. But right now, it's just ..." and choking back tears, he concluded "... it's just tough."
Cashman and most of the front office employees are expected to keep their jobs, the Daily News reported.
Several Yankees players told MLB.com that they would be surprised to see Torre go.
"That's pretty drastic," outfielder Johnny Damon was quoted as saying by the Web site. "Joe has been awesome. You never know what's going to happen, but I think Joe should be safe. For all he's done and had to put up with, he's been incredible."
Cashman dismissed the idea of either Torre or Rodriguez leaving, telling MLB.com, "Why wouldn't they be coming back? That's not something that I'm even thinking about."
Piniella has been rumored to be in contention for the open positions with the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs. He last managed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to a fifth-place finish in 2005. Piniella began his managerial career with the Yankees in 1986. That team finished second in the AL East, the best result of his three seasons in the Bronx.
Piniella went on to win the World Series as skipper of the Cincinnati Reds in 1988, however. After three years with the Reds, he managed the Seattle Mariners from 1993-2002 and the Devil Rays for the next three seasons.
Torre has won more than 1,000 games as manager of the Yankees, but after beating the Mets in the 2000 World Series, the Yankees have fallen short of always high expectations despite having the highest payroll in baseball.
Torre has one season and $7 million left on his contract.