NEW YORK—Despite beginning the year with a fairly stable batting order, Yankees manager Joe Torre has descended into a troublesome pattern, mixing and matching all different kinds of lineups in a desperate attempt to find the perfect combination that can satisfy him for more than one game. "It starts innocently enough, when you're just looking for a quick fix after one of your guys goes down for a while," said Torre, who admits that the first thing he does upon arriving at the ballpark now is grab the lineup card, shut his office door, and start cooking up lineups with every name he can think of—right fielders his friends talked about in high school, first basemen he tried once back in 2004, and sometimes guys he's never even heard of before. "But then you're trying out guys who were never meant to be in the same lineup together, just for the sheer thrill of seeing if it works. And the worst part is, I don't see this stopping anytime soon." Owner George Steinbrenner refused to respond to criticism that he has openly supported Torre's habit by constantly buying the manager new, riskier, more expensive options.
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