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Friday, May 22, 2009

Joe Torre can't even get his story straight in his own book

Squawker Jon, I will announce later on this morning who I'm rooting for in your Mets-Red Sox series this weekend. Have to keep our readers coming back for more!

But in the meantime, I have to chastise your team for letting themselves get swept by the Dodgers this week. Even the usually-snoozing Joe Torre roused himself out of a nap to notice that Ryan Church didn't touch third base. Torre went out onto the field and argued about it and everything. Imagine if he had done the same during the Bug Game when Joba Chamberlain was literally screaming, "I can't see"!

And your team couldn't even knock around Jeff Weaver! I don't want to go all Steve Phillips on you, but what's wrong with the Mets?

Anyhow, I wonder how that Torre-Weaver thing is going, given the negative things Torre said about him in "The Yankee Years." I also wonder if Weaver, or for that matter, David Wells, noticed this passage from the book. On Page 49 of "The Yankee Years," Torre complained about David Wells being a bad influence on Weaver:
[Wells] can be an engaging personality, and then there are times as a manager where you could hate his guts. He'd go out there and I'd watch his body language, and I'd watch Jeff Weaver and I'd watch Sidney Ponson, those are two guys who gravitated toward him, and I saw the same things. 'Woe is me.' It drove you nuts.
Wow, Wells' bad influence is amazing. Especially given that he and Sidney Ponson were never teammates. Ponson didn't join the Yankees until 2006, three seasons after Wells was off the team. You gotta love Joe's attention to detail there.

Torre also botched the name of the Yankee who got the game-winning hit in Game 1 of the 2000 World Series. Not one, not twice, but three different times in the book, the player is named Luis Vizcaino, not Jose Vizcaino. Luis, a pitcher, didn't play for the Yankees until 2007. Maybe this error explains why Torre overworked Luis Vizcaino so much in the bullpen that year - he thought he could get some of that old World Series magic!

In addition to these sloppy errors in "The Yankee Years," Torre still tries to justify pitching Weaver in extra innings in the 2003 World Series. From Page 234:
"I had no options," Torre said. "People say bring in Mariano. I had no options. It was an extra-inning game on the road. There was never any consideration of other options. I never was between anybody, I know that...."
Yeah, it's a tough choice. Who do you pitch in a World Series game - the greatest closer of all time, or Jeff Weaver? Then again, this is Joe Torre we're talking about, the guy who spends most of "The Yankee Years" complaining of the horrible burden of having the best player in baseball on his team!

Torre also said this about Weaver:
"People were basing their criticism of him in Game 4 on what happened before, when he was bad. But we finally got him to the point where he was controlling his emotions better. But the result reverted to what he was before, so people say, "It's the same old guy."
This is just nonsense. Torre hadn't had Weaver pitch in 28 days. He thought so little of his abilities that he never used Weaver in the entire postseason until Game 4 of the World Series. Six years later, the wrongheadedness of this decision still boggles my mind.

But that's Teflon Torre - he's completely incapable of ever acknowledging that he did anything wrong. Just this week, he refused to acknowledge any culpability regarding Scott Proctor. Torre overworked Proctor so much with both the Yankees and the Dodgers, that Proctor had to get season-ending elbow surgery this week. Torre's overwork of Proctor was so legendary, a Yankee fan site called Scott Proctor's Arm was named after it!

But does St. Joe regret what he did to Proctor? Of course not. Torre told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this week:
"There's playing hurt, and then there's playing stupid," Torre said. "It doesn't have anything to do with someone's intelligence. If you can endure pain and still are able to do what you do, that's one thing."

"If you're willing to play, which means you certainly are brave, but you can't be the player that you need to be, then it's not very smart to do for your own health, and you're not helping the team either," Torre said.
You'd think Torre would have realized he was overworking Proctor after the time the pitcher set his equipment on fire after a loss. But maybe that's just me.

