Like many of you, I suspect, I'm in the middle of the Torre-Verducci joint production, The Yankee Years, which presently resides at the very top of the NYTBR bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction. I know we've touched on the book here before, but I thought I'd open a new, book-club style thread for those reading to share their thoughts. I'll lead off with a few of my impressions after the jump.
-The first half of the book is largely similar to Buster Olney's "Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty," but of course the Olney book, for all its flaws, was a more objective book. Ironically, though not surprisingly, the best source for both writers is actually David Cone.
-Verducci's rehash of the championship years is solid, if rushed, and there's a lot of platitudinous BS about greatness and grinding. There isn't much of anything new.
-There's endless harping about how the dynasty ended in 2001 or maybe 2000, when the "culture changed." The story of the 03 and 04 Yanks is overwhelmingly negative in slant, despite the incredible baseball of those years.
-The section on steroids is solid but hardly spectacular, and doesn't even begin to address complex issues about the efficacy of doping and its many implications.
-Verducci is impressed with the Sox new thinking, justifiably, but the fawning over the Sox can be a bit hard to stomach for a book about the Yankees.
–The overwhelming impression: what a sad, dour, joyless book–as if the entire 12-year term is reviewed through the opposite of rose-colored glasses, nevermind that for most fans, players, writers, and even, I suspect, Torre himself, the period was more often characterized by the great daily joy of watching a contending club of wonderful athletes play a beautiful game.
-Verducci is a solid writer, and his organizations skills are prodigious, but he's not a first-class stylist; you wish he or his editor would have cut back on some of the clever, smart-aleck metaphor that so often form a substitute for truly incisive writing.