Memoirs of a Skipper: The Yankee Years

The talk of Yankee Universe is Joe Torre's forthcoming book The Yankee Years. Co-authored with Tom Verducci, the 477-pager is a tell-all about his time as the Bombers' manager. The early reports say the book has some less-than-flattering depictions of A-Rod, Brian Cashman and others in the Yankee brass. From the Post:

Scorned skipper Joe Torreis blasting the Yankees – calling many of his former players prima
donnas, confessing he stopped trusting the powers that be years before
he left the team and charging that general manager Brian Cashman betrayed him.

In an explosive new book called "The Yankee Years," Torre gets most
personal in his attacks against Alex Rodriguez  who he says was called
"A-Fraud" by his teammates after he developed a "Single White
Female"-like obsession with team captain Derek Jeter and asked for a personal clubhouse assistant to run errands for him.

The cynics among us will undoubtedly focus on these titillating and controversial details. I, for one, owing to a poor formal education, am having trouble understanding this last story. Did A-Rod want a personal clubhouse attendant for himself or for Jeter? And did he wear a red wig and make Jeter wear one as well? Or was the personal attendant hired to look like Derek Jeter…in a red wig? All of this is a distraction from what I am sure is the generally pleasant tone of Torre's memoir. Yes, there are chapters titled "Kevin Brown: Douchebag" and "Jeff Weaver: You've Got to Be F*cking Kidding Me", but in general Torre's book is gracious, a loving look back at a special time. It's a cliche these days that negativity sells newspapers, but it's a shame that the Post reporters and other of their ilk don't include Torre's loving portraits of Miguel Cairo (from page 323: "To this day, I think he was more valuable to this team than A-Fraud.") and Scott Proctor (page 35, 42, 46, 86, 222, 223: "I know I've said this before, but Scott's arm was just so perfect. The guy had once-in-a-generation stuff.").

Oh well, I am sure no one will dwell on those details. A-Rod will be sure to have to answer questions about those red wigs lying around his locker while we'll hear nothing from Proctor or Cairo all season.

67 comments… add one

  • I’m most excited to read the chapter: “Sidney Ponson: I know, I know, but you should have seen the guy eat a large pizza”

    I'mBillMcNeal January 25, 2009, 1:53 pm
  • “I, for one, owing to a poor formal education, am having trouble understanding this last story.”
    Come on Nick we share an alma mater, thats no poor education!

    sam-YF January 25, 2009, 3:25 pm
  • I studied lit, Sam. You probably had a major that required a certain level of discipline like one of the sciences or econ. :)

    Nick-YF January 25, 2009, 3:36 pm
  • I was a science major and art history too..
    At least you werent COL or were you?!

    sam-YF January 25, 2009, 5:20 pm
  • Ha! No I was an English major. The COL classes always seemed fun though.
    Meanwhile, wow, am I jonesing for baseball!

    Nick-YF January 25, 2009, 7:12 pm
  • Wow, Clueless Joe has now become Classless Joe. What, the millions he made from the Yanks and ads aren’t enough any more? At least we know now who blabbed to Verducci down the stretch in 2007 about clubhouse matters.
    Torre is a bum. He would have been nothing without the Yankees. Playing Pierre over Kemp last year showed exactly why. Good riddance, dirtbag.

    Rob January 25, 2009, 7:57 pm
  • the thing i found most disturbing from the excerpts was that the Yankee medical staff chose to inform george stienbrenner of torres prostate cancer diagnosis prior to informing torre himself. that gets my blood boiling.

    sf rod January 25, 2009, 8:41 pm
  • Jeez, Rob, tell us how you really feel. Come on, “dirtbag”? Why don’t you actually take a look at the book before jumping to conclusions.
    Besides, Torre did a very good job with the Dodgers. Yeah, it took him awhile to feel comfortable with the younger players, but in the end, he benched Pierre and Jones, salary and veteran-ness be damned.
    Or maybe you’re just annoyed that the Dodgers had a more successful season (and post-season) than the Yanks?

    stuck working (sf) January 25, 2009, 9:01 pm
  • yeah, sf rod, that is just plain disturbing. I’m not a lawyer or a doctor, but that doesn’t seem legal. It certainly seems like a violation of the doctor-patient confidentiality agreement. Although, that gets me to wondering. If a team doctor examines a player during a routine check-up and discovers a more serious problem such a cancer or heart issues, is that information private or is there an agreement that the team must know as well? Something similar to this happened when the Knicks traded for Cuttino Mobley. Turns out the Knicks doctors discovered a preexisting heart condition and the Knicks almost ended up voiding the trade. The thing was that everyone with the Internet knew about Mobley’s medical condition within a few hours of the trade because the Knicks told the press about it. Seemed odd at the time.

