I've been wondering when Derek Jeter was going to say something about Joe Torre's "The Yankee Years." He did so last night at a charity event. The New York Times reports:
Was Jeter surprised and/or disturbed by the Torre/Tom Verducci assertion in “The Yankee Years” that Rodriguez has a “Single White Female” obsession with him?
“Ah, it gets to the point where it just seems like we’re always talking about the same things, you know?” he said. “It seems like every year it’s about the same thing.”
Is he suggesting it's Alex's fault that this is all in the headlines again? He's not the one who wrote the book; Torre is.
When asked whether Torre should be writing about confidential clubhouse stuff, Jeter gave this answer:
“To be quite honest with you, people had all the excerpts on TV and reports on this and that,” he said. “To be fair to everyone, I think you have to wait to see what’s in it first, and then give Mr. T an opportunity to address it.”
Sorry, Derek, I don't need to wallow through 500 pages to figure out that it was wrong for Torre to write confidential clubhouse tales in his book. And you shouldn't have to, either.
Besides, "Mr. T" already had "an opportunity to address it" - he's the one who wrote the book in the first place!
Look, I'm not going to suggest that Jeter stand up for A-Rod, because that ship sailed a long, long time ago. But I do think that the captain of the Yankees ought to have an opinion on the other allegations the book makes about Jeter's other teammates.
What does Derek think about these revelations:* Newsday's Neil Best, who has read "The Yankee Years," said that in the book, Torre reveals that Johnny Damon, Jeter's current teammate, was suffering from emotional and physical issues in the spring of 2007. Damon was starting to tick off the "old guard" Yanks. Damon, when confronted by Torre in a private meeting, told him "I'm not sure I want to do this" anymore. According to Best:
The book says one teammate visited Torre and was near tears discussing Damon, saying, "Let's get rid of him. Guys can't stand him."
Damon isn't the only person Joe writes about having emotional or mental problems - Torre does the same about Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson, Chuck Knoblauch, and Kevin Brown, to name a few - but Johnny is the one who is currently Jeter's teammate.
So Jeter really needs to be asked:
1) If it's appropriate for his former manager to write about his former players' psyches and personal issues, and
2) If he thinks the standard for getting rid of a player should be whether he's in with the in-crowd.
* The book talks about how Brian McNamee's "program" was an open joke in the clubhouse. So what did Jeter see regarding performance-enhancing drugs on the Yankees? Was he part of the "don't ask, don't tell, don't care" contingent, as the book describes it? (And yeah, I know all about the clubhouse code. But given that Torre appears to have violated that code dozens of times in the book, I think it's a fair question for the captain.)
"It was just not an unselfish team. The team wasn't tough enough . . . A lot of those players are more concerned about what it looks like as opposed to getting dirty and just getting it done. Those other teams, they were ferocious."
Does Derek agree with these revelations? Given how many times he has said over the years about them not being the same team, I think he does, but I'd like to hear if he agrees that most of his current teammates are "more concerned about what it looks like as opposed to getting dirty and just getting it done."
* And finally, Jeter ought to be asked about his own involvement with the book. Was he interviewed for it? Did he provide any of the anonymous quotes in it? And why hasn't he read it yet? What, Joe wouldn't give him a review copy? Sheesh.
I think Jeter said all the right things the night Yankee Stadium closed - his speech that night was one for the ages. But it's time for him to open his mouth again and say something substantive about "The Yankee Years." As captain of the Yanks, he doesn't get to sit this one out.
What do you think Derek Jeter should do? Leave us a comment.