A few more comments on Joe Torre's "The Yankee Years" while I not-so-patiently wait for my Snuggie shipment to arrive. (And yes, I know I've written a ton on Joe already, but this book is the gift that keeps on giving!)
First off, if I can toot my own horn a little, now that the book is coming out, I feel like I've been completely vindicated regarding my many, many negative comments about Torre over the years in Subway Squawkers. Granted, I've been wrong on things a ton of times, too, like thinking that the Yanks lost out on not getting Eric Gagne, and thinking that Pudge Rodriguez was a great pickup. So please allow me to gloat that I was right on one thing!)
Heck, if anything, Torre was even nastier, and more of a phony, than I thought he was.
For example, what reason did he have to embarrass Bernie Williams, one of own his favorite players, by writing that Bernie once forgot to take home his child, and his wife at the Stadium at separate times?
Anyhow, as longtime Squawkers readers know, these were my main arguments against Torre over the last few years of his management:
* He was hailed as being the only manager who could manage all those egos, but he was really was only interested in 'his guys", the ones who he won the rings with. And because of that, the cliques in his clubhouse didn't work well together as a team.
* He despised A-Rod with a passion, and took Derek Jeter's side, instead of trying to get the two of them to work together. And he did everything he could - collaborating with Tom Verducci on that 2006 hit piece, batting Alex eighth - to make sure everybody knew how little he thought of A-Rod.
* He didn't really seem interested in winning championships anymore, content to be happy with making the playoffs. When he had the four rings, it was all his great leadership, but in the 2000s, he decided that winning in the playoffs was all a crapshoot.
* He seem bored with the team, and looked like he was asleep in the dugout each night. He was so lethargic, he couldn't even get up to fight about the bug game. And the team reflected his lethargy.
* Joe was completely unwilling to adjust to the changing times, or to look at a stat sheet. Other teams outmaneuvered him, and outmanaged him, in the playoffs.
* Torre was obsessed with image, more interested in having he and his team look classy than in fighting tough. He wouldn't let his players brush back opponents anymore, or even bunt on an injured Curt Schillilng.
* He was terrible in managing a bullpen, chronically overworking some arms, while underworking others. The Joba Rules were designed by Brian Cashman to protect Torre from himself.
* He was more interested in making more money from the Yankees, and managing in the new stadium, than he was in getting the Yankees another world championship.
* Heavy steroid usage was going on in his own clubhouse, but he looked the other way.
So far, while I haven't gotten to read the book yet, only snippets and excerpts, it sounds like the nothing in "The Yankee Years" contradicts anything I previously thought of Torre. So much for St. Joe.
But what do you think? Leave us a comment.