    Nick-YF January 25, 2009, 9:03 pm
  • I am very disappointed in Torre about this book. I feel that the allegations made in this book are below someone Ive believed to be pretty classy. Sure I havent read the book but it seems that its been designed, as these types of books often are, to provide the most shock value to sell books. Something feels wrong about him telling stories from inside the clubhouse, especially when current players are still involved. Most of what happens in the clubhouse is private and it seems to be somewhat of a betrayal to those involved.
    While Id agree if true telling the Boss about Torre’s health issues first would be a horrible thing, the obvious motivation of the authors of this book to sell copies and the widespread allegations makes me question the entire thing. I think this whole thing stinks to high hell.

    sam-YF January 25, 2009, 9:29 pm
  • And if they’d penned a book that was complimentary of anyone and evryone and contained not a speck of criticism, we’d all be suspicious for other reasons.
    So, yes, you write books to sell books.
    And we as readers have to hope that they are an honest depiction.
    And … is anyone really shocked to learn that even Torre considered A-Rod to be a prima donna? Don’t we all?
    Look, the truth isn’t always kind. We Red Sox fans have had to endure the knowledge that a former owner was a bigot of the worst kind, that he hired his drinking buddies to run the team and that he pretty much bought his place in Cooperstown.
    So some shine has worn off the sacred Yankees. So your precious and holier-than-Thou baseball team has some stain underneath.
    Big deal. Get over yourselves. Why should you be any different? Even Alan Greenspan’s legacy is tainted.
    There are so many, many, many more stories that you have to treasure, like Maris/Mantle in 61, the legend of Lou Gehrig and the (Don Zimmer-orchestrated) comeback of 1978.
    Why would a few harsh words from Torre supercede those?
    I’d think you know better than to wear rose-colored glasses all the time when it comes to your Yankees.
    (I am now done trying to be a voice of reason.)

    I'mBillMcNeal January 25, 2009, 9:54 pm
  • Is Bill ever the voice of reason when it comes to the Yankees? I think we can safely vote ‘no’ on that one.
    What “shine” has worn off the Yankees, and who claimed that it did? Torre was only really a dummy in the last third of his Yankee career. That he doesn’t like A-Rod was well-known all the way back when he made the awful, fire-able offense of batting him 8th in a playoff game, and then throwing him under the bus to the media. Look, he overstayed his welcome and usefulness. He probably should have been fired after losing to a much worse Marlins team in the 2003 World Series, definitely after overseeing the horrible choke-job that was the 2004 ALCS. And yet the Yankees still let him stay on for 3 years. He owes so much to the Yankees it’s not even funny. But yet, he chooses to write a book and air players’ (that are still playing) dirty laundry? Dumb move, even if the book isn’t as bad as the tabloids say.

    AndrewYF January 25, 2009, 10:08 pm
  • Wow Bill, your voice of reason sounds more like a lecturing voice to me. Save your own holier-than-thou attitude for someone else.
    I dont view the yankees as a perfect organziation, I am just saying I have lost respect for him for writing the book just as I lost respect for the yankees for how they handled Torre’s departure. I can handle negative stories about the yankees but dont have to like how this story is going down. Its not even clear what exactly the book says and what Torre himself wrote versus what Verducci gleaned from other sources. I detest the way the publishing industry releases teaser information from “tell-all” books like this to drive up hype.

    sam-YF January 25, 2009, 10:12 pm
  • It’s been documented here that I am NOT a fan of Joe Torre. I was not upset to see him go, nor do I miss him one ounce since he’s left. He was very fortunate to have come to a team that was already talented AND had a pretty chunky checkbook. But I will say that I will not pass any FURTHER judgment on Joe until I read the book. As many of the news stations have already pointed out much of what is being documented in the Post are not direct quotes from Torre himself. I will read it first then attack that old green tea guzzling bullpen killer. Just kidding, LOL.
    IBM, I think one thing that should be pointed out is that this type of book can be written about just about ANY sports franchise. The problem is a tell all book about 12 mediocre years of the Calgary Flames really isn’t going to sell many copies. Also I think you are way off base with your generalizations of Yankee fans and our high horses. If what is in the book CAN BE attributed to Torre, we (Yankees Fans) have every right to be upset. Much like Jim Bouton was scrutinized in the past, you don’t let secrets like this leak out. Especially not AFTER you left, it looks like sour grapes and ruins what legacy you had left. Let’s wait and see what the book has to say 1st.