Torre continued:
"He doesn't know what hurt is," Torre said. "The dumbest question I could ask him was: 'Are you OK?' Because I knew what the answer was going to be."
Then why did Torre keep on pitching him, when he knew this about Proctor?

Of course, expecting anybody to actually ask Torre a tough question on this is a futile endeavor. He's got four rings, after all!

And we only have one year until Teflon Torre's triumphant return to the Bronx, when the Dodgers play the Yankees in interleague play. Jeez, I just can't wait.

What do you think about Joe Torre? Tell us about it!

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lisa ...you do have problems with letting go of Mr. Torre ..lol. Who cares about Torre with all this exciting baseball going on !!! Hopefully a Perfect 10 coming up...Go AJ ...GOOOOOOOOO YANKEES !!!

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Uncle Mike said...

Okay, Lisa, you make some good points here, so I'll address those. Getting the Vizcainos mixed up is bad, because all Jose Vizcaino did was beat the Mets to win a World Series game.

No good can come from bringing Jeff Weaver in to pitch a key game. And Torre DID have a choice: If he didn't want to use Mariano at that point, he could have also used Jose Contreras. Granted, he was inconsistent as a Yankee, and pitched poorly the next night, but it wasn't his fault, as he wasn't expecting to be, in effect, the starter, as Wells punked out on us.

But he was a better option than Weaver. You know it, and I know it, but Joe Torre did not know it. The next season, when the Dodgers made their first trip to Shea, I went, and cheered on the Mets, just so I could boo the hell out of Weaver. The bum.

However... A-Rod was a steroid user from Day One, and he was, therefore, never the best player in baseball.

It's a good thing the Internet didn't exist in 1966, Lisa, because if it did, you'd be busting Casey Stengel's chops. You'd be saying it doesn't matter how much the Mets outdrew the Yankees while he was their manager, and it didn't matter how many Pennants he won for the Yankees. You'd be saying it's time for Mickey Mantle to quit, and isn't Joe Pepitone wonderful? And I'd be saying Mantle is still the best player the Yankees have (which was still true at that point, but that didn't help anyone, least of all Mantle). And KM would be reminding me that the Yankees are now as bad as the Highlanders of my youth, not that his Mets were anywhere close. At least we wouldn't have the Red Sox fans talking smack -- for another year, anyway.

In this analogy, Stengel = Torre, Mantle = Jeter and Pepitone = A-Rod. At least Pepi contributed to 3 Pennants and the 1962 World Series win, and never used steroids, although being the first player known to use a hairdryer -- on a toupee, no less -- and his often lackadaisical demeanor was a foreshadowing of A-Rod's divatude.

The bottom line is this: Torre led us back to glory. A-Rod never has. Attacking Torre doesn't change either of those facts.

The current nine-game winning streak is definitely, in part, creditable to A-Rod, not just his hitting but his protection for Teixeira who has really rebounded. And I'm loving it. But it's May 22. And as George Steinbrenner reminded us, being "Mr. May" doesn't help if you don't hit in August and September. (Give it a rest, George, and give Dave Winfield his Monument Park plaque already!)

If it is possible to defend A-Rod, then it is possible to defend him without attaacking Torre -- without whose managing, the Yankees would not have become the kind of team with whom A-Rod would have wanted to play. A-Rod is here in large measure because of Torre's success. So whatever mistakes Torre made from November 2001 onward, and there were a few noticable ones, he deserves a break, if not the occasional gratitude.

Because at this rate, Lisa, I can see you rationalizing the fact that A-Rod wears Number 13 now, but he used to wear Number 3, and since he can't wear that, and double 3, 6, is available, he should get to wear Number 6 -- which has been vacant since Torre left. You think A-Rod would be cheered if he walked out wearing Number 6?

I know this sounds like I'm attacking you, and that's not what I wanted to convey. You've given us this forum and made it enjoyable to both give to and take from, and I think I speak for everyone here (if at no other time) when I thank you for that.

