As Jon noted, this year Torre made it to the playoffs with the Dodgers, while his old team languished in third place, so Joe was a shining example of the old adage about living well being the best revenge. Plus, Torre came out smelling like a rose, while the Yankee ownership looked petty, when they left him out of the Yankee Stadium Final Game extravaganza. Heck, even I criticized the Yanks for taking such pains not to mention him at the event.
But now Joe no longer seems classy. This type of name-calling book is something we would expect out of a long-retired manager or somebody bitter about not being in the game anymore, like Jose Canseco. But Torre is still the highest-paid manager in baseball, still gets tons of endorsement deals, and is still widely respected by many. Why he would be so petty in this new book is beyond either of us.
Torre slams a variety of targets in the book. I've already written today about what he said about Alex Rodriguez. Now I'd like to delve into his comments on Brian Cashman and the press.
According to the New York Post, who obtained a copy of the book, it doesn't look like Torre will be Cashman's Facebook friend any time soon, as Torre reportedly criticizes Cashman for not defending him:
Cashman never told the brass that the manager wanted a two-year deal and instead remained silent during Torre's tense final sitdown with the bosses.I'm in the strange position of defending Brian Cashman here, even though longtime Squawker readers know I wish he were no longer Yankees GM!
That being said, not only did help save Joe's job after the 2006 Tigers debacle, but Cashman flew down to Tampa with Torre in 2007 to give him moral support for that meeting. And Torre said time and again after leaving the Yankees that Cashman had his back. Here's one example, from Torre's October 2007 press conference after leaving the Yankees:
"I think Brian Cashman wanted me back. We have a close relationship," Torre said. "We worked hard to get this thing straightened out this year."Yet now Cashman's a villain in Joe's eyes. This isn't like Torre found something out about Cashman after the fact. He was at the meeting where Cashman didn't mention the two-year suggestion. (I don't understand why Cash would have to do it, anyway. Joe has a mouth, after all. What, he couldn't say something to the Steinbrenners himself?)
Here's the thing. Do I think that Cashman thought it was better that Joe be pushed out than himself? That sounds plausible to me, kind of like how Joe was okay with Yankee management forcing out coaches, like Don Zimmer and Mel Stottlemyre, rather than him losing his own job. But, like Mariano Rivera says, that's baseball.
According to the Post, Torre reportedly said he wanted the two-year deal because:
Torre felt that if he didn't get a multiyear deal, the intense media scrutiny would continue.I guess I missed when that "intense media scrutiny" of Torre started. Was it when the New York press applauded and gave him a standing ovation at that October 2007 post-Yankee press conference? Sheesh.
I'll continue to have more to say about Joe Torre's book, including his revelations about Yankee ownership. But in the meantime, what do you think?