    John - YF January 25, 2009, 10:33 pm
  • “Is Bill ever the voice of reason when it comes to the Yankees? I think we can safely vote ‘no’ on that one.”
    Written with a grain of salt, Andrew. I am the same “voice of reason” when it comes to the Yankees and you are when it comes to the Red Sox.
    Again, my only point is, “So what?”

    I'mBillMcNeal January 25, 2009, 10:45 pm
  • Also, I always believed that Torre’s greatest value to the Yankees was in keeping the ship steady in the rough waters that is New York. At least that’s what we were always led to believe.
    (This book might well prove to bust that myth.)
    I never thought much of him as a tactician or strategist. He was horrible with the bullpen.
    As John said, let’s wait to see what’s actually in the book. The only account we have thus far is from the Post.

    I'mBillMcNeal January 25, 2009, 10:51 pm
  • “definitely after overseeing the horrible choke-job that was the 2004 ALCS.”
    The Yankees didn’t choke. It just took the Red Sox awhile to get warmed up. (That’s my version and I’m sticking to it.)

    I'mBillMcNeal January 25, 2009, 10:52 pm
  • Lemme try a different tack:
    More than anything, I want the truth, even if the truth does come with blemishes. I loved Ball Four, as much as I loved The Boys of Summer. I learned all this stuff I wasn’t supposed to know. I gave me what I believe is a more honest and real understanding andperpective to what baseball is really like behind the scenes.
    That’s not to say that I always like what I learn, but I’d rather know the truth than some P.R. firm’s carefully crafted image (Michael Jordan.)
    I was angry to learn that Tom Yawkey was a bigot, that he bought his way into Cooperstown. But I’m better for knowing the truth. Remember when Millar told the world that the Sox took a shot of Jack Daniels before Game 7 of the 04 ALCS? And then the story was “corrected” to reflect that they all shared from the same shot? I want to know which version is true.
    I do NOT believe it’s OK to not let certain information get leaked out.
    (That’s not to say that I’m a big reader of tell-all books.)
    I just believe that the truth is the truth and even if it comes with blemishes, we’re better in the end knowing it.
    OK, NOW I’m done moralizing. Probably.
    (And again, my above comment about being a voice of reason was facetious. After I read what I’d written, I knew what I sounded like. And I now realize that it didn’t come out that way.)

    I'mBillMcNeal January 25, 2009, 11:18 pm
  • I don’t have any real problem with Torre writing this book. I’m just a little surprised that it’s being released now as opposed to 2015–5 years after Torre retires.
    A bit strange; but maybe, after talking over the past year or so with Verducci, Torre started getting super pissed at how he was treated, but who knows?
    For all we know, the context of the news items are less scandalous then how they are being represented (i.e. feelings of betrayal with Cashman could have been a passing thing that he subsequently realized was unwarranted…)
    I don’t think the book or it’s “revelations” are going to change much of how I believe the Yankees to be run or what Joe Torre’s personality is.
    The Cancer diagnosis story does sound criminal.

    walein January 26, 2009, 12:19 am
  • Verducci has an update on SI explaining that the book is a third person narrative.

    walein January 26, 2009, 12:25 am
  • Something feels wrong about him telling stories from inside the clubhouse, especially when current players are still involved. Most of what happens in the clubhouse is private and it seems to be somewhat of a betrayal to those involved.
    Yeah, and especially during a pennant race.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/magazine/09/19/arod0925/index.html
    That article (by Verducci) had wide-ranging access into the clubhouse. Now we know exactly why. Then, Torre followed up that fire-able offense by batting his best hitter (and the same player) 8th. And yet Cashman still argued for him to keep his job. That kept them from hiring a guy well-suited to the Yankees and to A-Rod – Pinella.
    Agreed with above. Looking back, Torre should have been fired following 2003 (Jeff Weaver exactly while Mo sat), then 2004 (bunt on Schilling?), then 2005, then 2006 (Bubba Crosby as the starting CF in a deciding playoff game?). The guy got four extra years, at millions more than his peers, and he’s still bitching? Casey Stengel didn’t get that much rope.
    Good riddance, Joe Torre. Have fun buying a bigger house in Maui.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 6:32 am
  • He was very fortunate to have come to a team that was already talented AND had a pretty chunky checkbook.
    That has always been my sentiment John, and I genuinely like Torre as a person. Though the stuff about his cancer is horrifying, and shows the degree to which Steinbrenner ran the show there. That doctor deserves a punch in the face.

