Sunday, January 25, 2009

Squawking some more about Joe Torre's 'Yankee Years'

Squawker Jon and I were just talking on the phone about "The Yankee Years," Joe Torre's tell-all book, and trying to figure out why, other than money, that Joe would taint his once-classy legacy by writing it.

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?


"Nutball Gazette" said...

I would say most of what is being reported about the book is true. but as you say for Torre to come out and blast A-Rod (Whom I have often referred to as A-Dog) is truly classless at this point.
The one thing this does clinch is that you will not see #6 retired anytime soon. I would say do not be surprised to see a player wearing # 6 this year.

Jonmouk71 said...

Torre's wish for a two-year deal also was no surprise - he clearly states in his '96 book that a manager that goes into a final year of a contract with no guarantee beyond is basically a lame duck, just waiting to be fired (as he was in St. Louis when they refused to give him a 2nd year). Again, please Pope Josephus, "stand-up" and tell us what you knew about steroid use in the Yankee clubhouse if you want us to respect or even listen to you.

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d l o said...

Are you serious? Your quoting a newspaper that slaps celebrity babies on the front page while a kid was killed on the streets. The NYPost is garbage and anyone that uses it as a source is a dumshitz. Read the book first before judge.

Subway Squawkers said...

I don't see anybody in the Torre camp denying what has been reported by the Post in the book, just insinuating that it was taken out of context.

Besides, it wasn't the Post who breathlessly proclaimed that the book would tell all about the high-priced pitcher who cried during a game. That was the book's own promotional material.

Jonah Falcon said...

"(Whom I have often referred to as A-Dog"

When has Alex Rodriguez ever dogged it on the field. I think you're confusing him with another Dominican.

Jonah Falcon said...

By the way, I wonder if Torre remembers what he was before the Yanks signed him - a 200 games under .500 managerial flop.

Anonymous said...


despite torre's leadership, the yanks have done the least with the most over the last 15 years.

dodgers in the playoffs (and yankees gone fishing) was reason to laugh and ridicule for all... except yankee "faithful"

perhaps torre's bitterness has merit? perhaps steinbreners are al davis with money? perhaps 2008 was proof of the yankees front office brute force fueled inneptitude.

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