They are winners of 39 American League pennants, 13 East Division titles and 26 World Series championships.

Now, the New York Yankees are in peril after they failed to advance to the American League Championship Series, losing 3 games to 1 against the Cleveland Indians in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Yankees looked to be favored to possibly win it all after having a sensational second half of the regular season, compared to a sub par performance in the first half.

Between the Indians and the Yankees, New York supposedly had the advantage in the opening series since the Yankees swept Cleveland 6-0 in the regular season series.

Like always, though, you can't count on what happened in the regular season to get you through the postseason.

After their demise, many questions hover around the famed franchise.

Once again, the main topic was Yankee manager Joe Torre.

It has been seven years since the Yankees came up victorious and won the World Series against the New York Mets in the subway series.

Although they managed to make it to the postseason every year since, not one has produced a World Series title.

It was only a few years ago that many were speculating about the business relationship between Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and Torre.

As recent as 2005, rumors began spreading that Torre would lose his job if the team failed to win another World Series.

After the last pitch from Cleveland reliever Joe Borowski was thrown to strike out Jorge Posada to end the game, it felt more like it was the end of an era.

Torre's press conference looked more like he was making his farewell speech instead of analyzing the team's performance in the series.

Those who have read my past columns dealing with the Yankee's know that I am not a big fan of this team, and I feel that Steinbrenner could possibly be the Lord of Darkness himself; Satan.

But I have the utmost respect for Torre.

In fact, there are times that I feel sorry for him.

The pressure that this man had to go through every single season of building this team into the biggest threat in Major League Baseball was massive.

He is one of the top managers of all time.

I don't believe that there is ever going to be anyone that comes close to how Torre managed that team.

Now, with the looming threat of him getting fired - for real this time - it has come time to question the motives of some of the other marquee players in the Yankee's organization.

One of the most intimidating closers of all time, Mariano Rivera, is ready to call it a career with the team.

In 10 of his 12 seasons with the Yankees, Rivera had at least 30 saves a season.

He always struck fear in the minds of each batter stepping up to the plate.

Now, he's willing to test the free agent market, but only if Torre gets fired.

The same could be said for Alex Rodriguez, but his circumstances on testing the free agent market are so far off in left field you would think he is on the pipe.

A-Rod, as the masses know him by, wants a lucrative amount so high Bill Gates probably can't afford him.

If you thought $250 million for 10 years was crazy, how about $320 million for 12 years?

I'll give you a second to pick your jaw up off the floor.

Back to the column, A-Rod is going about this all wrong.

Sure, he is one of the best baseball players ever, but he won't win you a World Series.

He didn't win a title with Seattle. He was far from having one in Texas, and in case you didn't notice, A-Rod has never even been in a World Series.

Sure, he will get you that much-needed home run in the regular season, but it always seems to be a done deal that he will choke it all up in the postseason when it should matter the most.

Anybody that is actually willing to shell out that much money is probably on the same pipe that he is on.

It's such a puzzling thought when you wonder what might become of one of the most feared baseball teams known as the Evil Empire.

In the event Torre gets fired, it looks like some of the team will go as well.

I really don't see why he should get fired. He is a great manager and Steinbrenner needs to calm down.

Although it was reported that Steinbrenner would hand ownership to his sons, Hank and Hal, Torre is most likely on the cut list.

As we look to the possible future of the Yankees, you have to wonder if this team will be the same type of threat in the event these changes are made.

For starters, it was nice to finally notice that the Yankees have a farm system. Who knew?

Players such as outfielder Shelly Duncan and pitcher Joba Chamberlain have given fans a reason to hang onto hope after the two had breakout performances in the second half of the season.

It's still unknown what could happen as the drama continues to develop in what could be a transitional climax.

With rumors that St. Louis Manager Tony LaRussa may be the top pick to take the job as the Yankees' manager, it just would not be the same without Torre in pinstripes.

Steinbrenner said that he would have the last say on Torre's fate. I hope he does the right thing and keeps him where he belongs.

Juan Carlos Reyes is a sports reporter for the Record Star. Readers may contact him at 361-387-4511 or via email at news@recordstar.com