    Atheose January 26, 2009, 7:27 am
  • This nonsense about a team doctor is a farce. It’s exactly why you have a personal doctor rather than a one at your company. The moron in this scenario is Torre for treating a team doctor like a personal physician. As a manager, there was no reason for him to be seeing a team doctor about anything, unless he twisted his ankle walking out of the dugout.
    A player has a career ending injury. Of course, the team knows before the player. Jon Lester had cancer. Does any SF here really want to argue the team didn’t know before the player?

    Rob January 26, 2009, 7:40 am
  • The book is 502 pages long! You can be damn sure the tabs are going to pull the best/worst stuff out and highlight it immediately, while the overall piece of work may be something far less sensational. It’s unfair to judge without reading the book. Those that fly off the handle to attack Torre without consuming the book aren’t being fair, the opposite is just as true for those who might proclaim this book fair prior to having taken it in.
    On the other hand, A-Rod is self-possessed? That’s news? ;-)
    As for the Lester analogy, the issue here is that the team doctors supposedly called Steinbrenner before telling Torre, not that the team doctors knew before Torre. That is not, in fact, an issue at all if they were doing the diagnosis. You are mixing up the issue. If the Sox’ team doctors did a diagnosis and called John Henry before they called Lester and without his knowledge, yes, that’s a MASSIVE issue. But what does that have to do with anything? It’s never been alleged.
    You are making ill-advised equivalencies and missing the issue.

    SF January 26, 2009, 9:41 am
  • Torre coming out with a book now, rather than after his career is over with is clearly self-serving. There’s no denying that. And if the shoe were on the other foot, SFs would have a similar problem with Francona, as the Rangers manager, dishing about the Sox. Worse, Torre didn’t even wait until he was shown the door. He was clearly dishing clubhouse info to Verducci in the middle of the 2006 season. Funny that the hypocrite can do that about A-Rod but expects privacy for himself.
    Seriously, you think John Henry and Theo Epstein didn’t know about Lester’s condition before he did? That’s a very naive understanding of how medical diagnoses work with professional sports teams where the player’s health is entirely wrapped up with the millions invested. Ask Curt Schilling.
    More problematic, you’re missing the real point. Torre relying on the team doctor for prostate screening and tests is entirely his fault. Not only isn’t that the purview of the team doctor, but it’s misguided to expect privacy from a doctor working for your employer. This is exactly why there’s a current debate about whether business organizations should employ their own doctors as a way to cut down on costs.
    What next, Torre’s going to express outrage that the team’s lawyers didn’t properly represent his interests in contract negotiations?
    The guy is a scumbag. And I need not wait to read a book to confirm that. Indeed, it’s a book I won’t be buying.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 10:02 am
  • Besides the tabloids, the Times has already received a copy and reviewed it, here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/26/sports/baseball/26review.html?ref=sports
    and here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/26/sports/baseball/26torre.html
    and more quotes, here:
    http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/26/from-rodriguez-to-pavano-and-plenty-in-between/
    Funny too that Torre doesn’t seem to have a problem dishing on Steinbrenner’s health and in a book.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 10:07 am
  • Of course the Pavano stuff is hilarious. But it doesn’t change the fact that the guy is a complete hypocrite. On the one hand he complains about a lack of privacy (from a source he couldn’t realistically expect it) and on the other he completely destroys whatever expectation of privacy player’s can expect to have in his clubhouse, including during a pennant race.
    And I thought his bullpen and bench management showed he was a moron!

    Rob January 26, 2009, 10:13 am
  • From the book jacket, something else he dishes on:
    The high-priced ace who broke down in tears and refused to go back to the mound in the middle of a game.
    I mean, seriously, this dirtbag can complain about privacy with a straight face? What a fucking ego-maniac.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 10:18 am
  • Hippocratic oath, anyone?
    Naive to use team doctor? Perhaps. But if the Yankees doctor is violating his oath then that’s a big problem, and not Torre’s fault. It may have been naive or inadvisable to use the team doctors, but that doesn’t forgive the doctors for (puportedly) violating a sacred oath of their profession. They are the scumbags in that case, not Torre. You are blaming the victim in this case, Torre’s naivete is basically irrelevant.

    SF January 26, 2009, 10:19 am
  • Hmm, I guess that lowball offer Hank gave Torre wasn’t at all insulting!
    You reap what you sow.

    SF January 26, 2009, 10:21 am
  • Yes, the Yankees should have said he was worth nothing to them. Uh huh.

