“This has been a great 12 years, whatever the hell happens from here on out,” Torre said after the loss. “I’ll look back on these 12 years with great pleasures based on the fact I’m a kid who had never been to the World Series … to have been in six World Series, I can tell you it never gets old.” “The 12 years just felt like they were 10 minutes long, to be honest with you,” he said. With Steinbrenner in attendance, a cheering crowd chanted “Joe Torre! Joe Torre!” as the manager went to the mound twice in the eighth inning. He made one final pitching change in a season full of uncertainty in that department, handing the ball to star closer Mariano Rivera before making that slow, familiar walk back to the dugout. Second to Joe McCarthy on the club’s career list with 1,173 wins as a manager, Torre was almost always loyal, turning to his most trusted players in crucial situations. Those players might have just gotten him fired. Earning $7.5 million this year in the final season of his contract, the 67-year-old Torre hasn’t decided whether he would want to return. But he seemed open to it in recent weeks. Looks as though he won’t get that chance. New York’s three consecutive first-round exits from the playoffs followed an unprecedented collapse in the 2004 AL Championship Series against rival Boston. Sabathia never considered Eric Wedge has been asked several times about his decision to pitch Paul Byrd in Game 4 against the Yankees instead of ace C.C. Sabathia on three days rest. The Cleveland Indians’ manager said he never considered going back to Sabathia before a potential Game 5. “We said coming in Paul Byrd was our fourth starter, and he is. And we knew if we started on Thursday we were going to need four starters, and that’s the way it’s played out,” Wedge said. “Paul won 15 games for us. He has playoff experience. We wouldn’t be here without him. And we feel strong about him.” Then, Wedge talked about protecting Sabathia, a top contender for the AL Cy Young Award who went 19-7 with a 3.21 ERA and 209 strikeouts this season. The big left-hander won the playoff opener against New York in a taxing effort. “I think common sense has to come into play at some point in time just in regard with C.C. I mean, he threw 114 pitches in five innings. Arguably worked as hard as he’s worked all year. And he’s pushing 250 innings for the year,” Wedge said. Make way for the Cook Colorado right-hander Aaron Cook is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list for the NL Championship Series against Arizona. Depending on how he does today in an Instructional League game in Tucson, Ariz., Cook could be ready to pitch Game 4 at Coors Field on Oct. 15. “He’s been the guy that all through the first three-quarters of the year we leaned on big-time for innings and he went out there and gave us a chance to win every time out,” said pitcher Josh Fogg, who might get bumped from the rotation if Cook is added to the NLCS roster. Cook, who edged out Jeff Francis in a spirited competition for the opening-day start this season, was 8-7 with a 4.12 ERA when he was felled by an oblique injury Aug. 10. Around the leagues Tigers: Designated hitter Gary Sheffield had shoulder surgery and is expected to recover in time for the start of spring training. The operation to repair a tear in his right shoulder was done in Miami. He also had surgery on the shoulder in 1995. Sheffield played through most of the second half of last season with a sore shoulder, missing the first week of August and going on the disabled list for two weeks later in the month. He appeared in 133 games for Detroit this year, batting .265 with 25 home runs, 75 RBIs and 107 runs. Brewers: Pitcher Chris Capuano will get a second opinion on his non-throwing shoulder today and may have surgery Thursday after the team physician determined he had a torn labrum. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityReverting to his blustering ways, demanding owner George Steinbrenner said he probably wouldn’t bring Torre back unless New York rallied from an 0-2 deficit to win the best-of-5 series. “His job is on the line,” Steinbrenner was quoted in Sunday’s editions of The Record of New Jersey. “I think we’re paying him a lot of money. He’s the highest-paid manager in baseball, so I don’t think we’d take him back if we don’t win this series.” The Yankees saved their season – and perhaps Torre’s job – by overcoming a three-run deficit Sunday to win Game 3. They couldn’t do it again in Game 4, eliminated in the first round for the third straight season despite a $215 million payroll. Now, it feels like the end of an era in New York. From news services Yankees manager Joe Torre is probably headed to the Hall of Fame, Monument Park, every baseball pantheon there is. Today, though, Torre might be a man without a job. After 12 playoff appearances in 12 seasons, Torre may have managed his final game for the Yankees, who were knocked out of the playoffs in a 6-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Monday night.