But smacking Torre who won so much, while defending A-Rod who has won nothing thus far and has embarrassed the Yankees plenty, is something I will never understand.

Lisa Swan said...

I see your points, Peggy and Uncle Mike. I wish there was some way I could root for the Torre who, prior to 2003, actually used to pay attention to his team and manage well. As opposed to the Torre who snoozed and spent more time polishing his rings than paying attention enough to win playoff games.

It used to be, whenever you did the playoff matchups, that Torre had the edge over any other manager. But starting in the 2003 World Series, that was no longer the case.

And Uncle Mike, the Casey Stengel analogy works this way - he snoozed through the 1960 World Series, costing the Yankees that championship. There is no reason the Bombers should have lost that series, other than Stengel's mismanagement. So yeah, the Yanks did the right thing in showing him the door.

And c'mon - A-Rod as Pepitone? Good grief. At least Alex has a work ethic!

Anonymous said...

+1 to Uncle Mike's post Lisa. I am one who believes Torre should have been gone after the 2004 ALCS against Boston; I'll give him a break on 2003 because he got bushwacked by Wells bailing out on us and Giambi and his sudden "medical issues" at the worst possible time; plus I think the team was wiped out after the dramatic/emotional series before with the Red Sox.

Torre will never admit this but fans know once he lost Zimmer as his bench coach he was never the same. Old man Zimmer kept the guys loose and he was the Torre's compass once Steinbrenner cut him; he was lost on the bench.

Bottom line is; Torre DID help us get 4 WS during his tenure and for that we will be always grateful. He stayed a little to long; now he's gone in LA and "his guys" are realizing that its time for them to move on and start trying to bring us fans another championship in this new Yankee Stadium without him.

It's all good Lisa, its all good.

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Joe Torre putting attention at a game?!?!?! He must be spiking his green tea! "Uhm, lets add something to this green tea. Oh! Manny Ramirez left some sweetener here!"

Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

I don't think Lisa has a problem with letting go of Joe Torre. Joe Torre has a problem with truth! And accountability ... and confidentiality ... and ...

Anonymous said...

Lisa ...

Not the fact that you have to root for Joe...he's gone so just move on and write about the good things ...all the Swisherlicious things at the moment because that's what is making for a fun time right now ...hopefully for many more moments this season ..right till the end of October :o).

Uncle Mike ...

Arod steriod user from day one? You have proof of that? No matter what you think ...steroids nonewithstanding...Alex is one of the best to ever play the game of baseball. His lack of judgement is sad because he didn't need the stuff with all his natural ability.
You many not like him but you can't deny the talent. To blame him for not winning a WS is ridiculous because it takes a TEAM not one player and helps to have pitching too (which we haven't till this year). He still has nine more years to win and I'm confident the Yanks will win a few before his time is over. Don't let your dislike for a player cloud your judgement on him.

As for The Mick ..if he didn't have all the injuries, didn't drink and carouse so much... if he took better care of himself he definitely would have been the greatest player of all time ..IMO. As Billy Crystal once said ...if God wanted to build the perfect baseball player he would have used Mickey as his model. As much as I loved him ...unfortunately Mickey wasn't an angel ...just ask the ex Mrs. Mantle and her sons. He had plenty of character flaws too.

Anyway ...things are looking good right now and I'm enjoying every moment of it. My daughter is the first love of my life ..the Yankees are second. Last night was a great night because the Yankees won ..BUT...even better ...my baby got engaged... :o)!!!

Lisa & all..have a great Memorial Day Weekend ..I'll be at the game Sunday for Sabby/Hamels ....can't wait.

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

NAM said...

Peggy,

Congratulations to your daughter! And to you too. That is wonderful news.

Enjoy the long weekend and all the baseball. It is the best part of summer!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nam ..