    AndrewYF January 26, 2009, 10:26 am
  • Interestingly that you now ignore the most relevant aspects from Lester and Schilling’s cases. The team management always knew before the player. That’s what you get from a team doctor. If you want privacy, go see a personal doctor. Some players (see Schilling) now do exactly that.
    And with the Hank quip you’re now being completely antagonistic just to get yourself a laugh.
    For the record, all the reasons Torre cited for being “insulted” proved to be completely wrong. He had previous incentives for winning the Series and he got less yearly money from the Dodgers than he would have from the Yankee. The guy wanted the team to re-sign at the same yearly rate even as his skills were clearly slipping. Not the least of which his supposedly best “skill” at managing players wasn’t even there any more when he’s dishing dirt about the team’s best player to a favored reporter in the middle of the season.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 10:30 am
  • I have to say I’m going to root even harder this year to hope a new championship will shut this turd up. Unfortunately A-Rod is too nice and socially awkward to come out and blast him similarly. I mean, good God, read that 2006 Verducci piece and how can anyone conclude that Torre has any integrity left? Seriously, the manager throwing a player under the bus and not at all for performance reasons?

    Rob January 26, 2009, 10:38 am
  • Lester wasn’t diagnosed by a team doctor. All your bluster is rooted in non-facts.
    Not disagreeing with you about the naivete of using the team doctor, but the doctor is STILL under an oath that is not violable simply due to the fact that he is employed by someone. The Hippocratic oath is supposed to rule. If these doctors aren’t adhering then they are unprofessional, the “scumbags” (your term).

    SF January 26, 2009, 10:55 am
  • This whole discussion about the doctors and Joe’s diagnosis really needs to be put on hold until the book is actually out and read. There are surely facts left out in the tidbits released by the publisher and in the post’s article. Furthermore, we have no idea what the agreement is between any team and their employees as far as medical confidentiality. Finally, I find it pretty hard to believe that a team doctor would be the one making a cancer diagnosis as opposed to a specialist. I also find it unlikely that this person would call the yankees front office before the patient. Thus, it would be useful to get some more info about this situation and the context within the book as opposed to reacting and generalizing based on the sensational tidbits that are out now.

    sam-YF January 26, 2009, 11:08 am
  • I agree with Sam.
    Verducci obviously has a rooting interest in leaking the nuggets of info that will cause the kind of stir it has. Listening to the FAN, reading the blogs, the papers, the sports show, and one can only conclude that a bagillion people are going to buy this book, and most likely be disappointed in the fact that it’s not full of face-slapping and backstepping.
    It’s like when a movie comes out, but all the funny/scary parts are actually packed into the trailer.
    It is funny how Torre is being LAMBASTED by Yankee fans, who just a few short years ago, praised him as one of the best managers ever.
    I have no real rooting interest in hearing or reading things that I already knew anyhow. Him saying it, or putting it in a book, is not new news at all – it’s just confirmed news. We’ve all heard this stuff a zillion times from several people.
    My guess is that a HUGE percentage of this book will be dedicated to good things between Torre and the Yankees, and in the end, Torre will paint them in a fair light, as he has never shown anything but complete class as a man and a manager.

    Brad January 26, 2009, 11:21 am
  • It is funny how Torre is being LAMBASTED by Yankee fans, who just a few short years ago, praised him as one of the best managers ever.
    A generalization is being made here that is neither fair nor accurate. What made Torre great in 1999 was lost by 2005-06.
    he has never shown anything but complete class as a man and a manager.
    Like a clubhouse striptease in the middle of a season and to his favorite reporter?

    Rob January 26, 2009, 11:36 am
  • It looks like Pettitte is in talks with the Yankees about a one-year deal worth less than $10 million guaranteed.
    What a horrible insult!
    How long until Pettitte comes out with his book blasting the Yankees? After all, it would just be them reaping what they sow, right?

    AndrewYF January 26, 2009, 11:37 am
  • Also, the NYT review says that the good years are given a somewhat cursory glance, while the real meat of the book is in the ‘decline’ of the Yankees. He spends much more time talking about how he never liked Giambi or Weaver or Contreras.
    Sounds exactly like a bitter old man who wants to clear up his already somewhat tarnished legacy, but instead is tarnishing it more.

