For all the talk about A-Rod snubbing Joe Torre, nobody on the Yankee beat seemed to notice that Torre didn't exactly fall over himself approaching Rodriguez, either. Until now. Matthews writes:
All weekend, Torre talked about how he had no hard feelings toward Rodriguez, how he hoped that Rodriguez held none toward him and how he would "certainly go over and shake his hand.''Matthews was just griping this weekend about how A-Rod made this story about himself by not approaching Torre. But the real person who orchestrated this story in the media was Torre himself, by talking about it with reporters constantly. If shaking Joe's hand was so important to him, why didn't he make the first move?
Torre talked and talked and talked. But Rodriguez was the one who acted.
And whether you think it was staged or not -- Rodriguez was seen huddling with Yankees media relations director Jason Zillo up the right-field line before suddenly turning and bolting with his hand outstretched toward Torre -- the fact is, A-Rod made the first move.
Heck, A-Rod made the only move. And for that, he deserves some credit.
Matthews even sent a little criticism St. Joe's way in his column:
Considering the difference in age and maturity, and the fact that it was Torre who co-wrote the book which contained embarrassing passages about A-Rod, it certainly seemed to be Torre's place to approach Rodriguez, rather than vice versa.Good points, and that's what the media completely missed in this story - that Torre should have been the one to approach him, and not vice versa.
But Torre never did that. And his disclaimer -- "Well, he was busy'' -- to explain why he and A-Rod managed to not cross paths came off as disingenuous and even a little snarky.
Like Michael Kay, I myself was hoping Rodriguez wouldn't bother talking to Torre at all. But in retrospect, I think what he did worked out fine. A-Rod did look like the bigger person.
As for Torre, I had to laugh when I read that he was ticked off at the Los Angeles Times for not completely writing the party line about him:
Torre was upset with a story in the Sunday edition of The Times in which it was written that Rodriguez was described as "a head case" in "The Yankee Years."
Here are a couple of quotes from the book about Rodriguez that are directly attributed to Torre:
-- "When it comes to a key situation, he can't get himself to concern himself with getting the job done, instead of how it looks."
-- "For me success was still going to be about pitching. But seeing his personality concerned me because you could see his focus was on individual stuff."
Torre later explained that whatever he was quoted as saying in the book, he had already said to Rodriguez directly beforehand. The reason he became upset Sunday, he said, was that he was tired of how the book was portrayed as a hit piece on Rodriguez when it was about the landscape of baseball.
Landscape of baseball, eh? Get over yourself, Joe. Your score-settling hit piece will never be mistaken for "The Glory of Their Times II."
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