The hardest thing about the weekend is the fact that I have to actually say ..."Go Mets" ..HAHA

ENJOY !!!

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

NAM said...

I know Peggy. This interleague play is cruel to us die hard fans. It makes us cross lines we would otherwise never considering crossing.

Is the future son-in-law a Yankee fan?

The Emperor said...

Peggy wrote: "The hardest thing about the weekend is the fact that I have to actually say ..."Go Mets" ..HAHA"


Peggy, I completely identify with your pain and anguish on this issue, but please don't forget that for the Yankees' sake this is a very necessary evil. :-)

Lisa Swan said...

Congrats, Peggy. And NAM asked the question I was just going to ask - is your future son-in-law a Yankee fan?

The Emperor said...

Congratulations, Peggy!!! Now first and foremost, your future son-in-law must be a Bombers fan. Otherwise all bets are off. Second, when you have grandchildren, it's your god-given duty to make sure that child is brought up the right way, and in that I mean instilling a deep loyalty to the Pinstripes to the point to where it's hardwired into that child's mind forever - jsut liek Uncle Mike did for his nieces. :-)

Anonymous said...

Lisa & Nam ...

Yep ..big time Yankee fan. No mixed marriage for my daughter. I made that mistake marrying a Met fan and now we're divorced ..lol. All three of us go to games together.

His Mom is a Met fan ...so...you know who the better mother-in-law is going to be...(wink).

Emp...it's a cruel world when we have to put ourselves in such a quandry as rooting for the enemy...lol

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!

Anonymous said...

Emp...

I raised my whole family right ..my daughter, nieces and nephew are brainwashed right from the day of birth by be presented with some form of Yankee attire...in my family it's YANKEELAND or you are disowned ..

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!

The Emperor said...

Peggy, you are a woman after my own heart.

Anonymous said...

Nam ...

I'll be going to my first Yankee/Sox game in Fenway on August 21st. It took me six years to finally get tickets to a game. I've done the tour of Fenway about 5 years ago but this will be the first game (hopefully I get out alive ..haha). I'm really excited about going. I'm also off to Florida next month for the Marlins/Yanks and Toronto in Sept.

I just hope the winning holds up because this has been a blast the past two weeks ...

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!

The Emperor said...

I think perhaps tattooing the Yankee interlocking NY or logo to the child's arm or back at a very young age...just in case they get any funny ideas about switching allegiances when they get older..

LOL!!! :-)

The Emperor said...

Gotta brand 'em with the brand name!!

Anonymous said...

Emp...

My daughter does have the interlocking NY on her upper thigh.
I'm not a fan of tattoos but that NY
does look cute...

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!

Anonymous said...

cute for her that is ..NOT ME !!!

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!

The Emperor said...

That's it, Peggy - it's time to have a mural tattooed on your whoel back. The entire Yankee team of the year of your choosing, but it's now long overdue.

C'mon, let's get you prepped up for some ink!!

Anonymous said...

Emp ...

You would have to kill me first ..lol.

Peggy

Go Yankees 2009 !!

The Emperor said...

But...but...but...but it's a tribute to the Yankees!!!

You know: The GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO YANKEES!!!

Uncle Mike said...

Well, I've already got the two-year-old nieces trained. Their mother took them to a store where Yankee gear was sold, and they saw the interlocking NY logo, and pointed and said, "Michael! Michael!" They don't yet know what "Yankees" means, but they know the logo means me.

And I ask, "Ashley, what do we say for the Yankees?" And she says, "Yay!" And, "Rachel, what do we say for the Mets?" And she says, "P.U.!"

They're such good girls.

The Emperor said...

"And I ask, "Ashley, what do we say for the Yankees?" And she says, "Yay!" And, "Rachel, what do we say for the Mets?" And she says, "P.U.!"

They're such good girls."

LOL! Mike, you're too much, man! :-)

Anonymous said...

Scott Proctor is a loser and Joe Torre knew it.