    AndrewYF January 26, 2009, 11:41 am
  • Left something important out:
    he has never shown anything but complete class as a man and a manager.
    Like an anonymous clubhouse striptease in the middle of a season and to his favorite reporter?
    And of course the worst part of that SI cover story is that it was prepared while A-Rod was slumping but they sat on it until just before the playoffs because he had gotten hot.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 11:45 am
  • “It is funny how Torre is being LAMBASTED by Yankee fans, who just a few short years ago, praised him as one of the best managers ever.”
    Its funny how sox fans lambast their past greats like Manny and Clemens once they arent wearing the correct uniform too. All fanbases do this, fandom is a fickle thing. This should hardly be surprised.
    My issues with Torre in this situation, assuming that some of what is being reported is accurate, do not change for me that he was a great manager during a great extended run in New York. This doesnt mean he is above criticism from me and other YFs.

    sam-YF January 26, 2009, 11:46 am
  • Its funny how sox fans lambast their past greats like Manny and Clemens..
    Again, back to the Sox, I guess. I didn’t say the Sox fans didn’t do this, so I don’t know why you feel the need to point that out. All I said was that it’s funny. As in hahahaha. No other hidden “yankee fans are so fickle” message in there.
    And, to be fair, I’ve lambasted Manny to no end while he was IN a Sox uniform.
    generalization is being made here that is neither fair nor accurate. What made Torre great in 1999 was lost by 2005-06.
    I’m assuming you mean good dependable pitching? Maybe an ace or two that doesn’t fall apart in the playoffs? Because, nobody forgets how to manage from year to year. Yeah, he made some bad moves, but he also made some real good ones too. At some point, the players are to blame for many of his shortcomings. Bullpen excluded, of course.

    Brad January 26, 2009, 12:01 pm
  • “Again, back to the Sox, I guess.”
    Uh Brad, this website is called YFSF. I dont think its unfair to bring up the other team in any discussion. Thats why we are here….

    sam-YF January 26, 2009, 12:03 pm
  • And I guess if you want to use that striptease as a way of saying that he has no class, that’s your right. But, I tend to not use one or two lapses in judgement override a decade of being considered a class act.
    And, Pettitte should be insulted. They want to pay him half of what they’re paying AJ Burnett? No way.

    Brad January 26, 2009, 12:04 pm
  • Yeah, I’m aware of the site’s namesake; I was just under the impression that the Sox had nothing to do with this thread. My mistake, I guess.

    Brad January 26, 2009, 12:05 pm
  • Because, nobody forgets how to manage from year to year.
    Sure they do. Just like Grandma forgets your name. Anyone paying attention knew Torre wasn’t the same manager in 2006 as in 1996 or even 2001.
    If Casey Stengel could get fired after a Game 7 loss in the the Series (because of a fluke homerun), any Yankee manager can get fired at any time. Meanwhile, the Yankees offered more yearly money than Torre got from the Dodgers. Some insult.
    And, Varitek should be insulted. They want to pay him half of what they’re paying Lugo. Looking forward to his book!

    Rob January 26, 2009, 12:10 pm
  • But, I tend to not use one or two lapses in judgement override a decade of being considered a class act.
    A “lapse” that’s directly tied to his supposed greatest strength as a manager?
    Meanwhile, this whole book, especially now, is an exercise in being classless especially because the whole is either a) money, b) ego, c) all of the above.
    The man was done in 2004 if not 2005. That he got two more, high-priced years, speaks more to the waning faculties of Big Stein than anything else.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 12:16 pm
  • Rob you are all over the map…The one thing I will say is that you are blaming Torre for all of this and this is not his book. This is VERDUCCI’s book written about the Torre years, with INPUT from Torre and other sources. As is documented I am not a Torre fan, but you have to give the guy a break here. If this was an autobiography or something of that nature I could understand the fire you are spitting at him, but it’s not. I am not naive I know why this book will sell and who’s data and info has driven the interest, but let’s not place all (if any) of the blame on Torre for timing. This book could have been in the works for years, you have no way of knowing that, neither do I. I will wait to read it before passing judgement, until then I will continue to feel exactly how I felt about Torre one week ago…he’s an overrated part of the Yankees success and him leaving was no loss to this team.

