Denying rumors of poor health (if not death), Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner turned back the clock in a phoner yesterday with the Bergen Record’s Ian O’Connor.

Joe Torre’s 12-year run as manager of the Yankees will likely end if his team does not rally to beat the Cleveland Indians in the AL Division Series, George Steinbrenner told The Record on Saturday night.

“His job is on the line,” the Yankees’ owner said. “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.”

With his team teetering on the brink of a knockout, the old Steinbrenner came out swinging on Saturday night, putting Torre on immediate notice and ripping into umpire Bruce Froemming, the veteran crew chief from Friday night’s Game 2 who declined to stop play despite an infestation of Lake Erie gnats.

“The umpire was full of [expletive],” Steinbrenner said of the retiring Froemming. “He won’t umpire our games anymore.”

In the wake of that Game 2 defeat, Steinbrenner said the Yankees had complained to baseball commissioner Bud Selig about the decision to play on. “[Selig] just said, ‘That’s in the umpires’ hands,’ ” Steinbrenner said. “But Jesus Christ, it was terrible. It messed up the whole team, [Derek] Jeter, all of them.”

Deadspin’s Will Leitch has been blogging about the baseball playoffs for the New York Times, and while the Gray Lady’s website is a better fit for his talents than the Gawker Media gig, there’s a few unfortunate similarities. Not only was it necessary for Leitch to remind readers “for the next 25-29 days, the World Champions of Major League Baseball are the St. Louis Cardinals….I am going to hang onto my hypothetical crown until the last possible second”, but he also felt compelled to brag, “the columns aren™t behind the TimesSelect wall, which means  no offense, longtime TimesSelect readers  there will be a few more people reading, and therefore more people to point out my obvious, blatant logic fallacies.”

One of those fallacies being that TimesSelect still exists.