Let me preface my review of the book with the following: I am on record here at the site as being anything but a big Joe Torre fan. I do not and never have bowed at the altar of St. Joe. I always appreciated Joe and what he had meant to the Yankees, but I never felt like he was the only reason this team was successful. That being said the book that seemed to set the city and talk radio on fire all week, was really not that bad after all. It was an easy read. I read all 477 pages in just about three days. Most if not all of the quotes released in the papers last week can be attributed to people other than Torre. The A-Fraud comment, not Torre. The SWF comment, not Torre. The most critical comments in the book can be attributed to three people: Mike Borzello, the bullpen catcher for Joe Torre's 12 years with the Yankees, Mike Mussina and Tom Verducci. Torre walked a fine line between controversial and informative throughout the entire book. My only advice to curious baseball fans is to read the book for yourself. There is a ton on information on subjects other than the Yankees and Joe Torre. The book goes into the development of the current Red Sox dynasty and how focused Theo Epstein was on remaining true to their plan. There is some really good information on Mark Shapiro, the General Manager of the Indians and how he developed a system for keeping track of all things baseball related called DiamondView. If you love baseball and you like to read, give the book a chance. I am by no means trying to save Joe's reputation or trying to convince you that this book is something positive for the Yankees, it's just not. There a ton of details about current and former Yankees that should have never been made public, Joe is certainly guilty there. Even if the most controversial tidbits didn't come from him, Torre tied his name to a book that went against one of his biggest rules: keep what happens in the locker in the locker room. My advice, spend the $25 and read the book for yourself.
Here are a few quotes from the book that I really enjoyed. They are for the most part nothing you would have read in the papers this week, they are really just funny or interesting quotes that I enjoyed while reading the book.
"Cashman didn't want Lilly. He preferred Igawa, though Igawa would cost the Yankees more money over four years than what Lilly would cost on the free agent market." – Tom Verducci
"Bullpen catcher Mike Borzello was assigned to catch Igawa's first throwing session in spring training. Borzello was looking forward to it, especially after Billy Epler, the assistant to Cashman, had raved about Igawa to Borzello."
"Did you catch Igawa yet?" Eppler asked excitedly.
"No," Borzello replied.
"Just wait," Epler said. "He's got a nasty changeup. You'll see."
Borzello's response: "I caught Kei Igawa," Borzello said. "It was awful. He maybe threw three strikes out of 25 pitches. The changeup was horrible. I was reaching all over the place for his pitches."
"Our problem right now is we have too many pitchers on the 15 day Pavano, Mussina said one day in April. That's what it's officially called now. Did you know that? The Pavano. His body just shut down from actually pitching for six weeks. It's like when you get an organ transplant and your body rejects it. His body rejected pitching. It's not used to it." – Mike Mussina