    John - YF January 26, 2009, 12:26 pm
  • This is VERDUCCI’s book written about the Torre years, with INPUT from Torre and other sources.
    Seems you need to get your facts in order.
    The Yankee Years (Hardcover)
    by Joe Torre (Author), Tom Verducci (Author)
    http://www.amazon.com/Yankee-Years-Joe-Torre/dp/0385527403
    About the Author
    Joe Torre played for the Braves, the Cardinals, and the Mets before managing all three teams. From 1996 to 2007, Torre managed the New York Yankees. He is currently the manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
    With a pic of him, in pinstripes, on the cover.
    Meanwhile, Torre will be doing a mini book tour.
    http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780385527408&view=isbn_events

    Rob January 26, 2009, 12:31 pm
  • I am not arguing that Torre doesn’t have a prominent role in the book, but this is Verducci’s book. Do you really think Torre had anything to do with the actual writing of the book? Torre is listed as an author to sell the book, sort the the book when it does come out and see how much of it is written by Torre. I would venture to guess you come to find out exactly what I am saying, this is Verducci’s book, with Torre as the co-pilot. Lenny Dykstra was also listed as the author of Nails, how much of that book do you think he actually wrote. Book tour wow, I am shocked…you mean more people recognize and want to see Torre than a writer for Sports Illustrated? Get out of town! Random house and their new fangled approaches!

    John - YF January 26, 2009, 12:36 pm
  • And, Varitek should be insulted. They want to pay him half of what they’re paying Lugo. Looking forward to his book!
    And, there ya go. Sweet comparison.

    Brad January 26, 2009, 12:42 pm
  • I am not arguing that Torre doesn’t have a prominent role in the book, but this is Verducci’s book.
    Umm, he’s listed as the lead author with his picture on the cover and his bio prominently displayed. It’s clearly Torre’s book even if Verducci wrote it. The latter took his direct quotes and built a story around them.
    But what are you arguing exactly? That somehow Torre was misquoted? The reviews haven’t been only the tabloids picking out the juiciest elements. This is clearly an attempt by Torre to settle some scores. At least this time he’s man enough to put his name to it. Of course, I suppose it would be cynical to conclude it’s to garner the millions “lost” when he signed for less with the Dodgers?

    Rob January 26, 2009, 12:45 pm
  • Id have to disagree too John. If Torre’s name is listed as an author, as it is, he is responsible for the contents no matter who put the actual pen to the paper. If there is something said in this book that he doesnt fully stand behind he should have had it removed or changed the authorship to reflect so. It could have been listed as by Verducci WITH Joe Torre for instance.

    sam-YF January 26, 2009, 12:52 pm
  • I am not arguing any point, I am telling you that you should wait and read the book before you come out and crucify Torre for all of the issues you listed above. You guys can disagree until the cows come home, this book is written in a THIRD PERSON NARRATIVE. See below.
    “The book is not a first-person book by Joe Torre, it’s a third-person narrative based on 12 years of knowing the Yankees and it’s about the changes in the game in that period. Seems to me the New York Post assigned this third-person book entirely to Joe Torre and that’s not the case.”
    -TV

    John - YF January 26, 2009, 1:10 pm
  • Verducci can say whatever he wants. Torre is listed as the lead author, based on his quotes, with his photo on the cover. And I’d be willing to bet that the vast majority of profits are going to Torre. If anything, Verducci seems miffed the Post didn’t give him proper credit.
    Like Sam says, Torre had veto power over everything in the book. It’s his book.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 1:21 pm
  • Verducci and Torre definitely DIDN’T want to leak this. This book was embargoed from the press because you can be 100 percent sure that SI was getting the early scoop on the book’s excerpts.
    The “update” on the NYPost website says how the Post “bought a copy from a local city store.” This is basically them, legally, worming out of the fact that they got their hands on a galley copy and are scooping SI and/or whoever else was getting the deal to release the early excerpts.

    walein January 26, 2009, 1:26 pm
  • You are right, we should just ignore direct quotes from the author and go solely on your word. I don’t even know why I bother. Truthfully, I could care less about Torre, so if it makes you feel better to ignore FACTS, then by all means you keep on ignoring them. You win.

    John - YF January 26, 2009, 1:27 pm
  • I’m a bit confused about some of the things written in the excerpt:
    “All Torre wanted was to manage one more season in relative calm, and the second year on a contract would help provide that kind of stability. The second year was nothing but an insurance policy. He planned to retire after that one season, anyway.”
    Was he planning to retire after one season or after the second? Obviously, it would make little sense to give a 2 year deal when he planned to retire after 1. If he said that he was going to retire, than he would would have been treated as a hero that last year, with presentations, etc.
    Is this just ambiguously phrased? I think Torre makes himself a bit more wide-eyed than 12 years in The Bronx would make him.

    DR January 26, 2009, 1:35 pm
  • What and ignore direct quotes from the co-author? Seriously, you think Verducci is getting an equal share or a majority of the profits?
    I’m not even sure what your problem is, John. Torre sat for interviews. Verducci wrote the book. Torre had a contractual write, as a co-author, to include and exclude whatever he wanted. If Torre didn’t want it to be his story, he had many avenues including removing his name and likeness from the cover, his bio from the inside flap, and his appearance on a book tour.
    What’s your problem exactly?

