But something Torre said at the beginning of the show caught my eye. And he may have opened up an ethical can of worms for co-author Tom Verducci.
When asked about how "The Yankee Years" came about, he told King Tom Verducci approached him about the book idea when Torre was still manager of the Yankees. Here's how Joe described it (my emphasis added below):
Well, I guess a little over two years ago, Tom Verducci approached me with an idea. Tom wrote my first book, "Chasing A Dream." And he had the idea let's, you know, do a narrative, which is what this book is. It's a chronicle about my 12 years in New York and, really, the changes that took place in baseball during those 12 years and a lot of the stuff that hasn't been talked about. And, to me, this book is going to sit on shelves. It's going to be a piece of history, because it tells you the changes.
It's a piece of something, alright.
Here's the problem with Joe's own chronology - he's inadvertently shown that his co-author had a gaping conflict of interest here in writing about Torre in his day job, without revealing his own financial interest with him.
Remember that the Verducci-Torre tag team A-Rod smear job "Lonely Yankee" cover story ran in Sports Illustrated a little over two years ago. Sounds like, as I heard somebody online describe it, that article was a trial run for this book, and that the two decided to collaborate on the book around the same time they were collaborating on throwing A-Rod under the bus.
I noted in a Squawker blog entry earler this week how Verducci wrote a searing column in Sports Illustrated last fall about the end of the Torre era, entitled "Yanks Have Blood on Their Hands." Among other things, he accused the Yankee brass of letting "corporate cowardice be their guide."
The column is a one-sided defense of Torre, and a evisceration of the Yankee front office. And Verducci wrote it at the very same time he was working on a book with Joe Torre! How is that even allowed?
And it gets better. As I noted in my earlier squawk, Randy Levine, one of Verducci's targets in the column, cried foul at the time. The New York Times wrote about it last fall:
Levine questioned Verducci's objectivity because he collaborated on Torre's 1997 autobiography, ''Chasing the Dream.'' ''They had a financial relationship,'' Levine said.
Verducci said he didn't regard disclosure of his old Torre book deal as necessary in his first critical article about Levine. Still, at some journalistic outposts, he would have been prohibited from having such a relationship with someone on his beat.
''It's 10 years ago and clearly a matter of public record,'' he said. ''So I don't regard it as anything that's covert at all.''
Well, the new book project was pretty darn covert, and not a matter of public record at the time. Like I said, Torre's own timeline says that Verducci approached him about a new book a little over two years ago. Yet Verducci was defending Joe in Sports Illustrated and not revealing his own financial interest in spinning the Torre story.
I thought it was enough of a conflict of interest for Verducci to have written another column on the Yankee front office, as he did just last month, without noting in the article that he was doing this book. But this latest revelation really takes the cake!
What do you think? Tell us about it!