    Rob January 26, 2009, 1:37 pm
  • *contractual right

    Rob January 26, 2009, 1:40 pm
  • ALL I AM SAYING IS WHAT FOR THE BOOK TO COME OUT BEFORE YOU JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS. I AM NOT ARGUING ON THE SIDE OF TORRE, NOR AM I ARGUING ON THE SIDE OF DEFENDING AROD, ETC…I DON’T HAVE A SIDE. I AM SIMPLY TRYING TO TELL YOU AND ALL THAT ARE JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS TO WAIT FOR THE BOOK TO COME OUT.
    I never said anything about profits, equal shares, etc…those are all YOUR words. I am giving you a quote from the author, that’s all. If YOU choose to ignore it or call it crap, that’s your call. I myself like facts given to me by the people who can truly know what’s fact and what’s fiction, you can choose your route though, that’s fine.
    Disengage, you win.

    John - YF January 26, 2009, 1:43 pm
  • ARE WE ADULTS HERE OR CHILDREN? NO NEED TO SHOUT.
    I trust the NY Times. They’ve seen and reviewed the book. That tells me all I need to know. Your “direct” quote seems to be more a reminder from Verducci that he was involved in writing the book than any disputing of what it contains.
    Furthermore, there’s still the pesky detail of the 2006 Verducci piece. Now I know that Torre was intimately involved then in feeding his favored reporter damaging info even while he was managing the team. Again, that’s all the info I need to conclude that Torre is a skunk. This book just confirms it.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 1:53 pm
  • You are correct, that was poor etiquette to shout. For that I apologize. Your refusal to see any side but your own makes conversations with you infuriating, that’s why I try and stay away from engaging you. Unfortunately I let you get me worked up on a topic that I could give two shicks about. I don’t like Torre, you don’t like Torre. The only thing that separates me from you is that I am going to read the book on my own before I make any further critiques.
    PS – “This book just confirms it.” Wouldn’t you have to have actually read the book to make a statement like that? Just thinking out loud.
    To all, I am getting an advance copy of the book. Once I am finished reading it if you’d like the copy maybe we can work out some kind of contest. It won’t be new when you get it, but it will be FREE and in decent shape.

    John - YF January 26, 2009, 2:05 pm
  • You apologize then take a personal pot shot at me, when you don’t even know me? To me, that’s LESS mature than shouting.
    You’re right, I’m not going to read this book, not even for free. Answer this for me: Why did he write this book? The Times review gives a very good reason while leave out the most obviou$. That’s all I need to know especially combined with the 2006 Verducci piece.

    Rob January 26, 2009, 2:18 pm
  • Saying conversations with you are infuriating is a personal “Pot Shot” LOL ok. You win. I apologize for shouting, no qualifying statements. Is that better?
    I will answer any and all questions you have Rob after I read the book. :)

    John - YF January 26, 2009, 2:25 pm
  • The “he wants to sell books” argument is silly. I doubt Torre, who made like 70 million during his Yankee career and another 12 M with the Dodgers needs the cash. For whatever reason, he decided to publicly air his personal grievances. Cuz I doubt any part of the analysis of why the dynasty “fell” is going to have the first thing to say about how the manager forgot how to oversee a bullpen over the course of a season, or penciled in a 30% Gary Sheffield at First effing Base in a Playoff Series, or continued to throw the corpse of Bernie Williams out in CF, or didn’t hold back a decent starter for Game 7 of the ’04 ALCS.
    I know there’s dirt in every locker room and in the offices of every franchise. That’s not what’s disappointing. What’s disappointing is what this whole thing says about Torre, a guy I’ve always admired – namely that he wasn’t above such pettiness after all.

    Mark January 26, 2009, 3:35 pm
  • Great column from Sandomir on the business details of the book:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/27/sports/baseball/27sandomir.html?ref=sports
    Long story short, Verducci and Torre split a $1.5 million advance. Torre had veto power over anything he had said but Verducci was free to write about other, unrelated topics that Torre had no veto over. Sandomir says: The book’s credit line could be “by Tom Verducci with the extraordinary cooperation of Joe Torre.” Sort of like LaRussa’s last book.
    Sounds like the two have quite a symbiotic and trusting relationship! Just the guy to leak clubhouse details to! And during a pennant race!

    Rob January 27, 2009, 8:45 am

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